Sexual assault activists demand change from university

Matt Krawcyk, left, then a freshman from Bloomington-Normal studying french education, and Robyn Del Campo, then a freshman from Bloomingdale studying physical education, write letters to SIU's administration regarding the university's sexual assault policies on Nov. 18 at the Flyover Infoshop in Carbondale. Del Campo said she was sexually assaulted on Aug. 28, 2015, and believes her case was not properly investigated by SIU. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Matt Krawcyk, left, then a freshman from Bloomington-Normal studying french education, and Robyn Del Campo, then a freshman from Bloomingdale studying physical education, write letters to SIU’s administration regarding the university’s sexual assault policies on Nov. 18 at the Flyover Infoshop in Carbondale. Del Campo said she was sexually assaulted on Aug. 28, 2015, and believes her case was not properly investigated by SIU. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Shannon Allen |@ShannonAllen_DE, Daily Egyptian

SIUC students and community activists are working to reopen a sexual assault case that occurred in August.

Robyn Del Campo, a freshman from Bloomingdale studying physical education, reported she was sexually assaulted a week and a half into the school year. She said after completing an investigation, the university determined there was not enough evidence to convict her attacker.

On Wednesday, several people met at the Flyover Info Shop to write letters to administration regarding the case, which they believe was not thoroughly investigated.

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Del Campo said SIU did not use her rape kit from the hospital or interview her friends who gave statements to police the night of the assault.

Casey Parker, coordinator of the Office of Equity and Diversity, investigated on Del Campo’s case. Because of this, Del Campo said she is writing her letter to Parker.

“Casey Parker needs to know exactly how I’m feeling,” Del Campo said.

The Consent Party, a Carbondale group that aims to end sexual assault, reached out to Del Campo about her assault.

“The university is acting to protect itself,” said Amanda Braden, Consent Party member and event organizer. “I get that it’s an institution and it should protect itself, but it also needs to protect its students.”

The letter-writers are addressing interim chancellor Brad Colwell; Casey Parker, coordinator of the Office of Diversity and Equity; Chad Trissler, director of Student Rights and Responsibilities; and Linda Smith, the university Title IX compliance coordinator, according to Braden.

Braden said Colwell is most likely to act on their concerns expressed in the letters because he was named one of the top-30 most influential educational deans by Mometrix Test Preparation. However, Braden said her purpose of writing to Parker and Smith is to “scare them.”

“I want them to know people are watching,” Braden said. “They have eyes on them now, so every step they take forward, they will have to deliberate very carefully.”

Katie Wagner, a member of the Consent Party, said since her father works for the university, she has seen how SIU has brought culture and education to Carbondale. But, that culture has been tarnished by the university’s neglect to follow policies.

“I used to love and respect SIU, it was what fed us,” Wagner said. “Now it’s dirty and I’m not proud of it anymore.”

Shannon Allen can be reached at 536-3325 or at [email protected]

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