Twitter Accusations Strain HBCUs Relationship
In a disturbing string of tweets posted to Twitter last week, an anonymous student at all-women’s Spelman College stated that she was gang raped by students from neighboring Morehouse College, an all-male college.
The schools, both considered Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are unofficially connected and have enjoyed a close relationship for years. Within the Spelman student’s tweets was a disturbing accusation that a school official from Spelman spurred her not to move forward with her accusations as it may damage the relationship between the two schools.
But the Spelman student’s tweets went viral and sparked protests and two widely used hashtags, #RapedByMorehouse and #RapedAtSpelman.
Morehouse said that the allegations of sexual assault would be fully investigated once a formal complaint was filed, but pressure from students and outsiders may have changed things.
This past Tuesday, Morehouse President John Wilson Jr. released a statement saying that a full and thorough investigation will be conducted, though he did not state if a formal complaint was ever filed.
Spelman President Mary Schmidt announced a review of the complaint last week prior to Morehouse launching a probe into the events.
This isn’t the first time both schools have come under fire for allegations of sexual assault. In January, two Spelman students came forward with allegations of being sexually assaulted by students from brother school Morehouse College. Those claims prompted an investigation by the Department of Education into whether both schools have violated Title IX.
It’s important to note that a study released by RTI International found that complaints of sexual assault on Historically Black College and University campuses were much lower than on other campuses.
While the numbers may be lower at HBCUs, one assault on campus is too many as college campuses are supposed to be safe spaces for all students.