Campus Sex Crimes Getting National Attention; Local Organization Hopeful
By Michelle Durham
WAYNE, Pa. (CBS) — The head of a local organization focused on improving campus security is pleased that the issue is getting a spotlight from the vice president of the United States.
Yesterday, the first report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault was issued. Vice president Joe Biden addressed the issue directly shortly after its release, reaffirming the Obama administration’s commitment to eradicating sex crimes from the nation’s college campuses.
Alison Kiss is executive director of the Clery Center for Security on Campus, founded by a Wayne, Pa. couple whose daughter was brutally raped and murdered in her Lehigh University dorm room in 1986 by a fellow student she didn’t know.
“The (White House) task force took 90 days to put together a preliminary report,” Kiss notes. “My expectations were not high, just given the time period and the amount of people who they needed to speak with. I was very impressed with the amount of information they were able to pull together and the amount of different people representing so many different functional areas, so that they can get a sense of the larger picture of what is happening on campuses.”
Still, Kiss says, they have a long way to go.
“What we would love to see is proactivity on thee side of campuses. Because they are talking about it, their numbers (of reported crimes) will increase — but that is not a bad thing because this is the most underreported crime on campus,” she tells KYW Newsradio.