Former SGA president files lawsuit against WKU for alleged harassment

WKU response to Dahmer

Nicole Ziege

Andi Dahmer, former student body president, filed a lawsuit against WKU, President Timothy Caboni, Assistant General Counsel Andrea Anderson and Director of Student Activities Charley Pride on Friday.

In the lawsuit, Dahmer cites verbal, mental and emotional abuse she claims she suffered from the “tortious conduct” of WKU, Caboni, Anderson and Pride. She also accused the defendants of discriminating against her based on sex and not following university procedures such as the “Discrimination and Harassment Policy.”

The Herald reported Dahmer’s harassment allegations, which she came forward with on April 24. The allegations cited eight Student Government Association senators. Some of the harassment she said she experienced included senators cursing at her in her office, calling her derogatory names and anonymously exchanging group messages with each other wishing her physical harm.

The university released a statement Tuesday in response to the claims, calling them “maliciously untrue” and stating that it would “vigorously defend the claims” made by Dahmer.

Caboni responded to the alleged allegations on the same day, saying he would assemble a group of faculty, staff and a student to review the “structure, processes and procedures” surrounding the office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Title IX and the Office of Student Conduct. In late August, Caboni said he was working on a response to the first draft of the committee’s report. 

“We’re working back and forth on not just that draft but my response to it,” Caboni said in a meeting with the Herald editorial board. “My expectation is by early October we’ll have some announcements not just on Title IX but on other changes and recommendations they’ve made.”

When Dahmer reported the alleged harassment to the Title IX office, university officials said her case was not considered a violation of the Title IX policy.

The Herald has reached out to Dahmer’s lawyer and WKU General Counsel Deborah Wilkins for comment.

The university’s full statement in response to the claims made in the lawsuit: 

“WKU responded to the concerns referenced in the Complaint and took action to address the matter in full compliance with its policies and the law. The allegations made against WKU and the specific individuals named are maliciously untrue, and the University will vigorously defend the claims.

The University takes seriously and fully investigates all reports of harassment and sexual misconduct. As has been previously reported, the University’s Title IX office determined that while no Title IX violations occurred in this case, there were violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Following due process, the individuals involved were appropriately sanctioned according to University policy and procedure. In accordance with federal law, the University does not disclose information related to student conduct matters.

The University will file an answer to the Complaint in due course in which we will address each individual allegation. We are confident that the court will find in our favor against this frivolous suit.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Nicole Ziege on Twitter at @NicoleZiege.