Four students and an alumna assembled at 8 a.m. Monday to demonstrate on what they thought would be Deputy Title IX Coordinator Dan Fabian’s first day back on campus since Sept. 1.
Fabian has been on medical leave, according to the administration. He attended a conference last week, according to his out-of-office email.
The group held a sit-in at the Richmond College Dean's office in case Fabian tried to enter the building. If he had arrived, the group would have demanded he address the student body and resign from his position as a deputy Title IX coordinator. They will hold another sit-in on Wednesday, which is when Cassie Vestal, an administrative assistant for Richmond College, said she thought Fabian would be coming back.
Earlier this month, Cecilia Carreras accused Fabian of telling her he thought it was "reasonable" for her accused rapist to "penetrate you for a few more minutes if he was going to finish." The Collegian also reported that he has been married to another deputy Title IX coordinator since January, stirring concerns among students and alumni about conflicts of interest.
"We’ve been talking about doing a sit-in for a while since the beginning and we decided that it was important to make his transition back into the deans’ office as not easy as possible," sophomore Hannah Dunn said.
Dunn posted a status Sunday night in the Spiders Against Sexual Assault public Facebook group asking people to participate in the sit-in. Sophomores Nick Biffis, Nia Carter and Maddie Bright, junior Rennie Harrison and alumna Melissa Dart, who graduated in 1993, answered the call.
“I think the reality is that many students on campus don’t or no longer feel comfortable talking to Dean Fabian about matters of sexual assault," Harrison said. "There’s also this huge conflict of interest in that he’s married to the other Title IX Coordinator. It was just one more thing, like we’re peeling back the layers of corruption.”
The demonstration began outside the Richmond College Dean's office and moved inside when Dean Joe Boehman arrived at 8:20 a.m. The group asked Boehman if he knew when Fabian was returning to campus. At first he did not answer, but when pressed he said, “I don’t know.”
While waiting for Fabian’s arrival, the students did school work and discussed turning Spiders Against Sexual Assault into an official club. The sit-in ended at 9:45 a.m. when the group accepted that Fabian would not be returning that day.
Fabian "has been out since this whole thing started," Dart said. "He can’t just quietly slip into his office and close the door.”
Contact reporter Caroline McNamara at email@example.com
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