Missouri University’s Handling of Rape Cases Under Scrutiny

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – University of Missouri-Kansas City students are expressing concern about a lack of transparency following an alleged sexual assault in a dorm last month.

University administrators called a meeting Monday to hear from students, faculty and staff following a protest last week regarding better protection against sexual violence for students, the Kansas City Star reported.

“I came today because I’m a female, and I want to know what is being done to protect me as I walk on this campus,” junior Sabrina Norris said.

Freshman Zoe Rickman, who lives near the dorm where the rape allegedly occurred, said she only heard about the alleged incident from Facebook.

Chancellor Leo Morton said he’s disappointed in the way students had to learn of the case and promised a series of improvements in the school’s security process. Morton acknowledged last week “that some training and education gaps exist, in particular for faculty and staff.”

The university released a statement before the meeting outlining dorm security protocol. Students must swipe their keys to enter the building, and visitors are required to show identification to the dorm desk attendant.

“If a desk attendant sees a student entering the building not under their own power, the attended is expected to retain the person and call campus police,” the statement read.

A resident life administrator also said that students employed to monitor the dorms’ check-in desks have been talked to about job expectations.

The alleged rape of a female student occurred Feb. 23 at Johnson Hall on campus. A 22-year-old man, who was not a student, has been charged with raping the woman. According to court documents, surveillance video shows the man carrying the woman, who after drinking alcohol at a club in Lawrence was unable to walk into the dorm.

University officials said the investigation is ongoing.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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