Stephen Jones addresses the issue of the nine forcible sex offenses reported

 

Dear Pastor,

Each year Bob Jones University, in keeping with the Clery Act, reports campus crime to the U.S. Department of Education. In the report submitted this fall, the University reported nine forcible sex offenses during the last academic year. We are limited by FERPA student privacy laws on what we can disclose about individual students, and therefore, we have been able to explain only limited information to the media. Because of the category in which we had to classify the incidents, a number of people have concluded that the acts were violent attacks. I want to give you a little more information about what actually took place. You may share this information with families in your church who may have heard of the report and have questions.

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Jim's picture

Dear Pastor,

Each year Bob Jones University, in keeping with the Clery Act, reports campus crime to the U.S. Department of Education. In the report submitted this fall, the University reported nine forcible sex offenses during the last academic year. We are limited by FERPA student privacy laws on what we can disclose about individual students, and therefore, we have been able to explain only limited information to the media. Because of the category in which we had to classify the incidents, a number of people have concluded that the acts were violent attacks. I want to give you a little more information about what actually took place. You may share this information with families in your church who may have heard of the report and have questions.

In the first semester 2011, a student inappropriately touched nine fellow students in a public place—the campus library—during regular library hours. The nine students reported the incidents to campus authorities the same day. BJU has a no tolerance policy and immediately facilitated the reporting of the incidents to the Greenville Police Department and offered counseling to the students. Representatives of the solicitor’s office interviewed the nine students and over the next months resolved the matter through the legal system. All offended students remained enrolled. Two graduated in May, and the others are enrolled this semester. The offending student was given a disciplinary suspension.

I don’t say any of this to diminish the gravity of the situation. We are grieved over any kind of sexual misconduct. However, the category under which we had to report the offenses—forcible sexual offense—could include a wide range of sins, and it is understandable that some people assumed the worst. I want you to be aware of the facts behind the statistic.

BJU takes the protection and security of our students and campus seriously and has had only a handful of incidents that could be considered criminal in our 85-year history. We praise the Lord for the protection and safety He’s granted over these years.

Our goal is for our students to grow spiritually and achieve academically while they are at BJU and then to serve Christ faithfully in whatever ministry or vocation He calls them to. Please let us know if there is any information we can provide about BJU for you or individuals in your church family.

Sincerely,

Stephen Jones
President Bob Jones University

Rob Fall's picture

like a good result.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

it is understandable that some people assumed the worst

This is generous. It isn't really very Christian to assume the worst.

Michelle Shuman's picture

Just wish he would send something out to the alumni especially those of us here in the Greenville community.

Michelle Shuman

Jim's picture

Honestly BJU needs to do a better job of getting out in front of bad press

You've got this press report from 9/28 that just screams scandal (BJU had 9 sex offenses !!!)

I'm not sure why they waited a week to respond to it.

This message from Stephen Jones is so well-crafted and reasoned. And it explains it all. 

 

Michelle Shuman's picture

And of this time, nothing has been sent out to retirees (who get the same notices as the faculty/staff) or local alumni.  We feel like he also should have written an editorial or said something. 

Michelle Shuman