- Posted October 5, 2012 by
Greenville, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What’s wrong with America’s school system?
New information about the nine forcible sex offenses at Bob Jones University
New information on the nine counts of forcible sex offenses at Bob Jones University in 2011.
On September 28 WSPA in Spartanburg, SC reported on the crime statistics released by Bob Jones University in the 2011 Clery Report. Within this report there were 9 counts of forcible sex offenses that occurred on the campus of BJU. According to the Clery website, forcible sex offenses are “any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.”
Bob Jones University is required by law to file a Clery Report with the federal government every year. The Clery Report is required of all colleges and universities that receive federal aid and this report is used to keep and disclose statistics about crimes on and near college campuses.
New information has come to light recently about the reports of sexual offenses. A source, who has requested to remain anonymous due to their position within the University, contacted Do Right BJU and spoke at length with a representative about the situation.
During the fall semester of 2011 a male student in the library of Bob Jones University sexually molested eight women. Sometime during the spring semester of 2012, directly after the Do Right BJU protest in December, the same male student molested another female student in the library.
This female student reported what had happened to the library staff. The library staff member then immediately contacted BJU Public Safety to report the allegations. Public Safety contacted the Greenville Police Department’s office and then the Dean of Men’s office. The male student was apprehended, placed in custody, and suspended from BJU.
Do Right BJU would like to commend Bob Jones University for reporting the crime to the local authorities. The abuser was brought to justice in a swift and responsible manner. The library staff member acted responsibly and appropriately in the situation and she followed proper protocol in dealing with the report.
The staff member also went above and beyond her responsibilities as a mandatory reporter. She emailed all of the library staff and asked if any of the staff members had faced a similar situation. Eight female library staff members came forward to report their assaults from the same male student.
This presents a welcome change in direction from how rape and forcible sexual contact has been handled in the past at Bob Jones University, and we would like to further press that there are areas in which this instance can serve to model a more complete approach.
Bob Jones University should have notified the students and parents of BJU to inform them of what had transpired on campus. Information is power and it is key to a safe and healthy community.
BJU must also put in place a system of education and support for all students. The real tragedy in this situation is that eight female students were too afraid or too ashamed to come forward and report what had happened to them.
This culture of secrecy and shame at BJU must be confronted. We must encourage victims to report these incidents and we must support victims through the healing process.
Education and an open door policy with an unbiased counselor are of paramount importance to the students of BJU. BJU must continue with its announced plan of hiring an independent ombudsman to investigate all allegation of sexual abuse.
While progress has been made, Bob Jones University still has a significant amount of improving to do concerning the safety of its student body. Do Right BJU will continue to support the students, faculty, and staff of Bob Jones University in an effort to create a safe, open, and abuse free campus.
Nine forcible sex offenses occured at Bob Jones University in 2012*
*This link is the original iReport released on September 30th, 2012.