UNA students protest, 3 women tell student newspaper they were raped
FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Several students protested on the campus of the University of North Alabama in Florence on Thursday.
They claim allegations of sexual assault are being swept under the rug by campus officials. The Flor-Ala, which is a student-run newspaper published an article about the cases just this week. The story focuses on three female students who claim the same male student assaulted them. The women all claim “Brian” was friends with them and later assaulted them. The women didn’t report the assaults at the time and only learned of the connection after talking to others on campus. Click here to view the full article.
On Thursday morning, the University Department of Communication became aware that 1,000 issues of the paper at 40 locations across campus had been stolen. That particular newspaper contained the article about the campus rapes. Dr. Justin Bergh who is the student media advisor condemned the theft. Dr. Bergh posted to Facebook: “A free and responsible press is not only vital to democracy nationwide but is also essential to the daily function of our university community. I support the UNA police in its investigation into the stolen newspapers and hope those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”
One of the women who said she was raped told the student newspaper she went to University Leadership. She pressed charges and filed Title IX, which helps to protect sexual assault victims. The victim told the newspaper nothing changed and she continued to see her attacker on campus. Thursday afternoon, the University’s Media and Public relations sent WAFF this statement.
Statement from Michelle Eubanks, UNA University Media & Public Relations Director:
The University of North Alabama takes sexual assault seriously and follows federal Title IX regulations when allegations are reported. The University is aware of an article recently published in the FlorAla student newspaper wherein anonymous sources reported they were sexually assaulted on campus. The US Department of Education adopted regulations in 2020 that substantially limit UNA’s ability to take disciplinary action when a party elects not to file a formal complaint of sexual assault. The University recognizes the complexities for parties involved in matters related to sexual misconduct and respects the rights of individuals to make personal decisions. We encourage all students to report all incidents of sexual assault, as the University can offer support and resources to involved parties, even if no formal complaint is filed.
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