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State Lawmakers Call for Hearing on UConn’s Policies on Sexual Assault

In the wake of a federal complaint filed by seven women who allege that the University of Connecticut failed to protect them from sexual assault on the campus and did not adequately investigate reports of sexual assault, state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for a public hearing on the university’s policies, The Courant, a newspaper in Hartford, Conn., reported.

“It is our obligation as a legislature to ensure that state law is being followed and also to determine whether improvements in the law are required to adequately protect victims of sexual assault,” said State Sen. John McKinney, a Republican who is running for governor. He and another Republican, State Rep. Lawrence F. Cafero, requested a joint hearing by the General Assembly’s public-safety and higher-education committees.

Democratic lawmakers and the governor, Dannel P. Malloy, also a Democrat, embraced the idea. Stephanie Reitz, a university spokeswoman, said UConn would welcome the opportunity to participate in such a hearing.

On Wednesday, UConn’s president, Susan Herbst, defended the university’s policies, saying that any allegation that it is “indifferent to or dismissive of any report of sexual assault is astonishingly misguided and demonstrably untrue.” Senator McKinney said on Thursday that he was troubled by that remark, calling it “very defensive and surprisingly dismissive.”

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