Students and Administration Respond to New Drugging Reports
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Administration officials and concerned students met this week after reports of another drugging at an all-campus Greek party last weekend. At a forum at Harper Joy Theater on Sunday, following a “Timely Warning” sent out by Dean of Student Chuck Cleveland on the topic that morning, students voiced concern over a campus culture that they say facilitates such crimes, and alleged that the administration was not being sufficiently forthcoming with information, nor proactive in providing resources for support.
Kenzie Spooner is among the students who organized the gathering, and those that followed this week.
“We understand the administration is walking a fine line between revealing personal information … and giving the rest of the student body the information they need to stay safe,” she said.
Spooner continued that the sort of information reported in the next morning’s Union-Bulletin regarding, for example, the fraternity where the incident occurred, or other information such as the drugs in question, the status of the police or administrative investigations into the druggings from last fall, would go a long way towards keeping the student body safe and in the loop, without revealing personal details about the victims.
On Monday morning, roughly 80 students gathered on the third floor of Memorial to air such grievances, and Dean Cleveland greeted them outside his office to answer questions. After this, Dean Cleveland and President Kathy Murray met with a smaller group of students to set out concrete goals to address student concerns.
On Wednesday, the wording of a pamphlet on these topics was discussed among a select group of students, Dean Cleveland, Associate Dean Barbara Maxwell and Associate Dean Juli Dunn. The document will be disseminated at Thursday’s “Take Back the Night” event.
Additionally, a meeting has been planned to discuss changing the language of the office’s “Timely Warning Emails,” often sent out following or in anticipation of dangers to campus. Students complained that the language of these emails was too tame and bureaucratic, and didn’t express sufficient outrage at the actions they described.
The administration also agreed to plan a meeting with students to form a task force around the drugging issues, and contact the Walla Walla Police Department to see if they can come speak directly to students and answer questions.
The still-nameless student group that is responsible for all three meetings this week looks to build trust and serve as a liaison between the student body and administration, as the school works through this year’s party-druggings and other related issues.
Their next meeting will be in the Harper Joy lobby at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.