In light of your story related to the red handprints used to identify where a sexual assault occurred on campus, I would like to comment on the university’s position. Consistent with university policy, Cal Poly will continue the practice of placing red prints on campus when reported sexual assaults occur. All areas of the university campus are subject to this policy and practice, including the on-campus residence community. A sexual assault is defined as any act specified in sections 220, 243.4, 261, 262, 264.1, 286, 288, 288a, or 289 of the California Penal Code.

A number of students have called for more education and awareness related to the significance of the red handprints. This is a helpful and welcomed response. Over the next several weeks a group of students, staff and faculty will convene to formulate a plan of action that educates and informs the university community on the history, purpose and use of the red handprints. The group will also suggest creative and moving ways to display the red handprints to enhance education and awareness related to the prevention of sexual assault in the Cal Poly community.

The education, safety and well-being of all students is of paramount importance to the University. Information, programs and services related to the prevention of sexual assault are made available to students through several departments on campus. Students interested in receiving additional information should contact the SAFER Program at 756-2282.

I want to thank members of the Cal Poly student community and others who have commented on this issue and taken an active role in the dialogue. I look forward to sharing the progress the University will make on these important issues.

Cornel N. Morton

Vice president for Student Affairs

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