Students have passed a resolution condemning the University of Michigan’s response to sexual assault allegations against late athletic physician Robert Anderson and calling for prompt termination of University President Mark Schlissel, as well as members of the athletic staff and Title IX office. The resolution also calls for instituting safe houses for sexual assault and domestic abuse survivors, among other relief to survivors, as well as a university-instituted program manager position within the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center.
The resolution comes after the school moved to dismiss students’ lawsuits claiming sexual abuse by Anderson and that the University’s Title IX staff did not properly investigate and address reports of Anderson’s abuse. According to one former student athlete and survivor, “Everybody knew [about the abuse]. Athletes joked about it. Coaches joked about it. Just joked about it because there was no other way to deal with it. If we didn’t joke, we would cry.” Now students have mobilized in an effort to have their voices heard and prompt change. “We need the students because when you are mobilized, historical things have changed in the world. … Our mission was so that a young woman on the second day I’m here doesn’t tell me she spends more time thinking about when she’s going to get raped or sexually assaulted than what is going to be her major on this campus.”
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