University of New Hampshire President Addresses Protesters, Student Body’s Sexual Assault Concerns
For the second-straight school day (first on Friday, October 22 and again yesterday, Monday, October 26), members of the University of New Hampshire student body protested outside of UNH President James Dean's on-campus home. As referenced yesterday, the cause of the protest is growing concerns about one student who is alleged to have assaulted multiple female students, to the point that a Change.org petition calling for the student's expulsion has registered over 4,000 signatures.
UNH President James Dean addresses students
Unlike on Friday, when the protest moved over to Stoke Hall, according to the UNH student newspaper, The New Hampshire, due to word that Dean of Students Michael Blackman was at the residence hall, the protest remained outside of President Dean's house.
During the protest, which again saw over 100 students together in solidarity, President Dean actually appeared outside and addressed the protesting students and answered their questions.
James Dean released an update about UNH policy earlier that afternoon
"I first want to emphasize that we do not tolerate any form of sexual harassment at UNH, including sexual violence, and are committed to preventing it. I know the devastating effects that sexual violence can have on survivors and am committed to providing them with resources and options to help them make informed decisions after experiencing an assault."
The update goes on to outline the lack of public discussion with sexual assault reports from the University as to respect all parties involved and not disrupt any and all investigations, as well as the social media impact of sexual assault reports.
"For two reasons, it is difficult for people in our community to have an accurate understanding of what has happened and what the university has done in the aftermath of a report of sexual assault. First, the university does not publicly discuss the details of a sexual assault report because we respect the privacy of those involved, and so that we do not interfere with any investigation. Second, there is often a great deal of conversation on social media in the aftermath of a reported incident, and much of what is shared on social media is simply not true. These factors are relevant to the current incident, and to essentially all such incidents."
You can read the full update from President Dean right here.