Hopkins Students Protest Over Alleged Sex Assault Response; JHU President To Order Independent Review
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Students speaking out. A protest on the Johns Hopkins University campus is held, following allegations of a gang rape at an off-campus fraternity.
Jessica Kartalija reports students say the university failed to alert students about the investigation.
Students are concerned their safety could have been compromised when the university didn’t report an alleged off-campus incident.
What happened behind closed doors at the “Pike” fraternity has students at Johns Hopkins speaking out.
According to documents obtained by The Huffington Post, the university reportedly knew the fraternity was being investigated for an alleged gang rape involving a student from Towson, but university officials never alerted students.
“The university never really reveals information to us about students being aggressive toward other students in a sexual manner,” senior Mats Dreyer said. “And we don’t think that’s very safe for the environment here at Hopkins.”
The alleged incident took place last spring. In a federal complaint submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, students say, while the university suspended the fraternity’s social activities during the investigation, members continued to host parties at the house.
Shelby Quinn helped organize the on-campus protest.
“It’s just important for the administration to articulate when things like sexual assault are happening on our campus, informing the students,” Quinn said. “So we can make better decisions ourselves, too, so we can go about our daily lives safer.”
University President Ronald Daniels calls the allegations of secrecy “deeply disturbing” and says the university is going to establish an independent review of the incident.
“Providing a safe and secure campus environment is a critical priority for us,” Daniels said.
The fraternity is currently being investigated for a stabbing incident that injured a fraternity member in January. Students were made aware of that incident.
“For me, it seems as though they are more about their image of safety than the actual safety of their students,” said Dreyer. “We can’t make decisions about our safety based on information they’re giving us.”
Johns Hopkins issued a statement, saying in part:
“The university was aware of an allegation of sexual assault that was made in March 2013. The decision not to notify the university community in that case was made after considering relevant facts and legal requirements, and in consultation with the Baltimore police department, which was leading the investigation.”
Just this week, Johns Hopkins was one of three universities selected by the White House to conduct a study on sexual assault.
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