UR Students take action as federal investigation of sexual assaults continues

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A federal investigation into sexual assaults at the University of Richmond continues this week.

UR is one of 94 schools around the country that is under investigation for Title IX violations, how the school handles sexual violence cases.

Federal officials from the Department of Education will be on campus questioning students on Tuesday. They will hold focus groups and look into how the school handles sexual assaults.

Many students aren’t waiting for the Feds’ results. They’re taking action on their own with a UR version of the “It’s On Us” personal pledge to help end sexual violence.

Student Hayley Durogodan has helped bring the campaign to campus along with the UR Athletic Department.

“If you have been a victim, you’re not alone. If you have been a survivor, you’re not alone. People are actively working, actively fighting for you,” Durogodan said.

Using that thought, Hayley founded a group called “Spiders For Spiders” to help end sexual violence on campus. She’s used t-shirts and wristbands to help spread the word in her growing movement, which now includes the “It’s On Us UR” campaign.

“I don’t go a day without seeing someone who is wearing one of these things,” Durogodan said. She also works closely with Beth Curry, who the school brought in to educate students about sexual misconduct.

“Our overall goal is to decrease the number of students who experience sexual assault, or who dating violence, as part of their college experience,” Curry said.

Over the last year, Curry has helped revamp the school’s policies on sexual misconduct and to help make violations more clear. It’s one of the things education officials will ask about Tuesday when they visit campus to speak with students.

“I’ll be going to the majority of the events they are having, to get an opportunity to start that dialogue and have that conversation that desperately needs to be had,” Durogodan said.

Stay with 8News for updates in this developing story.

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