Brown University acts swiftly in date-rape drug case

Brown University in Providence, R.I., is warning students to be on alert after a student tested positive for the date-rape drug GHB. Tests on another student are pending and now there is a criminal investigation. The university's response has been swift, just days after new federal rules for handling sexual assault went out to schools nationwide.

In a letter to students sent Saturday, Brown University confirmed one of at least two students was served a drink laced with a date-rape drug at a fraternity party last month. One of those students also reported being sexually assaulted.

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Brown University is following a policy of fast action in sexual assault cases.
CBS News

The university has sent four updates and hosted a sexual assault forum in the past three and a half weeks. Two more are planned for this week.

Allison Kiss at the Clery Center trains universities to comply with federal law on reporting and preventing sexual assaults. She was asked if this kind of response would have happened 15 or 20 years ago.

"I think what we're seeing at Brown is really what the theme has been lately with campuses: Balancing transparency along with protecting victims' rights," Kiss said.

New federal rules require ongoing education, evaluating programs for effectiveness, and more transparency in discipline.

Kiss says she hopes the new rules will prevent some sexual assaults.

"The idea is to fundamentally shift the way we think about sexual assault," she said.

This fall, the president launched a campaign to stop campus assaults, called "It's On Us." The White House says one in five women will be the victim of a sexual assault on campus, but only 13 percent of them will report it.

Brown University is one of 85 schools under investigation this year by the Department of Education for its handling of sexual assault cases.

The university wouldn't do an interview, but has said it will "work to ensure that we adhere to all best practices."