I have been standing at Hoeschler Clocktower at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse every day for a month now. I have been protesting Chancellor Joe Gow's refusal to host an open forum to discuss Title IX and Clery Act compliance since disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct have come to light.
In fact, there have been multiple incidences that have led me to believe UW-L has a serious problem with abuse of power, and I demand the chancellor give us a public space to ask him about it. In fact, as of October 3, more than 400 people have signed my petition demanding him to hold an open forum.
It is the job of the chancellor to hold open forums to receive feedback and answer questions from the student body and the community as a whole -- he is a public employee, after all. It is a public university.
He holds them frequently throughout the year -- but I think it makes special sense to hold one after such shocking allegations are made.
Student trust in the administration regarding Title IX has always been low. Look no further than the Annual Security Report numbers for proof. But especially after something like this -- it is just common sense to hold public space for people to express their concerns and for him to address what he is going to do to repair our trust.
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All we are asking is for him to do the job we pay him to do. Otherwise, where is our tuition and taxpayer money going toward?
Kendra Whelan, La Crosse
Here is the response from Chancellor Joe Gow:
I am always eager to lead public discussions of important campus issues. However, in cases of alleged employee misconduct, I am bound by Wisconsin state statutes to serve as an impartial judge. When investigations and judicial processes are in progress, then, it is not possible for me to discuss them with the members of our campus community. It is not until the cases are fully adjudicated that I can engage in the kind open dialogue many UW-L students are now calling for; consequently, I'll be very grateful for their patience at the present time.