By Paul T. Choate
March 2, 2012. BOONE — Appalachian State University students and community members organized today on campus for a silent protest. The protest comes in the wake of two separate events that happened in 2011 regarding women allegedly being sexually assaulted by student athletes and their alleged attackers being let back on campus.
After the events were reported a hearing was conducted by the University Conduct Board. According to Annie Hegar, 20, senior criminal justice major and protest organizer for “No Equal? No More!,” the alleged attackers were found guilty and suspended for eight semesters, but allowed to return to campus after appealing the decisions. Hegar also said Cindy Wallace, vice chancellor for Student Development, was the one person who decided they should be allowed to come back on campus.
According to Meagan Creed, 21, protest organizer for “No Equal? No More!,” both appeals are still pending further review.
“The biggest issue is that the attackers were let back on campus without notification to the victims – they ran into each other on campus,” said Hegar. “If University Conduct Board hearings are confidential we feel that the victims need to be notified if their attackers are coming back on campus. They also need to know why they are being let back on campus.”
Hager also added that the university does currently have notification policies in place, but that they are too vague and should be clarified.
“The protest is completely silent because basically what we’re saying is that by the university being silent it puts us in harm’s way. The people who are making the decisions on these boards are not educated on sexual assault and rape,” said Hegar.
The protest began as a Facebook event and drew almost 400 RSVP’s. “We’re thinking that realistically we can get 100 of those – if we got that we would consider that successful,” said Hegar. “Hopefully we’ll get a good amount – 100 to 150 people would be awesome.”
Video taken at 1:45 p.m.
Photos taken from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m.
Video by Ken Ketchie.
Photos by Paul T. Choate.