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Virginia Tech Students Walk Out Over Sex Assault

May 1, 2019
 
 

Students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University participated in a walkout on Tuesday over the institution's handling of sexual assault.

A Facebook post for the event does not identify whether the walkout was organized by a specific student group. The students wrote on Facebook, “We are tired of Virginia Tech repeatedly failing to make this campus a safe space for women and all survivors. We deserve justice, peace, and to be heard.”

The walkout began at noon on Tuesday at the Drillfield, the stretch of land at the center of campus, and students marched to the university’s Title IX office. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the federal law protecting against sex discrimination.

Mark Owczarski, a university spokesman, directed a reporter to a statement by President Tim Sands.

Sands said in his statement Tuesday that the university’s Board of Visitors recently conducted a review of student conduct policies and Title IX.

Sands's statement said in part, “No one should have to live in fear of sexual assault on a college campus. As survivors know all too well, such an experience will alter one’s life forever. For students, the trauma can significantly affect their ability to focus on learning and be an engaged member of the campus community. We must do everything in our power to end this threat and fundamentally change the aspects of our culture that promote sexual assault and downplay the severity of its impact. It will take all of us working together, including our campus community, parents, teachers, administrators, law enforcement and lawmakers, to make this happen.”

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