Swim team investigation drags on

Published: April 21, 2016

CARMINE GERRITY-GEMEI
Editor -in-Chief

Although Director of Athletics David Martin told men’s and women’s swimming and diving team members they could expect their investigation to be completed April 15, the administration has yet to reach a conclusion, swimmers said.

The 17 swimmers under Title IX investigation for allegations they violated The University’s sexual harassment and sexual misconduct policy await their punishment or lackthereof. Swimmers say they have heard May 4 is the cutoff for the administration to decide their fate, although they do not believe it is an official deadline. The initial investigation was launched Feb. 9.

According to The University’s sexual harassment and sexual misconduct policy, “The investigation and resolution of all reports will generally be completed within 60 days. Extenuating circumstances may arise that require the complaint process to extend beyond 60 days. In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the University will notify all parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner.”

According to the policy, the swim team investigation has encountered “extenuating circumstances” that have caused it to exceed the usual 60-day sexual harassment and sexual misconduct investigation procedure.

A request to Stan Zygmunt, director of news and media relations, to speak with Martin and Anitra McShea, vice provost for student formation and campus life, about the status of the swim team’s investigation was met with an official response from The University. McShea sent out the campus-wide email Feb. 17 that said Martin suspended the swim teams and launched an investigation into their activities.

“The University is continuing with a thorough and fair investigation of alleged violations of University policies by some members the Women’s and Men’s Swimming teams,” the statement said. “In accordance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), the University cannot and will not discuss the status or outcome of conduct cases for individual students.”

Director of Athletics Martin has told team members that they will have a season next year, although a decision on the punishments for the 17 team members is pending, junior swim team members Jessica Schmidt and Emma Sommers said in the April 7 edition of The Aquinas.

Contact the writer: carmine.gerrity-gemei@scranton.edu

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