CLOVIS -- Due
to the documentation of widespread inaccuracies in The Sacramento Bee's
reporting of campus crime,
particularly sexual assaults, the University of California, Davis, has taken the
unprecedented step of formally asking editors of The Bee to retract their
story regarding UC Davis.
In the wake of the Bee
story, the office of UC President Richard Atkinson has ordered the formation
of an" internal task force" to determine whether it is underreporting
the number of rapes and sexual assaults on campus as reported by The Bee.
Atkinson's response Monday to The Bee's report came on the same day a national
watchdog group called for a federal investigation into the campuses' reporting
practices and said it was considering stripping UC Davis of a prestigious
are concerned that The Bee stories may in fact chill the willingness of students
to seek the services that provide advocacy and support in a confidential manner.
The article ignores 23 years of UC Davis commitment to prevention programs and
support services," says Carol Wall, vice chancellor for student affairs,
and Janet Hamilton, vice chancellor for administration.
Wall told reporters
on Monday, "The Davis campus is publicizing this retraction
request because numerous media outlets have replicated The
Bee's erroneous reports."
"Taking alleged 'shortcomings'
in statistical reporting and turning them into a deliberate effort to keep crime
'in the shadows' is a substantial leap indeed. This representation is not true,
and irresponsible to publish," the letter states.
In addition, UC Davis
noted that it is inviting the U.S. Department of Education to make a site
visit to the campus to review campus crime reporting practices. This invitation
is "a reflection of the campus's good-faith efforts to comply with the law,
and in demonstration of the fact that we have nothing to hide from students, employees
and the community," the vice chancellors wrote.
Letter to the Editor
Note: A complete copy of the U.C. Davis demand for a retraction from The
Bee is available upon request by contacting Lisa Lapin, (530) 752-9842, firstname.lastname@example.org.]
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