EDITORIAL: False report ultimately harms true assault victims


Issue: A student at SDSU reported being sexually assaulted on Dec. 2 and later told police that it did not occur. Many people, including students, faculty and police officers, had their time wasted.

Not all the details have emerged, but if this person simply made up these claims, she should be charged and prosecuted. The SDSU Police Department put a great deal of time and effort investigating an assault that never happened. It is unfortunate that SDSUPD had to take away time that the officers could have put to better use. We commend them for their efforts to take every report into equal consideration when investigating.

Last year, three rapes occurred on campus. These rapes were very real. They happened to real women who will have to deal with real emotional and physical damage that will impact them for the rest of their lives. Claiming to be sexually assaulted when you were not is extremely disrespectful to these women, as well as people everywhere who have been victims of sexual abuse. This is not something to be taken lightly and not something to make up false stories about. Crying wolf only makes people look more skeptically on claims that are brought forth. It also discourages some from going to authorities in the first place. False reports make things much harder for true victims.

We acknowledge that there may be more details to the situation and that this student’s reasoning may have been more than a simple lie.

Residential Life and Student Affairs and the president’s office put great effort into notifying the student body by sending out e-mails to students and hanging signs around campus this time. Last semester, it wasn’t until a second rape that the university informed students. Informing students immediately via e-mails and fliers is progress. It was an excellent way to inform students to be more cautious when walking alone, and it was done promptly; however, this is not enough.

SDSU must implement the use of the Campus Alert System in cases of violent crimes. When registering for the system, students fill out their preferred means of contact in an emergency, whether it be a text, phone call or email. If something happens that is serious enough to warrant notifying students via e-mail and fliers, why not reach more students by using the alert system?

Stance: Filing a false report is not only wrong but a waste of many people’s time and effort. SDSU handled notifying students much better than they did last spring, but the Campus Alert System must be used to notify students of violent crimes.