Overturned 2005 decision sparks mixed response
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reintroduced a lawsuit of two alleged rape victims, allowing them to continue their sexual harassment lawsuit against CU. And CU students across the campus have passionate and diverse responses to the situation.
According to court documents, Lisa Simpson and another women allege that they were sexually assaulted in December 2001 by football players and CU recruits.
The women instead took the university to court and said the university helped sponsor an environment that allowed such actions to occur.
Students around CU are disheartened, perplexed and straight-out angered at the reinstatement of the lawsuit.
“As a girl, I can see where these women are coming from,” said 19-year-old Jill Levy, a psychology major. “But you also have to take responsibility for your own actions.”
With all the negative publicity that CU has been hit with, Levy is concerned about how this will affect the university.
“I don’t think it’s good for the school. In time, hopefully the school will be able to recover from bad media coverage and regain its name,” Levy said.
Matthew Brauser, a 21-year-old open-option major, was very disturbed to hear that this case is back in the news.
“Things like that go on at every big football university all over the nation,” Brauser said. “It’s a shame that CU has to come back into the public eye and potentially be labeled as a university that endorses this type of behavior.”
Not everyone is standing with the university though. Some students feel that this is an issue that has to be taken seriously by CU officials.
Rachele Mooers is a junior majoring in business finance.
“Obviously, the women feel strongly about it,” Mooers, 20, said. “If I was raped, I would want the people who did it to be punished for it.”
Mooers suggested that the school create some rape awareness programs to prevent things like this from happening again.
“If it did really happen, the school should take a stand against rape in general. I think the school needs to bring more awareness to girls and have more resources for them to go to. That may help ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” Mooers said.
In the released documents, the district courts said that “the evidence presented to the district court on CU’s motion for summary judgment is sufficient to support findings that CU had an official policy of showing high-school recruits a ‘good time’ on their visits to the CU campus.”
Since the alleged rape in 2001, CU has a new president and a new football coach.
Michael Donnelly, 20, suggested that CU President Hank Brown talk to both parties.
“Since he wasn’t here at the time, I think the president of the university should talk to the girls and gather all the facts,” Donnelly, a junior communications major, said.
Students seem to be scratching their heads as to why the women are continuing to pursue the case more than a half of decade after it started.
“What do these girls want? Money? Sentimental value? What kind of closure are they looking for?” Brauser said.
Donnelly agreed with her fellow classmate.
“It shouldn’t be about the money and publicity, it should be about the truth,” Donnelly said.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Derek Schimmel at Derek.Schimmel@colorado.edu