Until The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported this month that Ben Holm had agreed to plead guilty in Georgia to charges of aggravated assault and statutory rape, students at Loyola University Chicago had no idea that their fellow student (and a member of the university's golf team) had been charged with rape and was awaiting a trial since 2013.
Now, many students are upset that they didn't know. More than 1,200 students and others have signed a petition calling on Loyola to apologize for not letting students know about the charges against Holm. "Students at Loyola University Chicago are disgusted by the institution's actions and do not feel safe on campus," the petition says. "The administration's silence is only making things worse."
Loyola released a statement on the situation after the petition started to get attention on campus and elsewhere. "In the past few days, Loyolans have expressed concern following media reports related to a student-athlete who was charged and pled guilty to a gender-based violent crime that occurred in his home state of Georgia," the university statement said. "This crime occurred prior to the individual joining Loyola. To our knowledge, we neither received information about the crime, nor had any awareness that it occurred until Monday, Dec. 12, when we received a media inquiry. Based on media reports, the individual is in police custody in Georgia. The individual is not registered for classes in the spring semester."