The Dean of Students at Niagara University has been placed on administrative leave over her handling of a rape allegation on campus.
Over the weekend, an online petition was started by Sarah Joslin asking the school to remove Carrie McLaughlin. In the petition, Joslin writes, in part, "A young woman was raped on our campus by a basketball player, and Carrie told this young woman that by coming forward with the fact that she had been assaulted, she was trying to ruin his career."
She added that many students were aware of this alleged situation and since then "have refused to come forth about their own situations regarding sexual harassment and assault."
The school has placed McLaughlin on leave as a law firm hired by the university conducts an investigation into the handling of the rape allegation.
On Saturday, Dr. Debra Colley, Executive Vice President of Niagara University, issued the following statement to 7 Eyewitness News:
The first priority of Niagara University is always the safety and well-being of our campus community, including all students and employees.
When a sexual assault is reported to us, it is our policy to investigate the incident to the fullest extent, and we meet and exceed the obligations of our Title IX obligations, as guided by New York State's “Enough is Enough” legislation.
The university takes matters of sexual violence and sexual assault very seriously and uses all available resources, including local law enforcement, when appropriate and with the permission of alleged victims, to fully investigate and adjudicate allegations.
Today, members of the administration, including myself and the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs met with the student who posted the online petition. We are committed to continued conversation and will continue to do our best to protect all our students from assault and also from the misinformation that may arise from allegations.
Finally, we evaluate all matters of employee conduct and we will be reviewing the matters in question in partnership with our staff and students.
Stay in Touch Anywhere, Anytime with News, Weather and Video -- Download the WKBW app:
Or Sign Up for Our Newsletters -- Delivered to Your E-mail: