Oakwood University taking steps in light of sexual assault allegations

Oakwood University has released a newsletter that explains the actions officials have taken after students took to Twitter to voice how they felt.

Posted: Sep 12, 2019 7:42 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2019 8:11 AM

Oakwood University is taking steps in light of sexual assault allegations.

About a week ago, a social media campaign got attention when students accused the university of not taking allegations seriously. 

The newsletter talked about the steps officials are taking since those allegations. While the university has acted quickly with students, they didn't want to answer WAAY 31's questions.

The newsletter also contains a list of things the university's president says he's done since the allegations resurfaced. 

Leslie Pollard stated in the newsletter, "I have directed our leadership to actively embrace this 'Me Too' moment at Oakwood University...we will lean in and become a stronger and healthier university by seizing this unique moment."

Pollard said they've also held small group discussions with students on how they can make the campus safer. Last week, he directed administrators to re-evaluate campus safety policies.

WAAY 31 wanted to get more information on how specific departments are looking into changing the way they process reports of sexual assault and if any reports have been made against students, faculty or staff.

WAAY 31 then called the campus police chief, Melvin Harris. We left him a message and still haven't heard back from the message we left last week.

We tried to contact the Title IX office to hear how they plan on responding to sexual assault reports in the future, and we left another voicemail as well.

Huntsville police confirm they had reports of two off-campus assaults involving Oakwood students. On Thursday, the department told us those cases are now closed.

Oakwood told WAAY 31 it wasn't commenting on Thursday, but President Pollard may talk at a future date.

The newsletter said 15 Seventh-day Adventist Churches had joined in the discussions and they invited students to attend a Sabbath to talk more.

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