Another night of protests expected as students demand action after alleged sexual assault at KU

News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than a thousand people held signs and chanted for hours Monday night near the University of Kansas campus. This after allegations that a fraternity member sexually assaulted a young woman. Authorities are investigating but so far no charges.

Green tape surrounded the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house Tuesday near the KU campus as members cleaned up remnants from Monday night’s protest. 

On a warm Tuesday in the mid-80’s, some Phi Psi members left the house covered up in hoodies and masks. Reports of an alleged sexual assault from a member of the fraternity Saturday night drew an estimated 1,000 people who gathered outside the fraternity house Monday night.

Freshman Ruby Doyle was there Monday and plants to be there again Tuesday night.

“I don’t like knowing that people are suffering,” she said. “So I feel like if there’s ever an opportunity to step out for that sort of thing, I usually like to participate in that sort of thing.”

Jeremy Bennett also plans to join Tuesday night’s crowd of protesters. Inspired by the sense of community support for a fellow student.

“Everyone I know is going tonight and I will live in the towers which is less than a minute walk from the house and I don’t want that kind of stuff happening in my general vicinity,” Bennett said. “You could feel like the energy of the crowd and how angry everyone was. Crazy, just overall crazy experience.”

The Phi Psi house sits on private property across from the KU campus, protected by the Lawrence Police Department. It said there were no arrests or injuries during Monday night’s protest and police believe reports of pepper spray used on protesters was not them but the actions of a private security company before police arrived on scene.

Police said they are aware of the sexual assault allegations but would not go into further detail. Preparing for round two.

“I’m hoping it will still remain to be peaceful and just an outcry against what happened and hoping for justice,” Doyle said.

FOX4 will be monitoring the situation in Lawrence and have the latest developments tonight on FOX4 News at 9 and 10.

Tuesday afternoon, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod, Provost and AExecutive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Tammara Durham issed the following message to students:

“Jayhawks,

Last night, many of you gathered in response to a reported instance of sexual assault within our community.

First, we want to say we appreciate that so many members of our community were moved to gather in support of combatting sexual assault. Sadly, sexual assault continues to be pervasive in our society, and we are heartened to know that so many of you feel compelled to engage on this topic. Additionally, we want to express our support for survivors of sexual violence and acknowledge the trauma they have endured.

Reports of sexual assault require extreme care to ensure the health, welfare and rights of all individuals involved. In this particular instance, we can confirm that the university and local law enforcement are aware of a reported sexual assault at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house off campus, and we have initiated our investigatory process. Fraternity leaders have been cooperative.

The university takes seriously all reports of sexual assault and is unwaveringly committed to the health and safety of our students. In accordance with federal law, KU has robust processes to investigate reported instances of sexual assault and to hold accountable those individuals and organizations that are in violation of KU policies. We encourage anyone with information about such instances to contact our Office of Civil Rights & Title IX, or local law enforcement.

Our university has a number of resources to assist survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. Individuals are encouraged to contact our CARE Coordinator, or to access other campus resources, depending on their specific needs.

Additionally, KU continues its commitment to programming that seeks to educate students and change the culture around sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention. Much of that programming is coordinated through our Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, which has been lauded nationally within the higher education community.

Finally, we want to express our appreciation for all of you who are helping to address sexual assault in the community. This topic is deeply important to us, as it clearly is to so many of you.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest

More News

Digital First

More digital first