Al Jazeera America published a damning report last week that revealed the heartbreaking story of Hailey, a Rose Hill freshman who was allegedly raped on campus — and then was denied the support of administrators.
One Tuesday night in 2013, Hailey socialized with friends at a local Bronx bar and then accepted a male friend’s invitation to go to his dorm for pizza. “They kissed,” the article reported. “She didn’t mind at first, but as things progressed, she said she told him no.” That’s when she says she was assaulted.
“Fordham’s dean of students Christopher Rodgers dismissed the allegations and said nothing could be done,” the article continued.
But Rodgers vehemently refuted that claim this week, saying the article’s reporting was inaccurate.
“Fordham takes action in response to every case of sexual misconduct reported to school officials,” he told The Fordham Ram. “No complaint is ever simply dismissed.”
Rodgers met with Hailey at least twice after her alleged assault, conducted a monthlong investigation and in March of 2013 found insufficient evidence “to hold the [accused] student responsible for violation of Fordham University’s policy on sexual offenses at this time,” according to his decision letter, which was obtained by Al Jazeera.
An appeals committee upheld Rodgers’ decision weeks later, according to the article. The accused student was, however, issued a no-contact order.
“Although the accused attacker was not allowed to be in contact with her, Hailey repeatedly saw him around campus. He was never charged or disciplined in the incident,” the article reported.
Rodgers blasted the authors of the article for failing ask administrators about Hailey’s case in particular.
“The university wasn’t asked about any of the specific allegations made in the article,” he said. “The most troubling thing about this piece is that its inaccuracies might discourage students from reporting sexual misconduct.”
But the article claimed: “In an email, [Rodgers] said the school isn’t allowed to comment on specific cases.”
The article also found that Fordham recorded 62 cases of alleged campus sexual assault between January 2010 and September 2014 — more than any other college in New York City during the same time period.
A Fordham Daily analysis recently found that most reported cases of campus sexual assault in 2013 were not investigated by administrators at the request of complainants.