Letter to the editor: Eastern administration must be held accountable for handling of sexual assault cases

Jack Cruikshank

This letter was submitted by Jack Cruikshank.

A little less than three weeks ago, former Eastern soccer player Malorie Henderlong posted a video on YouTube where she explained she was sexually assaulted by a fellow Eastern student-athlete in 2017.

Two weeks, a report came out of a similar story of a woman being assaulted by a student-athlete in 2019.

In both instances, the university’s administrators were aware of the sexual assaults and did not follow through with their most basic function as educators, i.e., to foster a safe learning environment for the students whom they are entrusted to lead.

An administrator is obligated to exhaust every option to keep the students under their guidance safe.

Instead, in the second rape case made public in the past three weeks, these administrators did not even suspend the rapist after a Title IX investigation found the player guilty and recommended he be suspended from further athletic competition.

This should not simply lead to a suspension of athletic opportunities; any student who is found guilty of rape in a Title IX investigation should be immediately expelled.

In these two cases, there were no expulsions.

There were no suspensions from the university.

There were not even any suspensions of athletic privileges.

Rather, the student-athletes were back on their respective fields.

That is repugnant.

Eastern President David Glassman, along with the administrators who still serve under him, did not fulfill their basic obligations as leaders. Instead, they attempted to downplay the event to reporters of The Daily Eastern News who were fulfilling their journalistic duties to investigate.

As a result of this brazen incompetence, Eastern’s Board of Trustees must convene an emergency meeting to fire Glassman and the other administrators involved in the gross negligence that has been the handling of these cases.

Such a meeting would not be without precedent. Eastern’s board conducted a similar meeting on March 19 to discuss the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with Glassman, Vice President of Student Affairs Lynette Drake reportedly knew of the assault and did not act on it.

The same goes for Athletic Director Tom Michael and Heather Webb, the Director of Student Accountability & Support.

Each of these people knew that a rape had occurred and did not act appropriately.

Eastern recently bragged on social media about being Number 2 on the list of “safest college campuses in America.”

Based on number of crimes, that may very well be statistically accurate.

However, do we really want to live in a world where even on the nation’s safest campuses, administrators are so desperate for a win on the field that they ignore multiple rapes?

Glassman, Drake, Michael, and Webb should be fired immediately and the rapists must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
If these steps are not taken immediately, I will be unable to recommend anyone attend Eastern, a school I so ardently adored until recently.



Jack Cruikshank

Disenchanted Eastern Alum