Hundreds at rally demand changes at Washington University - KMOV.com

Hundreds at rally demand changes at Washington University

Posted: Updated:
Hundreds of Washington University students attended a rally at the Danforth University Center to call for improvements to the process of investigating sexual assaults on campus. Credit: KMOV Hundreds of Washington University students attended a rally at the Danforth University Center to call for improvements to the process of investigating sexual assaults on campus. Credit: KMOV
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Hundreds of Washington University students attended a rally at the Danforth University Center to call for improvements to the process of investigating sexual assaults on campus.

Allie Liss is one of the students who attended the rally.

"Survivors have come out with stories of really being re-traumatized by the systems in place at our university and really not having their needs met by those systems," said Liss.

The Title IX office on college campuses works to protect students from discrimination, harassment and sexual assault. But students at the rally said the office on the WashU campus does an inadequate job.

"A major mistake that people make is that at top universities things like this don't happen. That we don't have sexual assaults, we don't have problems with our systems and everyone can go to the police can go to the system and feel safe and welcome and that's just not the case," said student Thomas Van Horn.

Students at the rally demanded the university increase the number of people investigating sexual assaults and who provide services to victims and to train them better. Organizers are also calling for more accountability about how the Title IX process works and the punishment handed out to perpetrators. 

The university released a statement that said, in part:

It is painful to know that any of our students believe the university has let them down and that they are hurting. We have taken some tangible steps over the past couple of years that speak to the recommendations put forward today. But our responsibility is to redouble those efforts and make the process work better.

Washington University also released a list of ways it's improving its response to sexual assaults, including increased transparency about the number of cases its investigating and an increase in staff in the Title IX office, including the addition of a counselor specializing in working with LGBTQIA and marginalized students. 

Rally organizers told News 4 that were pleased with the school's response and hope the university follows through with its promised improvements.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly