Feminists United on Campus (FUC) at the University of Mary Washington and Feminist Majority Foundation filed a Title IX complaint against the university last month. The president of the university and FUC agreed to meet on June 3 to discuss the allegations that were made previously on May 7.
FUC decided to go public and reached out to the media before their meeting with the president.
The president of UMW, Richard Hurley, wrote a letter to FUC and his college students saying, “…Instead, you sought media attention to publicize the fact of the filing of – and the irresponsible allegations in – the complaint.” President Richard Hurley continued, “The primary premise of the complaint is that UMW ‘ignored’ students’ concerns regarding comments made on the social media app Yik Yak. That allegation is demonstrably false.”
Feminists on campus have wanted to ban the app Yik Yak, accusing members of the app, which are anonymous, of sexually harassing women and potentially being violent.
President Hurley responded to this in the letter also by saying, “UMW is obligated to comply with all federal laws – not just Title IX. The First Amendment prohibits prior restraints on speech, and banning Yik Yak is tantamount to a content-based prohibition on speech.”
He continued by also explaining that this tactic would be ineffective because students can still access the app through their private data plans. FUC also apparently accused the men’s rugby team for the murder of Grace Mann, a student at UMW.
President Hurley in the letter explained how this was a false allegation by stating, “Ms. Mann was killed in her off-campus house, and her housemate has been arrested for the murder.”
President Richard Hurley urged students in the future to look further into details before making a highly publicized media event. FUC rebutted the president’s letter on their Facebook page saying,
“There is a deep misunderstanding about the title IX complaint filed by our club a few weeks ago. Many people, including the UMW president, think we are trying to link threats on Yik Yak to Grace Mann’s death. This could not be further from the truth. Not only have we literally NEVER said such a thing, we have been actively trying to discourage such speculation from the get-go.”
The feminist group on campus discredited President Hurley’s statement that FUC tried to connect Yik Yak to Grace Mann’s murder, but they did not comment on the alleged abuse on the app or their advocacy to use the authority’s coercion to ban Yik Yak on campus.
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