LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – University of Wisconsin – La Crosse students said they want to be alerted quicker when sexual misconduct allegations are brought forward against professors.
UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow hosted an open forum to listen to students discuss issues they’re facing on campus on Thursday.
Students attending the forum said they want more transparency from Gow–particularly when current professors are accused of alleged sexual misconduct.
“It doesn’t have to be a specific name,” UW-La Crosse senior Alyson Young said. “Just be like, ‘Hey, we have information on this campus regarding sexual misconduct that is happening. We’re not going to give any specific details, just be aware if you’re going to office hours, just be more aware of your surroundings.’ That way we at least know to have our guard up.”
Gow said he cannot be more transparent with students when allegations are ongoing because he is legally bound to stay silent. Gow said it’s his responsibility to make sure the person accused is treated fairly through due process.
“That’s my ultimate responsibility and that would conflict with being a person that facilitates open conversation and I’m sorry that it does, but that’s the situation that I’m in,” Gow said. “Somebody has to take on that responsibility of what happens in the case and make a judgment on it like a judge. I’m the judge. The judge typically is not going to be talking about the case or anything that is implied in it while the case is going on.”
Students expressed that appreciated the open forum, but maintain they should be more informed.