It’s been the buzz of the campus for two weeks. Would the school readmit a male student they found responsible for violating its sexual conduct policy?
“The student body, alumni, many members of the Skidmore community, have taken a stand that we do not want rapists on our campus,” said Sam Harris, a Skidmore senior.
Skidmore College student Reina Kiefer was sexually assaulted last April. She brought it to the attention of the school and they suspended the attacker for a year.
But the man wants to come back to Skidmore, so at the end of the one-year suspension, he re-applied.
On March 13, hundreds of students held a silent protest and supported Kiefer as she told an administrative panel why her attacker shouldn’t be allowed back.
Kiefer is sharing the panel’s decision Thursday, saying the school told her that they will allow the man to re-apply, but only after two years. After Kiefer has graduated.
“The school should have expelled him because in my opinion what they’re saying is this doesn’t warrant expulsion. That sexual assault or penetration by incapacitation is not worthy of expulsion, which is problematic,” said Kiefer.
Though relieved, Kiefer calls Skidmore’s decision “incomplete.” She vows to continue to raise awareness of sexual assault around campus and around the country. She’s planning to meet with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Kiefer’s attorney, James Marsh, says by email that for “this level of misconduct, the only sanction should be expulsion.”
Skidmore College declined our request for an on-camera interview Thursday, but said in an e-mail, that they they “remain firmly committed to maintaining a safe environment for our students and to policies that are fundamentally fair.”