Allentown
34° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

ESU welcomes changes in new White House report

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 29 2014 05:00:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2014 06:13:03 PM CDT

There's a call for change coming from Washington and it's going out to college campuses everywhere.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -

There's a call for change coming from Washington and it's going out to college campuses everywhere.

The White House says schools need to take a closer look at the issue of sexual assault.

A new report from the White House talked about ways to help college students identify and report sexual assault cases, something police at East Stroudsburg University are already working on.

The goal for East Stroudsburg Police is to make sure students feel safe on campus when reporting sexual assaults.

“I want the campus to understand what options they have here and resources they have available to them here,” said Robin Olson, chief of the East Stroudsburg University Police Department.

Resources like the opening of this home in the 400 block of Normal Street.

The VOICE center started with a federal grant, VOICE stands for Victims Options In The Campus Environment.

“A lot of people may be embarrassed or don’t have the right information of how to report," added ESU student Meaghan Denesopolis. "So I think it will help a lot.”

The home is just one place a sexual assault victim can go to report a crime, other than the police station.

“You want a campus environment where people feel open to report things,” said Olson.

In the 23-page White House report, findings show one in five women on college campuses will be sexually assaulted during her time at school, an issue the White House is taking seriously.

"These aren’t just numbers," said Vice-President Joe Biden. "These are our friends, theses are our daughters, these are our neighbors, these are your classmates.”

Some in Congress are ready to pass tougher laws in the wake of the report.

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick says, "I look forward to working with the White House, my colleagues in the House and Senate and members of both parties to advance solutions that will empower schools and law enforcement, assist victims and create a culture of awareness."

The White House report also called for better training of school officials and announced the launching of the website, www.NotAlone.gov to make enforcement data public.