BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU Interim President Thomas Galligan believes the University betrayed the people it is sworn to protect.
Following fallout from a report alleging LSU mishandled allegations of sexual and domestic assault on campus, two high ranking athletic officials are suspended.
In November, a USA TODAY report detailed allegations against multiple LSU football players. LSU then hired a law firm to investigate whether the University properly handled sexual mosconduct allegations.
“What is being reported is a fraction of what is actually happening,” said Scott Schneider, an attorney for Husch Blackwell and the lead investigator into LSU’s allegations.
The firm says sexual assault and domestic violence is an issue plaguing campuses across the country and the state’s flagship university is no exception.
Schneider said, “This is what we’re dealing with. It’s an enormous public health problem, an enormous moral problem that has been horribly under reported.”
The report claims there are a number of serious shortcomings in reporting misconduct. The report notes policies around mandatory reporting have been unclear, the process for reporting has been complicated and victims often have felt forced to give up on reporting abuse.
“Perhaps what’s most troubling of all with the reports findings is that there is knowledge of whether through our actions or inactions, our institutions betrayed the very people it was entrusted to protect,” said Galligan.
The report did find that students are scared to come forward with allegations, especially involving athletes in a city where they are beloved.
The firm did praise LSU’s Lighthouse program and Star’s work for sexual abuse survivors.
“I can’t understate the importance of having emotionally intelligent, trauma informed people who can provide support,” Schneider said.