Monday, September 28, 2009

Hofstra false rape case: How will Hofstra's "security audit" protect against false rape claims?

Hofstra has sent to its alumni a copy of the public statement it issued promising to insure its campus is secure. My hunch is that this was written immediately after the rape allegation, and that after the recantation, the college's administrators simply altered to make it more generic. But it clearly seems more addressed to rape and similar crimes as opposed to false rape claims. If that's correct, we have yet another instance where false rape claims are used as an occasion to panic people about an entirely unrelated crime, rape. The following is from Professor KC Johnson's blog:

"In response to the filing of false sexual assault charges by one of his institution’s students, Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz issued a statement, in which he asserted:

"We will redouble our educational efforts and try to increase awareness among students, faculty, and staff of any potential signs of danger or dangerous behavior, and the need to pass that information on to Public Safety so that it can be adequately and appropriately addressed . . . I will be appointing a Presidential Task Force under the direction of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Facilities and Operations and consisting of representatives from students, faculty and administrators, to undertake a review of all aspects of security, including operations, communications, programs, policies and procedures to insure that we are taking every possible precaution to maintain a secure and safe campus. In addition, we will once again be seeking to utilize the services of an outside consultant to conduct a security audit and make recommendations as to best practices and possible enhancements to our program."

"Again: the issue in this case was a Hofstra student making up a false rape claim. How would a security audit address that issue—will Hofstra security officers increase campus patrols, on the lookout for women who make false rape claims in their midst?"