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UPDATED: Students protesting Webster’s sexual assault policy
Webster University student Katie Hoffecker spent her last week on campus protesting for sexual assault awareness. Hoffecker is a third year conservatory major, and said she decided this semester would be her last due to her disagreement with the sexual assault policy.
About 20 University students lined the sidewalk at the intersection of Edgar Road and Big Bend Boulevard on the morning of Dec. 15. They carried signs and informed anyone passing by about statistics of sexual assault on college campuses.
In a recent letter to the editor, The Journal issue 7, President Elizabeth Stroble addressed the concerns of students about the sexual assault policy. The letter focused on the recent changes in the policy as of Sept. 9, to insure student’s safety.
“We have and will continue to evaluate and update our policies and procedures and to educate our university community in these critical matters,” said Stroble in the letter. “I respect the rights of all students, faculty and staff to express their opinions in a respectful and orderly manner – consistent with Webster’s values.”
Hoffecker said she wants the policy at Webster to change to a no-tolerance policy and said students will not feel safe until they know they will not be in class with the accused assaulter. She believes students and faculty should be open about the dangers of sexual assault if a change will be made.
Webster student Kalani Seaver organized the protest, and said the concerns of students on campus motivated her to do so.
“We are trying to get awareness on campus as well as the community to see if we can get people behind us on developing a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault on campus,” Seaver said.
Seaver said she was hoping for a bigger turn out but understands that the time of the event was difficult for students who had finals.