SJSU students hold rally demanding more accountability when it comes to sexual assault reporting

Students at San Jose State held a rally on Wednesday, demanding the University take action when it comes to sexual assault on campus.

They say following a high-profile incident involving an athletic trainer, administrators promised change. But students say they haven't seen enough yet.

On the San Jose State campus, there is lingering anger that in the aftermath of a sexual assault scandal involving a trainer, more hasn't been done to rebuild trust and establish better procedures.

"Students are in the dark right now. Students are in the dark. And all we see is this 10 year betrayal, tons of students coming forward and not being responded to," said Karlie Eacock, with Students Against Sexual Assault.

For more than a decade, students came forward accusing sports medicine director Scott Shaw of inappropriate touching. But nothing happened until the women's swimming and diving coach spoke out too.

"I wasn't going to let this injustice sit. And that's why I kept re-reporting the matter over and over and over again, and then ultimately reported it outside of campus in the fall of 2019," said Sage Hopkins, the SJSU head women's swimming and diving coach.

That led to criminal charges, for which Shaw has pled not guilty. There has also been a Department of Justice report outlining changes the university needs to make. And the results of a CSU whistleblower investigation are set to be released next month.

"I'm appalled by what happened here. We need to do better. We are going to do better and we'll do better by talking with people," said Steve Perez, SJSU's new interim president.

Perez said he's not shying away from the issues. He attended a student rally, listening to their call for change. 

The students want more Title IX staff hired, plus more transparency and accountability when it comes to sexual assault reporting.

"What they're asking for are reasonable things…that we should be out front, we should be communicating well. We should be and are complying with everything the Department of Justice has asked us to do," said Perez.

Students said the fact new administrators are listening is a good first step.

"But for us what's important is to see the action. You can have a nice meeting with us and you can say nice things, but until we see it that trust won't be rebuilt," said Eacock.

Students say they are feeling more optimistic. They're set to meet with administrators Monday about a plan of action.