The University of Michigan’s student body president and vice president released a statement Monday denouncing the University’s decision to grant tenure to David Daniels, professor in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, in light of recent allegations of sexual assault made against him by multiple University students. The statement also affirms Central Student Government support for survivors on campus.
“When the normal institutional processes fail, we, as leaders of CSG, have a responsibility to hold the University’s administration accountable,” the statement, signed by CSG President Daniel Greene and Vice President Isabel Baer, reads.
Many individuals have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Daniels, some cases dating back as early as 2010. Most recently, Music, Theatre and Dance School graduate student Andrew Lipian filed a lawsuit against Daniels on Oct. 24 and cited the University’s inaction pertaining to his case.
University spokespeople maintain standard procedure is to defer any reports that have criminal elements to law enforcement before beginning an Title IX investigation
This isn’t the only incident in which the University has recently received backlash for unreliable processes of reporting sexual assault. In October, another Music, Theatre and Dance School student told her story of sexual assault and the stagnant investigation currently being conducted by the Office of Institutional Equity. Some students reported waiting months for correspondence from the University regarding their case, while others were still waiting for a response.
“We expect the University to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual misconduct,” Greene and Baer wrote in their statement. “We will work to ensure that they do so.”
Greene, a Public Policy senior, and Izzy Baer, an LSA junior, ran an executive campaign last semester that focused on survivors, and proposed an empowerment fund for the University’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, in addition to the implementation of a SAPAC Ex-Officio CSG Representative. Through these propositions, CSG would provide resources to students on topics such as bystander intervention and survivor empowerment, according to the MVision platform.
“In this time when students and survivors on our campus may feel like they (sic) voices are not heard or do not matter, we want to remind those who are struggling of the resources on campus at their disposal should they choose to seek help,” CSG Communications Director Lydia Barry wrote in an email to The Daily. “Most importantly, we hope to provide a voice for students that view the administration’s response to this investigation as inadequate.”