Caboni, SGA president respond to harassment

Nicole Ziege

President Timothy Caboni issued a statement Tuesday, April 24, following a story in the Herald detailing harassment Student Government President Andi Dahmer said she’s received this semester.

In a statement published by WKU Public Radio, Caboni said he will be assembling 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.

Dahmer filed a complaint with WKU’s Title IX office but was told her case did not qualify as harassment under Title IX. The university chose to process her case through the Office of Student Conduct, but Dahmer believes it should have gone through Title IX.

Caboni said Lauren McClain, assistant professor of sociology, and Karl Laves, assistant director of Counseling & Testing, will co-chair the group.

Laves said in an email he did not have much information about the group.

“The details are pending; Lauren and I were asked to serve as co-chairs,” he said in the email. “That is all I have for now.”

McClain said in an email that Caboni is still finalizing the members of the committee. McClain said that the members of the committee should hear back within the next week about getting a more detailed charge.

McClain said in the email that the committee is about the Title IX process generally and not about Dahmer’s case in particular.

“When Dr. Caboni and I spoke, he seemed very committed to making sure that students at WKU are safe and that when situations do arise, that they are handled carefully, in a timely manner, and with compassion. I’m sure we will meet soon after the rest of the committee is populated but I don’t have a specific date yet,” McClain said in the email.

Caboni said in his statement that if there are improvements that need to be made, the committee will make them.

“While we cannot discuss specific Title IX, student conduct or EEO cases, we will be transparent and open about all of our processes,” he said in the statement.

The next Student Government Association president Stephen Mayer expressed his thoughts on harassment that SGA Dahmer said she experienced while serving as student body president.

“I think Andi is a super strong woman for maintaining everything well as all of this was happening to her,” Mayer said. “I do not stand for any kind of harassment or sexual assault … and hope that this brings senators and students to write legislation to help fix the issues that are at hand. I will always support and encourage everyone to share their stories.”

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