Campus, News

Letter from BU Provost suggests resources for sexual assault victims

Boston University Provost Jean Morrison sent a letter to the student body Monday reaffirming the university’s commitment to eliminating sexual misconduct on campus and building a campus-wide culture of respect and responsibility.

“Boston University prohibits all sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual harassment and discrimination,” Morrison stated in the letter. “In addition, Boston University provides resources and support to assist all members of the BU community in the event of sexual misconduct.”

BU created the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Center in May of 2011, following a number of instances of alleged sexual misconduct and hazing at the university and a corresponding push from the Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism and other members of the BU community to create the resource.

In her letter to the BU community, Morrison included a link to SARP’s website and encouraged students to utilize the resource if needed.

“The counselors at SARP can provide rapid and confidential support at no charge to BU students,” Morrison stated in her letter. “They also can help you connect with other campus and area resources, including campus or area police and the University’s internal disciplinary process.”

A BU Men’s Ice Hockey Task Force was formed in March of 2012 after allegations of sexual misconduct were directed at members of the team. The Task Force ultimately concluded that a “culture of sexual entitlement” existed among the team, due in part to their elevated social status on campus.
The task force’s final report found that players became “insulated from the larger BU undergraduate population” because of housing, training and team-participation demands.

BU came under fire for several alleged sexual assaults in 2012, after former Boston University Men’s Hockey player Max Nicastro was charged with two counts of rape, stemming from an incident in February 2012.

The charges against Nicastro were later dropped when Assistant District Attorney Holly Broadbent the DA’s office determined they would not be able to prove Nicastro guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

In August of 2012, former Men’s Hockey forward Corey Trivino pleaded guilty to two counts of battery and one count of trespassing. These charges came from Trivino’s arrest in December of that year, when the former student was charged with assault with intent to rape, three counts of indecent assault battery and two counts of breaking and entering.

In her letter to the BU community, Morrison also announced the designation of individuals within each school and college to facilitate BU’s compliance with Title IX, the federal law that requires colleges and universities to respond promptly and effectively to complaints of sexual misconduct.

“You should not hesitate to contact the individual within your school or college to report any concerns of sexual misconduct or discrimination,” Morrison stated in the letter.

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