Ohio University’s President Calls For Care and Education In Light Of Alleged Rape

Tom Hodson

Updated Sat, Oct 19, 2013 5:59 pm
Photo Credit: 
Jasmine Beaubien
Court Street in Athens, Ohio

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis issued a letter to the university community late Thursday afternoon asking that the unfortunate sexual incident of last weekend strengthen “our community by inspiring an unprecedented level of care within our university family.”

McDavis “strongly condemns” the alleged sexual behaviors that were captured on social media and distributed globally. He calls them “counter to the values of character, community and civility, upon which we (Ohio University) were founded.”

McDavis acknowleged the existence of an internal investigation. He says it is being conducted in accordance with university policy and procedures. He claims it is supportive of the criminal investigation being conducted by the Athens Police Department.

“When we conclude our investigation, we will take appropriate action to hold those involved accountable, in keeping with Ohio University’s policies and Code of Conduct. Additionally, we are using all appropriate resources to provide support to the student who has reported the alleged incident,” McDavis wrote.

McDavis acknowledges that the incident has caused the university some difficulties.

“The incident and the ensuring response have been difficult for our university community, and in our time of fast-paced communications, some of the discussion surrounding this event has been divisive and unproductive,” McDavis said.

He called for “thoughtful input” and “civility” while the University seeks to ensure the safety of its students and the “integrity of the Ohio University community.”

McDavis believes that through this unfortunate incident, that Ohio University “can help to shape the national conversation on important societal issues.

“It is my hope,” McDavis added, “that we will use this opportunity to foster open dialogue on issues of conduct, community, civility, and the impacts of social media.”