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About 30 people protest over sexual assault policy at University of Iowa, cancel march due to attendance

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 11:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Around 30 people gathered in Iowa City to protest and march against sexual assault policy at the University of Iowa, but a march was canceled after organizers said not enough people attended the protest.

Friday night’s protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations that started with an online petition. That petition claimed two former members of the Phi Gamma Delta, Fiji, fraternity drugged and raped a woman last year. The fraternity said it removed the two men accused from its membership.

Cops off Campus, who is a partner of the Iowa Freedom Riders, organized the protest. Organizers said they want Phi Gamma Delta kicked off-campus and for the University of Iowa to be more transparent in rape investigations. Organizers also want the University to do more to prevent sexual assaults and treat survivors with more care.

Mia Randazzi, who is a freshman at the University of Iowa and attended the protest, said she was in an abusive relationship in the past. She said she believed a more organized effort tonight would create more reaction from the University.

”The kids who are here are the kids that are wanting to make a difference’” Randazzi said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s five kids, if it’s 100 kids or if it’s 1,000 kids. No matter what, people and students are showing up saying we need change to happen.”

The university said it’s not allowed to share details about specific cases to protect the privacy of those involved and ensure a fair process. It also says the university offers to meet with people who report sexual misconduct to talk about options. That’s different from a criminal investigation. But, not everyone chooses to engage with university officials.

In an email to students last week, university president Barbra Wilson told students it keeps investigations confidential to ensure a fair process. But, she understood their frustrations with the process. President Wilson also did apologize to students last week if they felt unsafe. She also wrote she’s committed to preventing sexual misconduct and holding offenders accountable.

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