LSU students host protest after USA Today’s article

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- Dozens gathered on LSU’s campus for a protest just days after a scathing report claiming the university mishandled multiple reports of sexual assault.

LSU’s interim president released a statement this statement:

Today, a news article portrayed LSU as an institution that is indifferent to allegations of abuse and sexual violence among students. Specifically, the article points to a number of allegations of misconduct from 2016 to 2018 that were allegedly ignored, dismissed outright or mishandled by coaches and university officials.

I want to assure you that LSU takes every report of sexual assault or violence seriously. We investigate them thoroughly, support victims sensitively, and hold offenders accountable. However, we are not perfect, and we can, and will, do better. A single instance of abuse or sexual violence is one too many.

We empathize with the victims featured in the article, and for that matter, all victims of abuse or any form of violence. No one should ever have to deal with the pain inflicted by another human being or a process that feels less than empathetic. We at LSU are committed to preventing all acts of violence and creating a safe learning and working environment for all members of our community. And while I’m confident in our people and our processes, we won’t be satisfied until we are living up to our own expectations every time, all the time.

To help us improve, we have retained Husch Blackwell, a renowned law firm with deep expertise in higher education, to conduct an independent, comprehensive review of our Title IX policies and procedures. We anticipate that they will wrap up their review in the spring.

If you are a victim of abuse and did not report the incident, or you reported it and believe it was not handled properly by anyone at LSU, please call our Title IX office at 225-578-3918. Any information you are willing to share, no matter how long ago the incident took place, is important. You have my word that we will respond promptly to any report of misconduct and investigate it in a manner that is fair and equitable to everyone involved.

But students say that is not enough.

“We don’t believe we can come together as a community and go forward until those induvial are held accountable, removed from their position and prosecuted if necessary,” LSU student Jack Green said.

Victims Samantha Brennan and Elisabeth Andries returned to campus to join the protest.

“People keep reaching out to me which is great,” Brennan said. “I read all the messages. We hear you, we are here for you,” Brennan said.

 “We are really hoping that they will deemed some sort of reform. That just doesn’t announce one policy, but it will be looking at LSUPD, BRPD, looking at how we are treating women on campus, the culture we’re creating,” LSU student Alaysia Johnson said.

LSU’s student government passed three bills concerning sexual assault awareness.

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