03-23-2013, 04:49 PM #1
Oklahoma State wins Black Hole Award for handling of alleged campus sexual assaults
Oklahoma State University wins Black Hole Award for handling of alleged campus sexual assaults (Daily Oklahoman)
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University is this year's winner of a dubious award given to “highlight the most heinous violations of the public's right to know.”
The national chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced OSU is the winner of its third annual Black Hole Award, a title it gives to violators of open records law.
OSU received the award for officials' decision not to notify police or the public about a series of alleged sexual assaults on campus. At the time, OSU officials repeatedly said they weren't able to do so because of restrictions under the Federal Education Rights Privacy Act, commonly known as FERPA.
In a statement, Don Meyers, a member of the society's freedom of information committee, called that claim “the textbook definition of egregious.”
Former OSU student Nathan Cochran, 22, faces four counts of sexual battery in Payne County in connection with three incidents reported as occurring between Nov. 3, 2011, and Aug. 15.
Cochran is accused of groping male students while they slept. University officials learned of the assault reports Nov. 12, but did not contact police, citing FERPA concerns.
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