Purdue Considers Changes After Summer Camp Sexual Assault Claims

Jul 26, 2017

Camp DASH's purpose was to study how diet affects blood pressure. Participants in the summer camp were aged 11 to 15.
Credit Purdue University

Purdue University and its police department are investigating the allegations of misconduct that shut down its summer camp/research study called “Camp DASH.”

University officials believe most of the allegations – among those, sexual offenses and battery – can be linked to one female participant.

Vice Provost for Student Life Beth McCuskey says this is the first such report at any of Purdue’s multiple camps.

She says it’s unclear how this may affect those camps’ reputation.

“At this point, I think we’re still trying to understand, dig deeper and see exactly what happened,” McCuskey says. “The police are still conducting their investigation, and when we learn more, we will make those determinations for the future.”

McCuskey says the school has strict rules about camper activities and reporting incidents. She says every incident reported to the school was attributed to campers’ actions.

McCuskey says policy changes are likely to come after the investigation is complete.

“Anytime you have an incident, you want to take a look at that and look at your own protocols, and see: can you get better for the next time around?” McCuskey says. “We are investigating this, and I’m sure we’ll have some other ideas of how we might do things differently in the future, too.”

According to a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Purdue hosted more than 100 other camps this summer without incident.

And Purdue says it requires, “every single person in any position of responsibility” to complete Title IX training, which deals in part with how to handle – and avoid -- sexual assault and sex discrimination.

Campers were sent home last Friday after an order by President Mitch Daniels and Provost Jay Akridge to shut down the study and launch a full investigation.