LYNCHBURG, Va. – Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner called for a federal investigation Wednesday into Liberty University’s mishandling of sexual assaults.
This comes after backlash from advocates saying the university is not taking a third-party investigation as seriously as they should.
In statements to 10 News, the Democratic senators are urging the Department of Education to investigate and take appropriate action.
Here’s what Kaine said about the situation:
“Any campus policy that deters or discourages a survivor of sexual assault from speaking out and seeking justice is wrong. Students who bravely speak out deserve to be heard and to have their claims taken seriously. My office is urging the Department of Education to investigate these claims against Liberty and take appropriate action.”
Meanwhile, Warner said:
“…Recent reports only underscore the need for federal policymakers to improve transparency, consistency, and accountability at our institutions of higher learning. In the meantime, the leadership of liberty university must act expeditiously to prioritize the needs of survivors, comply with federal law by notifying survivors of their option to contact law enforcement and ensure a campus culture that supports and defends every student’s basic right to a safe environment. While Liberty should act immediately to remedy the issues alleged in the report, it would also be appropriate for the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education to look into Liberty’s procedures for dealing with sexual assault cases.”
We also reached out to lawmakers on the other side of the aisle but have not heard back.
Meanwhile, LU leaders announced Wednesday they’re holding an event for students Thursday evening called “Title IX Open House,” where students are encouraged to bring their questions about the university’s current policies.