The senior class legacy committee has delayed soliciting donations from senior students, in part because of high-profile discussions about sexual assault and the university’s handling of Title IX cases.
The university was criticized and received widespread media attention after two Westhampton College students published accounts of their mishandled Title IX cases on the Huffington Post contributor network two weeks ago. Soon after, the university suspended a fraternity because a member sent a sexist email. Students and alumni responded with outrage over rape culture and calls for change.
The senior class legacy committee decided to not make donation requests during this time because it “did not want to be insensitive,” Cynthia Price, director of media and public relations, said.
Fundraising will resume sometime in the coming weeks, Price said.
The committee usually does not campaign during the first few weeks of classes in order to market, recruit committee members and organize, according to Maggie Moroney, executive chair of the committee.
“We felt that even if we were ready to actively start soliciting, that we would prefer to hold off because it seemed, to us, to be insensitive,” Moroney said.
Total donations could be affected if seniors feel recent events cast a bad light on their experience at the university, Moroney said. But she is optimistic 75 percent of the senior class will donate, which is the committee’s goal.
Donations to the committee can be directed to specific recipients, such as a campus organization.
“We could encourage people, if they want to see some kind of change, to donate to Spiders for Spiders or something along those lines that they feel would be respectful of their feelings and try to make some positive impact with their contribution," Moroney said.
Although the committee is not actively reaching out to people for donations at this time, students may still donate online.
Contact news writer Ashlee Korlach at firstname.lastname@example.org