Malloy: Regardless of federal investigation into UConn, problems need to be addressed

Regardless of the outcome of a federal investigation into how the University of Connecticut responds to allegations of sexual assault from its students, much work remains for the state’s flagship university, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday.

“If wrong has been done it needs to be righted, but the mere fact that these women felt unattended to or properly attended to is itself a problem that needs to be addressed,” the democratic governor said on WNPR’s Where We Live radio talk show. “The mere fact that these women felt isolated I think is extremely hurtful and so we need to dot our i’s and cross our t’s and make sure we’re doing everything in our power to address their needs.”

Earlier this month, the federal Office of Civil Rights agreed to investigate the claims by seven female UConn students that the university showed “deliberate indifference” when they sought help following sexual assaults.

The accusations led to legislative hearings on the issue and there will likely be proposed legislation on the topic when the General Assembly convenes in February.

Malloy said Monday that regardless of the federal investigation, the state needs to ensure students feel safe.

“Whether there’s validity to the actual allegations, the fact that these young women felt they were in that position, felt that their needs were not being address, that in of itself is a very important issue which simply must be addressed. And we need to build a system that not only does the correct thing legally but supports individuals, men and women, as they deal with sexual assault in their lives,” he said.

When asked whether he still has confidence in campus police officers ability to respond to sexual assaults at schools across the state, he said, “I believe they are taking them seriously. But if we learn they are not then that needs to be addressed”

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