Ithaca, N.Y. – Cornell University Chief of Police Kathy Zoner will attend U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s campus sexual assault roundtable meeting on Monday, June 23.

Chief of Police Kathy Zoner in 2010 after receiving accreditation by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. (Courtesy of the Cornell Pawprint)

The roundtable, hosted by Senator McCaskill (D-MO), will focus on the criminal justice system, as well as the administrative process used to combat rape and sexual assaults on college and university campuses, according to a press release.

The upcoming meeting is the last of three roundtables hosted by the senator, with the previous two focusing on legislation and Title IX.

Cornell President David Skorton approved new sexual assault policies in April 2012 after a 2011 letter from the U.S. Department of Education guided university and college officials to use a “preponderance of evidence” when investigating sexual assault. A preponderance of evidence essentially means that the accused is guilty if the crime was more likely to have happened than not happened.

During the 2012-13 school year, sexual assault reports on Cornell’s campus reached a 23-year high, with 23 sexual assaults being reported, according to the Cornell Sun.

Cornell University Judicial Administrator Mary Beth Grant called the surge in reports a “positive thing because more people are getting support, either through counseling, housing changes, class schedule changes or investigations into the sexual misconduct,” The Sun reported.

Kyle Friend

A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: kyleafriend@gmail.com.