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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M works to improve policies surrounding sexual misconduct cases

Michael+Young+made+a+statement+in+a+campus-wide+email.
Photo by File

Michael Young made a statement in a campus-wide email.

Texas A&M University is reaching out to sexual assault survivors in light of the recent online discussions surrounding the university’s response to past misconduct cases, according to a statement from University President Michael K. Young.
Hannah Shaw, biomedical sciences senior, tweeted a screenshot of an email from Senior Associate Athletic Director Lori Williams on June 7, in which Williams writes that she regrets Shaw’s “displeasure with the perceived impact” about her reported rapist being allowed back on the university swim team. Since then, the tweet has received over 38 thousand likes and attention from national media outlets. Sexual assault survivors are joining Shaw by telling their stories of sexual assault and the university’s investigation process.
In Young’s statement on Friday, he said the office of the Dean of Student Life has contacted people who publicly self-identified to offer them confidential help. In addition, they have contacted #MeTooTAMU to discuss their concerns and listen to their suggestions. This Aggie-led private Facebook group was formed by survivor Abbie Hillis, Class of 2012, to give other survivors a platform to share their stories and find strength in numbers.
“I think there’s a lot to be communicated between the two groups and we have a lot of questions to ask,” Hillis said. “There is room for conversation now, which there wasn’t before so at least we have that.”
Policy recommendations that have been shared by others are also under consideration. Young has encouraged everyone to submit suggestions on how to continue moving forward in this process by emailing [email protected].
“We are fully engaged in renewed discussions about policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct and how they can be improved to the benefit of our students,” Young’s statement read. “To that end, I have ordered comprehensive reviews to be conducted — one by an independent third-party; the other by an internal task force — that will test every step of our processes for safety, support, sensitivity, timeliness and fairness to all involved that meets the highest standards.”

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