Students Protest CMU Sexual Assault Decision
“We are very angry because a staff member was assaulted by a grad student and that student is still allowed on campus,” says Marie Reimers.
Frustrated students protested at Central Michigan University today. It’s all over a recent sexual assault case. They want the university to suspend the student charged with the crime.
Pradeep Gujjula is charged with criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree. A CMU staff member told campus police that he asked to take a photo with her and then touched her chest.
He’s since been banned from academic buildings, except for the buildings his classes are in. Students say that’s not enough.
“According to CMU’s own sexual misconduct policy the university can take temporary interim measures between the time an assault happened and the time the assailant has their hearing. One of those measures is temporary suspension. CMU has not done that which we find very appalling,” says Reimers.
Since Gujjula’s arrest, police say other students have come forward with accusations.
“We asked if there’s any other individuals who have experienced similar things to contact the police. We have since been contacted by two additional individuals and those investigations are currently active and open,” says Lt. Larry Klaus of campus police.
While Gujjula’s not charged in those cases, students still want him suspended.
The school says they’re committed to safety and made the best decision based on their policies.
“I can tell you that CMU is a leader in this area. Our office has been on campus since the 1970’s. Those interim measures can be anything from changing class assignments, changing resident assignments, to even suspension. So if the facts suggest that there might be more of an issue we may change what are interim measure are,” says Katherine Lasher, the director of CMU’s office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity.
The school says they’re aware of the two other accusers, and their internal investigation is still ongoing.