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Baylor University.

As some of you know, I bleed green and gold. I have two degrees from Baylor University, and I am still loyal to my alma mater.

However, that doesn’t mean I am blind, nor does that mean that Baylor is above (harsh) criticism.

When the sh*t really hit the fan, I was pulling for Art Briles to stay. My point of view was that the buck does not stop at the football coach when it comes to sexual assault and rape on the campus of Baylor University.

But then the report came.

And I saw this piece of the Pepper Hamilton report:

As much as I was pulling for Art Briles, he had to go. This was out of line and, to be honest, beyond disappointing. Still, I cannot wrap my mind around what those coaches were thinking. How…HOW…did you think you would get away with this? In a time where EVERYTHING that is done in the dark eventually comes to light? WHAT. WERE. YOU. THINKING?

Then after seeing some reactions to the report and subsequent suspension (with intent to fire) of Art Briles, unfortunately, I had to write this (on Facebook):

Baylor University.

Okay, so check it out.

The investigation and results/consequences from said investigation has NOTHING to do with if the rape victims were just “mad because they didn’t get a phone call from the dude the next day.” I’m not even going to go into how awful that statement is in regard to this situation, but shame on you to those who have posted that sentiment.

Whenever there is an accusation of rape or sexual assault, it is MANDATORY that you report it. The athletic/football department BLATANTLY didn’t do that. It doesn’t matter if they thought the woman was lying or not. That has NO bearing on the responsibility they had to report the assault to the proper administration/authorities. So your argument has NOTHING to do with what the issue was. It is disgusting and out of line that the coaches met with the complainants and their families, and again, didn’t report a thing. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT? That is deplorable.

Now, let’s get on the administration and Ken Starr. The report revealed that not only did they discourage women from reporting their assault, but they RETALIATED against a woman who did.

Waco PD made sure some cases were not filed in a way that the public could get hold to it.

NONE of this has to do with whether the women were lying or not. The fact of the matter is that ALL entities are to blame and acted unethically and ALL deserve to be fired (not reassigned). This is coming from someone who was pulling for Coach Briles to stay. After reading parts of the report, he ABSOLUTELY had to go.

So MISS ME with your disgusting “But what if the women were lying” comments. Yeah you are afforded free speech and all, but that doesn’t mean you’re being anything less than disgusting. How ANYBODY could go there after this is beyond me. You DO know that two (I think?) players have been found guilty, right?

I still bleed green and gold, but accountability is a thing. Victim blaming is inappropriate.

Anyway, shame on you. Please do better.

Throughout this process, I have had friends who have confided in me that they were sexually assaulted while we were at Baylor. One person revealed Ken Starr (on behalf of the university, I’m assuming) basically offered her money (in the form of paying for counseling, etc.), and other things as long as she didn’t tell anybody.

And I read a story from another student. I’m going to post pieces of it here, but I HIGHLY encourage you to go and read the entire post.

“I Was Raped At Baylor And This Is My Story”

On March 12th, 2015, I was forcibly raped by another Baylor student. We were both seniors. Both Honors students. Both Philosophy majors. Both Political Science minors. Both members of the Baylor Undergraduate Mock Trial Team.

I wasn’t at a party. I wasn’t drinking. I hadn’t been drugged. I wasn’t kidnapped in the dark. I fully admit that I willingly went over to his house that night. But it wasn’t to have sex – it was to do homework. When I resisted his sexual advances, he resisted taking “No” for an answer. He raped me twice that night, instructing me to shower to wash the blood off my thighs in between the two instances. 

I didn’t do a rape kit. I didn’t go to the hospital. I didn’t call a crisis line or even 911.  I went home to my little apartment, alone. The next day, I woke up and went to work at the law firm I worked at as if nothing had happened. I didn’t report it, and I didn’t seek counseling. My story didn’t make the local news and my case didn’t go to trial. I spontaneously adopted a puppy, and went on about my life, even managing to convince myself, on the good days, that it hadn’t really happened that way. I continued to interact with my rapist – in class, on the Mock Trial team, via text. I told myself “He graduates in May. He’s going out of state to law school. You’ll never have to see his face again. Just hang on, Stef. Hang on.”

I hung on by trying to pretend it never happened. I didn’t drop out of school. I didn’t even drop the BIC class I was in with him – that would have delayed me graduating by an entire semester and would have cost me thousands of dollars in loans. I didn’t quit the mock trial team – I couldn’t stomach the thought of quitting something I loved so dearly because someone else had done something evil to me. I refused to let him win that way. I set “Invincible,” by Kelly Clarkson as my alarm ringtone, and looked in the mirror every single day and said “Don’t let him win.” I went to class. I went to work. Most people never even noticed anything was different about me. Two weeks later, I broke down and told my best friend what had happened to me. He encouraged me to report it and I said “No. I love the mock trial team. I won’t let this tear them apart. I can handle it. I won’t let this go public.” Soon, my best friend and I started dating.

But, desperation soon tipped the scales. My rapist graduated in May, but he didn’t leave immediately for law school. He stuck around. It’s not that Baylor gave him shelter – they gave him a job. My rapist was employed down the hall from me, in the same office that oversaw my academic program. Because of extracurricular involvement that I refused to give up, based on principle, and his job, we interacted roughly three times a week.

…..

It wasn’t until I got my copy of the report, almost 3 months later, that I saw the “relationship between victim and perpetrator” box on the form – it had “Boyfriend/Girlfriend” written in it. My rape had been categorized as “date rape” based on my rapist’s allegation that we were, in fact, together. This was never confirmed by me. I am angered by this, not because I believe date rape to be any less of a rape than any other form of rape, and not because I felt that it trivialized my rape, but because I feltunheard. They had heard my abuser loud and clear “We kind of had a “thing”,” but they hadn’t heard my voice saying “I wasn’t interested in him at all. That’s not how it was.”

I believed in second chances and in second efforts, so I didn’t stop there. I filed a charge of sexual assault/harassment with the Human Resources office at Baylor. I was interviewed. He was immediately suspended from his job, pending a more thorough investigation.

Well, he was immediately suspended from his job with pay. He got sent on a several-weeks vacation, while I struggled to make it out of bed and to work every day so I could pay my rent while dealing with the mess this had become.

………

I didn’t hear from HR for a week. When they called, I answered the phone, eager to hear my case update. They explained to me that they’d been unable to schedule a timely interview with my rapist, and that the department he’d worked in was in need of their employee. They asked me if it would “be alright with you if we gave him his job back, pending the resolution of this case?”

Let me repeat that.

The Human Resources department at Baylor University requested my consent, mypermission, to reinstate what they considered to be a potential rapist in his job down the hall from me. They asked me to give my consent to the possibility of interacting with my rapist.

………

They had interviewed 100% of my rapist’s witness list, and 0% of mine. I explained to her that in order to fire him, I didn’t see why she needed hard evidence. Either I was lying, or he was lying. And if she had bothered to interview any of my 25 witnesses – some who knew me better, some who knew him better – they would find that 100% of them would say that he was more likely to lie than I was. And the only other deduction that could have been made is that either I was telling the truth, or I was an insanely crazy psycho liar bitch. ANYone who knows me knows that the latter is not true. More importantly, if she had bothered to interview my therapist (who was on the list), she would have found that to be untrue as well.

There is MUCH more to this, including this woman being failed by the Title IX representative at Baylor University.

Art Briles (basically) fired. Ian McCaw (director of athletics) resigns. Kenn Starr removed as president. <— However, he was to be the chancellor of the law school and continue to teach. Since then, he has resigned as chancellor.

But. will. continue. to. teach.

At. Baylor. University.

IN. THE. LAW. SCHOOL.

Here are two pieces from the Pepper Hamilton report:

Baylor failed to effectively implement Title IX in the wake of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) April 4, 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter,” the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), and related authority and guidance. While individual administrators identified emerging and evolving Title IX and VAWA requirements, the University as a whole failed to prioritize Title IX implementation. Implementation efforts were slow, ad hoc, diffuse, and uncoordinated. Senior leadership failed to recognize the significance of the national context, including evolving guidance from OCR and high profile examples of institutional failures at peer institutions. As a result, Baylor lacked the sufficient infrastructure and an informed policy.

And…

Pepper also found examples of actions by 2 University administrators that directly discouraged complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes, or that contributed to or accommodated a hostile environment. In one instance, those actions constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.

So when I see this:

Starr, 69, added that he “didn’t know what was happening” regarding allegations of Baylor’s mishandling of sexual assault allegations, but he “willingly accepted responsibility.”

I call bullsh*t.

ALL of this happened on Kenn Starr’s watch. He should be GONE.

Teaching in the law school? I have no words. Well, I guess “disgusting” would be one.

After his dismissal, Art Briles has made his first statement:

“After 38 years of coaching, I have certainly made mistakes and, in hindsight, I would have done certain things differently,” Briles said in the statement. “I always strive to be a better coach, a better father and husband, and a better person.

“Keep in mind, the complete scope of what happened here has not been disclosed and unfortunately at this time I am contractually obligated to remain silent on the matter.”

“I can only assume that the report, which is not independent, supports the conclusions that the Board has already drawn,” Briles said. “I hope to share with you what I was aware of as soon as I can so Baylor Nation can begin the healing process.”

Briles opened the statement by addressing the alleged victims of sexual assault and violence at Baylor.

“My heart goes out to the victims for the pain that they have endured. Sexual assault has no place on our campus or in our society,” he said. “As a father of two daughters, a grandfather, and a husband, my prayers are with the victims of this type of abuse, wherever they are.”

{ESPN}

The same question plays in my mind —> “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?”

I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with the decision of Baylor’s Board of Regents, but I can’t lie and say that my heart doesn’t sink a little bit with every alert of a decommit. I feel for the student athletes, but this was encouraging:

So many people are paying the price for Baylor’s irresponsibility, the students who were sexually assaulted at the top of that list.

I am disappointed and hurt right now (maybe angry?), but my hope is that the actions and steps taken from here on out at Baylor University will make me even more proud to be a Baylor Bear.