UMass to hold open meeting Thursday on sexual assault mishandling
The University of Massachusetts will hold a meeting open to all campus community members Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. “to discuss the sexual assault that has recently been reported in the media,” according to e-mails sent this morning from the office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life Jean Kim.
Collegian reporters and several Student Government Association (SGA) officials were invited to the meeting in an e-mail sent Tuesday, but campus officials today opened the meeting to the entire community and have relocated it from a smaller conference room to Campus Center Room 101 “to accommodate as many students as possible,” said an e-mail.
Both Kim and Dean of Students Jo-Anne T. Vanin “will be available to answer questions and to address any concerns you may have on this issue,” said an e-mail.
A University of Massachusetts student confessed to raping a friend and former student in the fall and was mistakenly given a deferred suspension, according an article by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) at Boston University published late last week. University officials allowed him to stay on campus, a move that now has administrators reexamining UMass’ sanctioning policies and procedures, as reported in Friday’s Collegian.
Repeated requests for further information regarding how the case was mishandled have been thwarted thus far by multiple campus officials. On Tuesday, the assistant dean who reportedly handed down the wrong sanction to a student that allegedly confessed to rape said she wanted to speak to the press, but is being prevented from doing so by administrators.
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Matt Rocheleau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.