Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The University of Iowa has expelled a student for sexual misconduct -- the first such expulsion under UI President Sally Mason's new six-point plan to combat sexual assault on campus.
According to UI news release, the student was expelled due to a "pattern of predatory behavior," including an act of forcible fondling and a separate incident involving both forcible fondling and forcible sodomy.
The issue erupted on campus in February, after Mason told the student newspaper that ending sexual assault on campus was "probably not a realistic goal, just given human nature."
Students demanded Mason apologize, and she did repeatedly, holding a "listening post" on student concerns and presenting a six-point plan on ways the UI will step up its fight against sexual violence.
Mason first debuted that plan during a special meeting with the Board of Regents, and since then, university officials have said they're more comfortable with the idea of expelling students for sexual misconduct.
Previously, administrators rarely expelled students due to concerns that Iowa Board of Regents rules didn't explicitly outline a role for victims in appeals, as required under Title IX.
But Tom Rocklin, UI vice president for student life, said UI administrators have had "productive talks" with regent staff regarding expulsion hearings.
"And we feel comfortable now that if we expel a student, the board will be able to hear the appeal in a way that is consistent with Title IX," Rocklin said.