Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Breaking the silence

By S.P. Sullivan

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About this page | On February 25, 2010, The Boston Globe reported that a student who confessed to raping a friend on campus in Fall 2009 was allowed to remain enrolled as a student at the University of Massachusetts. Since then, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life Jean Kim has told The Collegian that the administration has put together a special committee to review the entire University’s Student Code of Conduct.

The Globe story was part of a larger project from The Center for Public Integrity and The New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Their year-long investigation found that, “Students found ‘responsible’ for sexual assaults on campus often face little or no punishment from school judicial systems, while their victims’ lives are frequently turned upside down.”

We wanted to try and create a space for constructive conversation about the policy changes that need to be made on this campus. On this page, we’ll be compiling the context through our coverage and that of other media outlets, and are asking members of the community to submit their comments about this important issue. Please add yours in the comments section, or by emailing [email protected] has also compiled a resources page for victims of sexual assault.


Rape crisis center petitions for involvement in conduct code review

By: Matt Rocheleau
Published: April 30, 2010

A campus rape crisis center is petitioning that a member of their staff be added to a special commission which will review the student conduct code and present recommended changes to the code by mid-November.

Posted in Campus NewsLocal NewsNewsComments (0)


Student conduct code review to consider minimum penalties for serious offenses, victim appeal process

By: Matt Rocheleau
Published: April 26, 2010

A special commission, created in response to the University’s admission that it did not properly sanction a student who allegedly confessed to an on-campus rape, will consider establishing minimum sanctions for serious offenses to the student conduct code and allowing for victims of a misconduct to appeal sanctions.

Posted in Campus NewsLocal NewsNewsComments (0)


UM official who allegedly mishandled rape case no longer assistant dean

By: Hannah McGoldrick
Published: April 15, 2010

The assistant dean of students who reportedly handed down the wrong sanction allowing a student who allegedly confessed to rape to remain on campus no longer works in the Dean of Students’ office and instead is working for the school’s housing office.

Posted in Campus NewsLocal NewsNewsComments (0)


District Attorney’s office discusses UMass rape situation

By: Matt Rocheleau
Published: March 07, 2010

The county’s district attorney’s office did not comment on a sexual assault case recently mishandled by campus administrators, but an official there said Friday that most instances of sexual assault require the victim’s consent and willingness to testify in court for the case to move toward prosecution.

Posted in Campus NewsLocal NewsNewsComments (0)


UM: No ‘magic bullet’ to regain trust after rape case mishandling (Video)

By: Matt Rocheleau, Alyssa Creamer and Hannah McGoldrick
Published: March 05, 2010

At an emotional, one-hour discussion, campus administrators were challenged Thursday with questions on how and why a student who reportedly confessed to raping a UMass alum last fall received “too light” of a punishment.

Posted in Campus News, Featured, Multimedia, News, Videos Comments (0) |


UMass to hold open meeting Thursday on sexual assault mishandling

By: Matt Rocheleau
Published: March 03, 2010

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.

Posted in Breaking News, Campus News, News Comments (0) |


UMass mum on mishandling of sexual assault case

By: Matt Rocheleau, Alyssa Creamer and Hannah McGoldrick
Published: March 03, 2010

The assistant dean who reportedly handed down the wrong sanction to a student that allegedly confessed to rape said yesterday she wanted to speak to the press, but is being prevented from doing so by administrators. And, repeated requests for further information regarding how the case was mishandled have been thwarted thus far by multiple campus officials.

Posted in Campus News, News Comments (0) |


Confessed rapist remains enrolled after administrative error

By: Matt Rocheleau
Published: February 26, 2010

IMG_6077A UMass Amherst student confessed to raping a friend and former student in the fall and was mistakenly given a deferred suspension. University officials allowed him to stay on campus, a move that has administrators reexamining UMass’ sanctioning policies and procedures.

Posted in Campus News, Featured, Local News, News Comments (5)


A Campus Responds: Columnist and reader-submitted reactions

By: S.P. Sullivan
Published: March 01, 2010

FOLLOWING THE NEWS that the University of Massachusetts allowed a rapist to remain enrolled after confessing his crime, reached out to its columnists and readers to either give their reaction to the news or answer the question, What should the University be doing about sexual assault on campus? We’ve compiled their responses here, with […]

Posted in Editorial & Opinion Comments (0)


Time for men to end rape

By: Roy Ribitzky
Published: March 02, 2010

Roy Ribitzky finds a major fault with the University’s decision to let an allegedly confessed rapist stay at school, but ultimately, he believes it is every man’s responsibility to end rape.

Posted in Columns, Editorial & Opinion Comments (2)



More Campus Sexual Assault Coverage Links


Join the Discussion | The Facebook group “UMass Students Against a Campus Culture of Misogyny” was started last fall in reaction to a controversial cartoon in The Daily Collegian. Since then, it has become a space on the Web for UMass students and community members to discuss issues of sexual violence on campus.


5 Responses to “Breaking the silence”

  1. Mike on March 1st, 2010 11:13 am

    It’s amazing how someone who commits sexual assault can get off so lightly from the school’s judicial system yet anyone remember the “riots” of 2006? Anyone who they even caught outside that night was expelled, suspended, removed from housing etc. whether or not a crime was committed


  2. CMD on March 1st, 2010 12:09 pm

    A great resource is The site is a place to feel safe sharing anything. They don’t allow hateful comments or gossip, and acts as therapy to many


  3. elisha on March 4th, 2010 3:54 pm

    hey everyone

    another great resource is the everywoman’s center on campus, located in wilder hall. despite the name, the center is open to people of all genders (not just students) who have experienced sexual violence, assault, harassment, child sexual abuse or domestic violence. the 24 hour crisis hotline number is 413-545-0800 and the number to call for one-on-one counseling is 413-577-0077.

    please pass on this information!


  4. Mary Serreze on March 5th, 2010 9:37 pm

    Great coverage on this topic by the Collegian. The aggregation of content from multiple news sources provides a real service to your readers. Keep up the good work.


  5. Ed Cutting on March 6th, 2010 12:37 pm

    I think the headline is incorrect — the silence was broken in October when she went to the police. The issue is not that, nor what happens in cases that are inconclusive (Duke Lacrosse Team, anyone?) but WHEN THE PERP ADMITS HIS GUILT!

    Damn it, there is no question here.

    And why is it OK for him to live on campus until the Globe finds out, but then he is a threat to the community? And we won’t even get into where they put him and how that actually endangers women MORE.

    And I would like to see some kid who got bullied into a DifSusp sanction for something stupid to sue the university under a 14th Ammd “Equal Justice” claim…


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