Two former OU students who have accused former OU President David Boren and Tripp Hall of sexual harassment condemned the university's secrecy and habit to cover up sexual harassment in a statement given during a special meeting of the Board of Regents.
Jess Eddy and Levi Hilliard, the two alleging misconduct by Boren and Hall, gave a statement to the media where they demanded the release of the Jones Day report on the investigation while the regents met in executive session.
"With the general counsel's collaboration and use of private law firms, victims' claims of abuse have been found ever-unsubstantiated," Eddy said. "In my own situation, and countless others', the general counsel (and) the Title IX officer worked hand-in-glove to conceal the truth, re-victimize the victims, and protect the reputation of the university."
Hilliard, a current OU employee alleging sexual harassment by Hall, said they demand the Board of Regents review Title IX policies.
Levi Hilliard statement: pic.twitter.com/dPfGHXETxh— Nick Hazelrigg (@nickhazelrigg) April 26, 2019
"The university can no longer value the careers and reputations of the powerful few over the safety, dignity, and lives of students, faculty and employees," Hilliard said. "By lauding the accomplishments of the perpetrators, while in the same moment hindering victims' efforts to acquire justice and transparency, the Board of Regents and the Title IX office itself, have given license to the perpetrators and a basis to continue and escalate in their predatory behaviors."
Eddy also mentioned the previous investigations into university higher-ups the Title IX office has conducted.
"This Office has disregarded my well-being and numerous others in their efforts to protect David Boren, Tripp Hall, John Scamehorn, Tom Orr, and other serial offenders instead of the students, instead of the victims," Eddy said. "These trespasses are unconscionable."
Sara Bana, civil advocate for Eddy and Hilliard, said that in her work as an advocate, she has received dozens of reports of "heinous crimes and misconduct now ongoing at OU and having occurred over the past two decades."
And here’s the statement from Sara Bana, the civil advocate representing Hilliard and Eddy: pic.twitter.com/QMa7e2GcRr— Nick Hazelrigg (@nickhazelrigg) April 26, 2019
"I am deeply concerned and now convinced that a crisis of decades-long criminal abuse of power has affected the University on a scope and scale – the magnitude is difficult to comprehend – and for which there is not and has not been a safe space or avenue for recourse, remedy, or justice at the University of Oklahoma," Bana said.
Bana said the university shared a copy of the Jones Day report with Boren, but Eddy and Hilliard have not yet received the report.
"Today is the third private meeting by the regents to discuss these allegations - these meetings are cheap," Bana said. "We demand action ... They have yet to act to support or protect the victims, and their silence is a form of violence. The time is now for President Gallogly and the Board of Regents to fulfill their responsibility as leaders of this university."
University spokesperson Lauren Brookey said she had no comment on the statements.
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