Internal investigation, COVID biggest priority nearing the end of LSU's fall semester
BATON ROUGE – The independent investigation into LSU’s handling of sexual assault claims is expected to begin this week. A USA Today investigation alleged systemic failure on the part of the university. It singled out LSU football players and others accused of abuse.
During a Zoom Press Club meeting, interim President Tom Galligan said 60 files consisting of LSU police reports and Title IX cases were handed over to law firm Husch Blackwell over the weekend. The law firm will start conducting interviews this week.
“We want an analysis of who knew what when, what did they do - or what didn’t they do - before we take action,” Galligan said.
There’s been no disciplinary action since the article was released. Galligan said they’re waiting on the law firm’s final report, which is expected to be released in February, to make that call.
“What I will say is if there was anyone in a position where I thought a student was at risk now, we would put them on administrative leave,” said Galligan.
When asked about the same investigation during a press conference Monday, Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron was less telling.
“I’m not going to talk about that,” Orgeron said. “I released a statement, and I’m not going to talk about any of that.”
In the same press conference, Galligan talked about what the upcoming spring semester is going to look like. Students won’t be returning until mid-January, and some will be returning to online classes again.
“We would love to return to 100-percent in-person learning again, but it is still not safe in doing so,” Galligan said.
Half of the classes will be held on campus, or on a hybrid schedule, and the other half will stay virtual, according to Galligan. Other COVID-19 adjustments sticking around include the requirement to wear masks and the continued push to frequently get tested.
"We're not sure yet whether we're going to require students to be tested before they come back or get tested when they come back. We're looking at a proposal for that right now,” Galligan said.
The interim president also talked about the possibility of the university receiving vaccinations in the future. Officials are looking into how they could be distributed.
“We think maybe a distribution center or a shot center. Will it just be for our students? Or will it be for others as well? We don’t know,” he said.
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