Penn State Students to Tom Wolf: Help End “Epidemic” of Campus Sex Assault

Activists want the governor to create a commission on university sex assault, place more women and allies in key school roles.

AP-penn-st-frat-protest-marq

They’ve called out the mighty Penn State administration. They’ve organized rallies in support of women who were allegedly pictured nude and unconscious on websites run by the school’s Kappa Delta Rho chapter. And now, they’re knocking on Gov. Tom Wolf‘s door.

Penn State senior Lauren Lewis and alumnus Josephine Rose met Friday with John Hanger, Wolf’s secretary of policy and planning, to urge the him “to do everything possible within his authority to ensure that campus sexual assault survivors are supported and protected.”

In a statement, Lewis and Rose said they made two major demands of the Wolf administration:

Among our specific requests was a call for the formation of an independent commission to monitor college and university efforts to address campus sexual assault and evaluate their compliance with federal and state law. We also requested that the governor place greater numbers of women, allies and activists in university governance roles to provide a critical voice for survivors of campus sexual assault.

Jeffrey Sheridan, a spokesman for Wolf, would not say whether the governor supports the activists’ proposals. But he says their conversation with Hanger was productive.

“John says they had a great meeting,” says Sheridan, “and he commends them on their important work to combat sexual violence and discrimination on campuses across Pennsylvania.”

Wolf has shown an interest in the issue of sexual assault in recent months. His current budget plan would increase funding for services for victims of domestic violence and rape.

Follow @HollyOtterbein on Twitter.