The audit was triggered Wednesday when the Joint Committee on Legislative Audit of the state legislature requested the probe. The committee action means the auditor will conduct the investigation, a committee representative told Patch today, Thursday.
The audit appears today in the list of "Recently Approved Audits" on the State Auditor's website. The scope covers the period 2009 through 2013, applies to "sexual harassment and sexual violence incidents" and covers UC Berkeley plus an additional UC campus and two California State University campuses. The other three schools have not been selected, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The audit was requested by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood).
"Sexual violence is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, particularly in an educational environment," Rendon said in his request, according to the Los Angeles Times. "This... is an attempt to shine light on the issue and to bring our public postsecondary education institutions into the 21st century with regard to sex crimes."
UC Berkeley Associate Chancellor Linda Williams was quoted by the Huffington Post saying, "We are prepared to fully address, respond to, and make any and all changes necessary to address the concerns expressed here."
Seven current students testified before the joint committee Wednesday, describing their experiences and accusing UC Berkeley of not being responsive to their complaints, the Times reported.
One of the students, Sofie Karasek, told the committee that she was sexually assaulted in February last year by a male student who also assaulted three other women, according to the Huffington Post.
"I wasn't notified until seven months after I filed a report with the Center for Student Conduct that there had ever been an investigation into my assault," Karasek testified, according the Huffington Post. "Last fall, I found out from a friend that my assailant had admitted to sexually assaulting me."
When Karasek sought more information, a university representative sent her a brief email saying the campus had charged her alleged attacker with a student conduct violation of student conduct that had been resolved in an "early resolution process,." The accused assailant remained as a student and graduated, and Karasek was never told if he received any punishment, the Huffington Post reported.
Karasek is among the women who filed a federal "Clery" complaint against UC Berkeley in May, the website reported. A "Clery" complaint may be filed under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which imposes requirements for campus handling of sexual assaults and provides a mechanism for student complaints about violations of the act.