Students drop call for fee increase after review vowed
Student leaders have dropped their demand that the University of Maryland, College Park raise fees to shore up the university’s office of sexual misconduct after administrators pledged to hire staff and conduct a review of investigative procedures.
The Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct had drawn scrutiny after it was revealed that investigations of reports of sexual misconduct on campus took more than twice as long as recommended by the U.S. Department of Education.
“It’s really a win for student activism,” said senior Katherine Swanson, president of the student government. “I don’t want to use the word ‘threaten,’ but we found a way to call attention to something that was needed.”
The students, whose proposal gained national attention, agreed to drop their demand after negotiations over the weekend with university President Wallace Loh.
A University of Maryland spokeswoman said the university supported the students’ efforts.
“We have the same goal: to properly fund the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct and ensure that the necessary resources are provided to execute the important work of this office,” university spokeswoman Crystal Brown said in a statement.
The Student Government Association had called on administrators to raise student fees by $17 per semester to hire more staff and provide more training.
The extra revenue would have doubled the office’s budget by about $1 million annually.