MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — An investigation creating a heavy demand for Spring Hill College to do more to keep students safe. This after a student took to social media saying that she was raped in her dorm, by another student.
News 5’s Amber Grigley spoke with a student this evening who said this isn’t the first time something like this has happened on campus and hopes that this time the school will step up to the plate and fix it.
Samantha Williams said after last semester, she chose not to return to Spring Hill College because of heightened concerns about safety.
“There have been many more rape allegations that girls are not coming forth about,” Williams said.
Audrey Cox, a student at Spring Hill College took to social media alleging that she was raped on March 12th inside her residence hall.
“The key code in order to get in, you use your pass. If you push that door hard enough it opens,” Williams said.
Cox claims she was hunted down by another student inside her dorm and violently attacked.
“It’s very disturbing because our number one priority is the safety of our students,” said Dr. E. Joseph Lee II, president of Spring Hill College.
Grigley asked the president about the security measures and how did something like this happen inside of a residence hall.
“I heard the lock may have been faulty. So what I’m looking at immediately is that all buildings are locked and that you need a card or a key to get in,” Dr. Lee said.
Cox also added in her post that she felt as if the school was trying to silence her when she came forward.
“Certainly not from me. Whether or not the Dean of Students Office may have got some complaints from other students. It’s very complicated at that point, like I said, there may be a lot of gray there,” said Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee said this all boils down to education making sure that students and staff know how to respond to situations like this in the future.
“We were very fortunate to receive a grant six months ago from the Department of Justice from the Office of Violence Against Women. The timing is good because we can use their guidance and funding to come up with a plan to make sure we do everything the right way. You want to eliminate all sexual assaults on campus, but if it happens, we want to be in a better position to respond quickly, appropriately, and be supportive,” Dr. Lee said.
This incident was reported to the campus public safety department and not Mobile Police. Cox declined to be interviewed. The college released the following official statement Thursday afternoon.
Spring Hill College is saddened to share that in mid-March, a student reached out to Campus Public Safety to report an incidence of sexual assault. The College immediately took a number of actions, including coordination with campus law enforcement, initiating a Title IX response, and offering counseling and support services to the reporting student.Official statement from Spring Hill College
Spring Hill College has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy with regard to any form of violence and will look into every allegation. Any reported incident will continue to be handled immediately. The College is committed to thoroughly examining all allegations of assault on campus, whenever in our history they may have occurred.
“Cura personalis,” which means care for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – is the core tenet that guides our purpose and support of everyone on the Spring Hill College campus,” said E. Joseph Lee, PhD, president of Spring Hill College. “We are a College that believes in the rights, the humanity, and the crucial need of our students to be heard.”
While any incident of violence is too many, Spring Hill College is purposeful in maintaining a safe campus experience, utilizing sworn police officers, technology, and training for all who step on campus. The College already provides training and resources for the campus community as part of the educational and student-focused experience. The College maintains a Title IX coordinator, trained to address any reports or incidences. We support our students. From the moment they share their intent to join our Badger family, they are and always will be our first priority. This support is evident in the classroom, in our campus organizations — in every aspect of their life on campus. In fact, through an innovative grant from the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, we are using their guidance and expertise to create more student-focused initiatives to eliminate sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. It also includes the development of a coordinated community response team that brings the entire campus community together under this shared purpose.
Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third-oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Spring Hill combines the Jesuit tradition of excellence in education and a commitment to caring for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – with innovative educational experiences. Located in Mobile, Ala., Spring Hill’s mission is to form leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice, and service for life. As a result, Spring Hill students are engaged, inspired, and transformed by their experiences.