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Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:49

Mizzou Responds To Dowd Bennett Findings

Columbia, MO -- The Chancellor of the University of Missouri has issued a response to the report issued by the law firm Dowd Bennett regarding how the University handled a sexual assault allegation by a former student-athlete who later committed suicide.
 
R. Bowen Loftin says he accepts the findings which conclude that, though there was no intentional mishandling of the allegation by then-Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, the University did not follow proper Title IX guidelines in reporting the alleged assault to the campus Title IX coordinator.
 
Title IX guidelines were established by the Office of Civil Rights to advise agencies receiving federal funding how to protect against gender discrimination. The Dowd Bennett report also concluded that the University had not done enough to educate the staff on legal responsibilities as it relates to Title IX compliance.
 
Loftin says the safety, security and health of the students are the most important priorities. The Chancellor also expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of Menu Courey saying "Although nothing will bring her back, we can move forward and honor her memory by making sure that MU is accountable and responsible.
 
Loftin says the University is implementing the plan put forth by President Timothy Wolfe who has directed all four campuses to conduct a comprehensive review of all sexual assault and mental health resources available to students, staff and faculty and then to re-educate them about those resources.
 
In addition, each campus was tasked with reviewing all policies, procedures and training as it relates to sexual assault and mental health.  He says that they are also examining the Office of Student Conduct and how cases involving sexual assault are addressed. 
 
Athletic Director Mike Alden has also created a task force to examine how his department handles student incidents and concerns.
Published in Local News

   An independent report says the University of Missouri failed to follow parts of the federal law that governs sexual harassment when handling the case of a former swimmer's suicide.

   The report released Friday says the Columbia campus should have investigated 20 year old Sasha Menu Courey's 2011 death after her parents raised questions about the events leading to her suicide.   Menu Courey alleged she had been sexually assaulted by as many as three football players 16 months before she died.

   School officials have previously said they didn't act sooner because neither Menu Courey nor her parents sought a police investigation and didn't respond to a later request for information.

   The case has been referred to Columbia police.

Published in Local News
ROLLA, Mo. (AP) - University of Missouri curators will learn the results of an outside law firm's investigation into the school's handling of a former swimmer's 2011 suicide at a Friday meeting in Rolla.
 
The university system hired the Dowd Bennett Law Firm to review the Columbia campus' actions in connection with the death of 20-year-old Sasha Menu Courey.
 
University officials say they didn't learn about her alleged freshman-year rape by several football players until she committed suicide 16 months later. Menu Courey's family has created a charitable foundation in her name to help raise money for greater awareness of borderline personality disorder.
 
The school says neither Menu Courey nor her parents sought a police investigation and didn't respond to a later request for more information. The case has since been referred to Columbia police.
   
 
Published in Local News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - University of Missouri athletics director Mike Alden says the school's initial response to news reports of a former swimmer's suicide could have been handled better.
 
Alden told reporters in interviews late Thursday that he expects Missouri to learn from Sasha Menu Courey's death and use it to bolster its student mental health services rather than "trying to defend" its actions.
 
The interviews mark Alden's first public comments on the case. Missouri curators voted Wednesday to approve an independent legal investigation.
 
Menu Courey killed herself in June 2011 in a Boston psychiatric hospital soon after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and two months after an earlier suicide attempt while still at Missouri. Her reports of a 2010 rape by several school football players are now under investigation by Columbia police.
Published in Local News

   The University of Missouri will hire outside, independent legal counsel to investigate the school's handling of matters related to former Mizzou student Sasha Menu Courey.  The swimmer committed suicide in 2011, 16 months after claiming she'd been raped by members of the Missouri football team.  

   The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted Wednesday night to approve the recommendation of University President Tim Wolfe, to hire an independent investigator.  The board has not yet chosen a firm, but stipulated that it must have independence from the university.  

   The board wants the inquiry completed in time for the board's next meeting in Rolla on April 11th.

Published in Local News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe says the four-campus system is committed to bolstering its mental health services as a separate legal review of a former school swimmer's suicide is expected to soon begin.
 
Wolfe spoke personally Wednesday about Sasha Menu Courey's 2011 death, noting that his own daughter is a first-year college athlete.
 
He told reporters that "one of our students is dead. And I don't want to feel that anymore."
 
The university's Board of Curators is expected to vote later Wednesday on Wolfe's request for an independent report on how the school handled Menu Courey's death and her claims of a sexual assault by several football players when she was a freshman.
Published in Local News
The University of Missouri is facing considerable scrutiny today after an ESPN report on it's program Outside the Lines alleged that a former Mizzou swimmer was sexually assaulted by a Tiger football player, with no investigation by the University. 
University System President Tom Wolfe has requested an independent investigation into the school's handling of the case, in which swimmer Sasha Menu Courey claimed she was assaulted by a football player in 2010.   According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, university officials say they knew nothing of the alleged sexual attack until late 2012.
But the ESPN report details that Menu Courey told her campus therapist about the alleged assault in December 2010 and alerted a nurse at the on-campus psychiatric center about the attack in March 2011. According to Title IX law, once a school knows, or reasonably should know of possible sexual violence it must take immediate action to investigate.  Menu-Courey committed suicide in June 2011,
Published in Local News
   COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The president of the University of Missouri system is seeking an independent review of how the university handled allegations from a swimmer that she had been sexually assaulted by a football player more than a year before she committed suicide.
   The move Sunday by UM System President Timothy Wolfe comes after an ESPN story questioning the University of Missouri's response to the alleged sexual assault of Sasha Menu Courey, who committed suicide in 2011, about 16 months after the alleged rape.
   In a letter to chancellors of the university's four campuses, Wolfe says he'll ask the board of curators to hire "outside independent counsel" to investigate how the university handled Menu Courey's allegations.
   The university also says it turned its information on the matter over to police on Saturday.
   
 
Published in Local News

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