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Education

Central Coast lawmaker wants immediate action to address sexual violence on college campuses

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Flickr user Ricardo Diaz
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A California report detailing sexual violence on the state's college campuses has local Assemblyman Das Williams calling for immediate changes.

Williams responded Monday to a hearing on the report last week, hosted by the Assembly Committees on Higher Education and Joint Legislative Audits.

The State Auditor's report shows a lack of training on how university employees respond to reports of sexual assaults, and a low incidence of expulsions when students are determined to be guilty of a sexually violent crime. Williams believes colleges can act immediately on these issues.

"Students are at least under the impression that there [are] not ramifications for sexual assault on campus, so that both emboldens possible perpetrators, but even more alarming, makes victims feel like there's no justice," said Williams.

The Carpinteria Democrat is the Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, which gives him more sway on this issue. He says he's prepared to create legislation if these concerns are not addressed in a timely manner.

The study was done with statistics from four campuses, including UC Berkeley, UCLA, San Diego State, and Chico State.

While the study did not include information from UCSB or Cal Poly, Williams says he believe the problem is just as bad at those locations.