A lot of big colleges have their own police departments. They are staffed with sworn officers who have the ability to investigate everything from burglaries to murder, TIME reports. Depending on the type of transgression and how it gets reported, some alleged crimes are dealt with in on-campus proceedings and some are passed on to local prosecutors. One of the most troubling aspects of the Penn State scandal is that school officials who were notified that a young boy was allegedly raped in a campus shower in 2002 did not report the incident to local authorities. Their inaction begs the question that even though there are laws in place that stipulate the proper protocol to follow upon hearing reports of sexual abuse, assault and harassment on campus, What’s to stop officials at large-scale institutions—many of which operate full-fledged police departments—from sweeping such unpleasantness under the rug?

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