Brown found this student responsible for sexual assault. So why was he appointed their star graduation speaker?
A university panel said he sexually assaulted another student
Note: (1/18/18) A subsequent appeal reversed the Title IX panel decision, with the accused male student now found not responsible for sexual assault. As a result, The Tab has chosen to redact his name and identifying features throughout this story.
A student who was found responsible for sexual assault has been appointed the star speaker at Brown University’s commencement this Saturday.
University officials appointed the man as student orator for Brown’s midyear graduation even though they know he was found responsible last month for sexually assaulting a student who was too drunk to consent.
A staff member who works in the Dean’s office confirmed to The Tab this morning that the male student is scheduled to speak tomorrow. He has been chosen as one of two student orators to deliver a speech in front of the graduating Class of 17.5 – those who finish their degrees halfway through the academic year.
But just weeks ago, a college panel reported that it was “more likely than not” that he sexually assaulted a female student in a laundry room after a night out, knowing she was black-out drunk.
The Tab has seen Title IX documents from a source within the university that describe how the male student was suspended in November upon being found responsible for “sexual assault: sexual touching.”
The panel ruled that “any sexual contact initiated…while in the laundry room would be nonconsensual due to [redacted]’s state of incapacitation.”
He was punished with an immediate 18-month suspension and mandatory consent counseling. He has appealed the findings of the panel. The Tab understands he also attempted to file a Title IX complaint against his accuser, claiming he was the one who was sexually assaulted. His complaint was unsuccessful.
When we contacted the female student, she declined to speak to us. As a survivor of sexual assault, she did not waive her right to privacy.
Emails leaked from the university reveal that the officials organizing Saturday’s graduation know about the finding against the man but are proceeding with the ceremony regardless.
In another message seen by The Tab from Maud Mandel, Brown’s Dean of the College, she said that the sanctions against the male student are not in place while he appeals the verdict.
“I have reviewed this matter and can share the following: During the pendency of the appeal in this case, the University has not imposed a sanction on the respondent and the respondent has not otherwise been restricted from campus. Absent imposition of a sanction or restriction, the respondent has the right to participate in all university exercises including in an academic honor that was rewarded through an independent process.”
We contacted the male student but he did not wish to comment. A lawyer representing him said that he could not speak on the record at this time.
Brown University has yet to respond to multiple requests for comment.
A Brown spokesperson has responded to us and said: “We have one speaker for this year’s mid-year completion ceremony: Maya Faulstich-Hon.”
It is not known whether the university dropped the man as a speaker or if he withdrew himself.