Supporters raise $4,000 for Princeton student fined for protest graffiti
The Princeton University community has rallied behind a student fined for scrawling graffiti on a campus walkway amid protests on behalf of sexual assault victims.
The person who defaced the paving bricks by writing "Title IX protects rapists" was issued a $2,723 fine due next week, and also was sentenced to 50 hours community service and four years of probation, according to an online fundraising page.
A GoFundMe campaign set up to help the student cover the fine had raised enough within three hours, along with another $1,500 by Thursday. The additional money would "go to Womanspace to support survivors," according to an update on the campaign created by student group SHARE Peers for Reform + Speakout.
A student demonstration this week drew attention to the Title IX process on campus. The Trump administration last year changed the Department of Education's guidance on Title IX in an effort to protect accused students' due process rights in university investigations of sexual assault complaints. Title IX is part of a federal law that bars sex-based discrimination in education.
A student group demonstrating against the reforms say victims found the university investigative process "extremely traumatizing" and faulted the university for dismissing complaints from students who had been intoxicated during the alleged assaults.
The group also complained that accused students are allowed to remain on campus.
Princeton University acknowledged receiving the students' list of concerns with the Title IX process.
In a statement, the Ivy League university said it "takes seriously its mission to support the free expression of all views, and we support and defend the right of students to participate in peaceful protest activities such as the sit-in outside Nassau Hall."
The university also outlined "a number of significant steps" officials have taken "to bolster the support it offers under Title IX."
Princeton said it has assigned additional trained staff dedicated to Title IX issues; trained administrators on providing guidance to student who file complaints and to the accused; and trained all employees on recognizing sexual harassment and misconduct and how to report it.
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