For nearly two years, survivors and advocates have been calling on the University of Michigan to act and admit to sexual assaults committed by a top doctor at the school, Dr. Robert Anderson.
With the university set to hire a new president, survivors are hoping this is the time for some accountability.
“This is a Dr. Frankenstein and these are the kinds of things that went on that you don’t know about because this university will not commit to transparency,” said Robert Stone, a survivor, “And the victims are so ashamed and so damaged that they can’t talk about them.”
Stone was the first to come out against Anderson nearly two years ago. He, like dozens since, claims Anderson sexually abused him. Many of Anderson’s survivors were athletes, others like Stone and Keith Moree, were gay students.
“Robert Anderson was a chronic serial sexual predator who exploited any power differential he could find,” said Moree, “Many of Anderson’s earliest victims at the University of Michigan were gay men, at a time when being outed could have grave consequences.”
They say they are still just the tip of the iceberg.
“So many people have come forward and told their stories but many people have not,” said Moree, “I know of people who still have not spoken out because of shame and embarrassment.”
They say that shame and embarrassment will keep people from speaking up because the university is yet to do anything about it. With the recent scandal and termination of the university’s president, Mark Schlissel, Stone and Moree are increasing their pleas.
“It’s transparently clear, to anyone who wants to pay attention, that there’s no commitment to change,” said Stone, “Because the president of the university couldn’t stop himself from having his own affair that was against their written rules.”
A new president could bring a new insight and new compassion these alums are seeking.
“I think this is an opportunity for the university to really do the right thing,” said Moree.