Letters: Occidental college coverage

The Times published a retraction on March 15 acknowledging that a front-page story on Dec. 7 falsely accused Occidental College of covering up 27 cases of sexual assault in 2012.

We appreciate the paper setting the record straight. But the falsehood — spread via the Associated Press and amplified through social media — has caused lasting harm to Occidental's reputation that cannot be undone with an "editor's note" on Page A4.


Compounding matters, The Times has failed to report the substantial steps Occidental has taken to deal with sexual misconduct.

We have revamped our sexual-assault policy, hired a former prosecutor as Title IX coordinator, recruited a survivor advocate, installed a 24-hour hotline, asked experts to critique our procedures and increased mandatory preventive education for all students.

These reforms go beyond measures instituted at many other prestigious colleges and universities that have encountered similar issues of sexual assault. But reading The Times, you would never know it.

Christopher Calkins, Encinitas

John Farmer, San Francisco

Calkins chairs the Occidental College Board of Trustees; Farmer is a former immediate past chair of the board.