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On May 19, 2011, NBC’s Today Show aired a story about the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. The segment included an interview with a former Wake Forest student.

While the University is prevented by Federal law (FERPA) from discussing the details of this incident, or any other student judicial case, please be assured that the University is addressing the matter in an appropriate manner.


President Hatch's letter to the Wake Forest community

(May 19, 2011)

This morning I watched the NBC Today Show segment about the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. The segment included an interview with a former Wake Forest student and illustrated the complexities of these matters. I am troubled by the prevalence of sexual misconduct in our society today. Regarding the described incident, however, I feel strongly that the University’s response, as well as our character, has been misrepresented.

In the face of allegations made about the University in the news media, we remain committed to abiding by Federal law, known as FERPA. As our earlier statements explained, FERPA prohibits the University from providing information about the incident discussed on the Today Show, or any other parts of a student’s educational record. However, I can affirm Wake Forest believes its educational mission begins with the health and safety of our students.

When Wake Forest students established PREPARE (Policy group on Rape Education, Prevention And Response), it was among the first programs of its kind in the country. Today, the program is comprised of 20 trained student advocates who work directly with victims who report sexual assaults, as well as approximately 60 trained female and male students, who deliver educational and awareness programs for the campus. First-year students are required to attend educational programs that provide guidance on how to both prevent sexual assault and seek support for themselves or friends.

Additionally, Wake Forest has a full-time, professionally trained victim’s advocate, who is available to students around-the-clock during the academic year. The victim’s advocate informs students of their rights, including their right to file a report with appropriate law enforcement authorities at any time. Ultimately, however, the decision of whether to file a police report, and when to do so, is a personal decision that must be made independently by the individual student.

This highlights only a few of the many resources Wake Forest offers students. I am grateful to our Student Life professionals who have dedicated themselves to serving our community.

The matters surrounding sexual misconduct deserve our continued energy and commitment. We will keep working with faculty, staff and students to enhance our campus culture. I know you will join me in supporting these efforts.

Sincerely,

Nathan Hatch
President


Statement provided to the Today Show


Wake Forest University treats every student with integrity and compassion. Cases alleging sexual misconduct are among the most complex faced by university judicial systems. Wake Forest University personnel adhere to well-established policies and procedures that apply equally to all students, including both the victim and the accused. The University adheres to federal law that prevents us from discussing the details of this case but we feel strongly that the University’s response to the described incident has been misrepresented.


Director of Athletics Ron Wellman's letter to Wake Forest sports fans

(May 18, 2011)

On Tuesday President Hatch sent a letter to the campus community (below) in which he said, “It is my understanding that on Thursday, NBC's Today Show plans to air a story about the problem of sexual assault on college and university campuses. We have been advised by a producer of the Today Show that the story will include an interview with a former Wake Forest student involving an incident that occurred several years ago.” News accounts of the Today Show story have been picked up broadly and report the alleged involvement of two former Wake Forest student-athletes.

I assure you that Wake Forest University and the Athletics Department take very seriously our commitment to provide a positive and secure environment for our students. As the President stressed in his message, Federal Law prohibits our sharing any details of the alleged incident or any other student-specific information. I want you to know that our department works diligently to encourage conduct that properly reflects the values of our university.

Ron Wellman
Director of Athletics


President Hatch's letter to alumni and parents

(May 18, 2011)

Dear alumni and parents of Wake Forest students,

We have been advised that on Thursday, NBC’s Today Show plans to air a story about the problem of sexual assault on college and university campuses. We understand the story will include an interview with a former Wake Forest student involving an incident that occurred in 2009. The University was offered the opportunity to provide a written statement, and I wanted to share our public statement with you in advance.

“Wake Forest University treats every student with integrity and compassion. Cases alleging sexual misconduct are among the most complex faced by university judicial systems. Wake Forest University personnel adhere to well-established policies and procedures that apply equally to all students, including both the victim and the accused. The University adheres to federal law that prevents us from discussing the details of this case but we feel strongly that the University’s response to the described incident has been misrepresented.”

As referred to in our statement above, I must emphasize that federal law (FERPA) prevents the University from discussing specifics of this or any other student case. I can assure you the University takes these issues seriously, has a well-established Code of Conduct and has procedures for hearing alleged violations of that Code of Conduct. In addition, Wake Forest offers significant resources to support our students in times of need. 

 

Fostering a positive and respectful living and learning environment is of paramount importance at Wake Forest University. As part of our Pro Humanitate mission, we strive to treat all of our students with integrity and compassion.

 

Rest assured that the University is taking appropriate action to respond to this matter.

Sincerely,

Nathan Hatch
President


President Hatch's letter to the campus community

(May 17, 2011)

Dear Members of the Wake Forest Community,

It is my understanding that on Thursday, NBC’s Today Show plans to air a story about the problem of sexual assault on college and university campuses. We have been advised by a producer of the Today Show that the story will include an interview with a former Wake Forest student involving an incident that occurred several years ago. I am aware that some members of the local news media have received an email purporting to provide information about that incident. I have also recently learned that this same email may have been circulated more broadly, and some members of our Wake Forest community may have received it in their personal email accounts.

Regarding this matter, I must emphasize that Federal law (FERPA) prevents the University from discussing specifics of this or any other student case. I can assure you the University takes these issues seriously, has a well-established Code of Conduct and has procedures for hearing alleged violations of that Code of Conduct. In addition, Wake Forest offers significant resources to support our students in times of need.

Fostering a positive and respectful living and learning environment is of paramount importance at Wake Forest University. As part of our Pro Humanitate mission we strive to treat all of our students with integrity and compassion.

Rest assured that the University is taking appropriate action to respond to this matter.

Sincerely,

Nathan Hatch
President