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Drake President responds: Times Delphic

Maxwell: we need your help

By Lizzi Pine on December 03 2009

On Monday, President David Maxwell sent an e-mail to the Drake community about the administration’s responsibilities of prevention, education and support of the victims relating to the recent hazing and sexual assault incidents.

This was in response to a front-page article and a staff editorial in the Nov. 23 issue of The Times-Delphic, both of which reported that students and faculty found Maxwell’s original response to be untimely and insensitive.

In the recent e-mail, Maxwell said that the administration will do its part, but the students must do theirs.

“We need your help if we are going to be successful in this endeavor,” Maxwell said.

However, many students think the e-mail was ambiguous as to what actions will be taken.

“He didn’t make the actions too clear,” sophomore Joey Stych said. “I think the actions need to be taken faster. Clearly, this is an important issue; it won’t be blown over lightly.”

Junior Katie Henson said she thought he was going to list actions they had done, and that she didn’t understand exactly what he was doing.Others agreed.

“I thought the e-mail was kind of vague,” junior Kara McCartney said. “He wants to decrease sexual assault and hazing, but he didn’t specifically list out how he was going to do it. He said he needed the students to do their role, but he didn’t say how he wanted the students to take active roles.”

Some students said that these incidents are not as rare as the administration thinks.

“It happens all the time—I don’t know if this was just more publicized,” Henson said. “It should’ve been a bigger deal all along.”

The e-mail also said sexual assaults and the misuse of alcohol are national problems, and Drake is not immune to them. Maxwell said there is more work to do.

Senior Chelsea Carter said that although she doesn’t see how task forces will help, she appreciates that Drake is addressing the issues.

“They are showing the Drake community that the safety of students is their main concern and they’re willing to take of it,” she said.
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1 Comments For This Story

1. CONCERNED Says:
December 3rd, 2009 at 3:28 PM

While the TD’s coverage of this situation has certainly been bold, I wonder why you haven’t actually interviewed Maxwell about the issue. Maxwell is always responsive and willing to talk to student journalists. Rather than quoting his official statements, give him a chance to answer actual questions. Otherwise, your coverage is completely unfair. Also, I think it’s silly to assume that Maxwell’s email Monday was in direct response to the TD’s story and staff ed. Certainly it played a part, but I’m sure he was concerned about the issue regardless of the TD’s coverage.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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