University students demand stronger punishments for campus sexual assault

Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo.

Sexual assault on college campuses has recently been a topic of discussion on the national stage.

Tuesday CMU students were pushing for stronger punishments.

Marie Reimers is with Students Advocating Gender Equality at CMU. She said she wants to see stronger penalties for sexual offenders and said the University should expel the offender.

“Right now the minimum sanctions for sexual assault is suspension,” Reimers said, “So, many people who are found responsible of sexual assault get suspension as their sanction. So we want them to change the minimum sanction for sexual assault to expulsion or permanent dismissal.”

Reimers said CMU does a good job helping survivors after an assault has happened but, she says, CMU needs to improve prevention.

“We have a really good program in place for supporting survivors after sexual assault has happened, but we don’t have that great of a program for preventing sexual assault in the first place. So we’d like to see more programs aimed at that,” Reimers said.

Hannah Mollett is with with Students Advocating Gender Equality at CMU.

“I think it’s an important issue of safety on our campus because if perpetrators of sexual assault are just suspended they have the opportunity to come back and re-offend, terrorize the survivor even more or hurt other students. So I think it’s important that they be banned from the university,” Mollett said.

She said students plan to meet with the campus president Thursday to discuss issues of concern regarding sexual assault.

Mollett said some people have criticized the harsher punishment as being too strong.