SJSU students rally for more protection against sexual assaults: 'We have not seen much change'

It comes after a sex abuse scandal involving the university's former head athletic trainer and director of sports medicine
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In the South Bay, San Jose State students rallied Wednesday, calling on university leadership to better protect them against sexual assault.

It comes after a sex abuse scandal involving the university's former head athletic trainer and director of sports medicine.

Dozens of students from different San Jose State student groups gathered at the steps of the Spartan Complex.

Their main call Wednesday was for the university to better staff and run its Title IX office, where students and faculty can report sex and gender discrimination or sexual misconduct.

RELATED: SJSU named in class action lawsuit linked to sex abuse case involving former athletic trainer
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San Jose State University has been named in a class action lawsuit filed Friday in Santa Clara Co. Superior Court involving a former athletic trainer.

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"We thought it was significant that we did it in front of the Spartan Complex because this is where Scott Shaw sexually abused over 23 student athletes," said Karlie Eacock, co-founder of the group Students Against Sexual Assault.

Scott Shaw, the University's former head athletic trainer and director of sports medicine was charged in early March with civil rights violations.

The Department of Justice says the violations are for misconduct with women-student athletes "under the guise of treating them for their injuries."

Shaw pleaded not guilty to six counts of violating civil rights.

In September, the DOJ found that San Jose State violated Title IX rules.

RELATED: SJSU to pay $1.6M to student-athletes after sexual harassment investigation: DOJ
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The Department of Justice found San Jose State violated Title IX rules and will have to pay $1.6 million to the former athletes who were harassed.

Months later, students say the university still hasn't adequately responded.

"We have not seen much change, we haven't seen an engagement with the campus community, engaging in healing and education," Eacock said.

Eacock says students were promised more funding would be going to the Title IX office and that it would have a staff of six members.

The staff was to focus on community engagement and increase response to reports.

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Interim president Steve Perez, says that they have increased messaging and training for staff but admits that they need to do more.

"What happened here is appalling, we need to learn from it and respond to it," Perez said, "We are in compliance with what we've been asked to do by the Department of Justice. But we can and will do more."

RELATED: San Jose State president to step down after fall semester

Perez tells us that the Title IX office currently has no more than three of the six staff positions they're supposed to have saying they're difficult spots to fill but that strengthening that office and protections for students is a priority.

Promises students like Eacock say they'll hold the university to and plan to meet with Perez about on Monday.

"In our meeting with interim president Perez, we are going to detail that we want the office to be staffed by the start of the fall semester," Eacock said, "We're demanding that we have a full staff by then, we are hoping that before the end of the year, we can get the school to publish a report of what Title IX is doing, how students can access Title IX, what efforts are being taken."

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