UMKC Students Protest University's Response To Reported Rape

Mar 10, 2017

UMKC students at the Rally Against Rape and Rape Culture.
Credit Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

UMKC students demonstrated Wednesday to protest the way university authorities handled an alleged rape that took place on the campus nearly two weeks ago.

The student reported the alleged rape after being carried unconscious through the lobby of the Johnson Resident Hall. A man who is not a student at UMKC has been charged by Jackson County Prosecutors with the assault. 

After marching through the UMKC campus, students at the Rally Against Rape gather outside the administration building and listen to testimonies from rape victims and a list of demands from the rally organizers.
Credit Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

About 70 students attended a Rally Against Rape and Rape Culture, marching through the campus chanting slogans and carrying banners. They held a sit-in inside the administration building where Vice Chancellor Melvin Tyler ended up listening to their concerns. The students say officials responded too late and inadequately to the alleged sexual assault and that campus services to help rape victims are insufficient and underfunded.

Helen Procter, a senior, was one of the organizers of the rally.

“There is absolutely no excuse for the dissonance between UMKC administration and campus resources, like the Women’s Center, violence prevention and Title IX,” said Procter through a loudspeaker from the steps of the administration building. “We have the resources, they need to use them."

At the end of their Rally Against Rape, students staged a sit-in inside the administration building where Vice Chancellor Melvin Tyler ended up listening to their concerns.
Credit Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Mikah Thompson, runs one of those services as UMKC’s Title IX coordinator. She met with the alleged victim of the rape last week.

“I believe that she was happy with the offers that we were making in terms of support, academically, our counseling center, etcetera,” says Thompson.

In response to the alleged assault, Chancellor Leo Morton announced a review of security measures and staff training in residence halls.

KCUR is licensed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Danny Wood is a freelance reporter for KCUR 89.3.