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'They're not walking the walk': Lawyer in Hillsdale College lawsuit speaks on the case

The lawsuit claims the school "deliberately fostered a campus environment that exposes students to an unacceptable and unusually high risk of sexual assault."
Posted at 9:50 PM, Nov 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-20 21:50:31-05

HILLSDALE, Mich. — Sexual assault has become an epidemic on college campuses across the country, and Hillsdale College is not immune. Last month, two women filed a lawsuit against the school.

"Hillsdale really holds itself out there as a beacon of Christian values," Annika Martin said.

Martin, an attorney that specializes in institutional sexual assault cases, is representing the two students in the case.

"From our perspective, it's not living up to those values," Martin said. "It's not actually walking the walk."

Hillsdale College is a private college, meaning it is not subject to Title IX requirements. Martin believes that shouldn't change how the school approaches these issues.

"Following Title IX is not the only duty that a school has," Martin said. "A school has a duty to protect the safety and well being of the students that are in it's care."

"Every school has that duty."

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, one in five women experience sexual assault in college. Hillsdale College says they're doing their part to protect their students.

The school issued a statement about the lawsuit when it was filed last month, saying "The accusations made in the suit are serious mischaracterizations of Hillsdale College's campus culture and sexual assault policies and procedures which have been developed with the utmost concern for the protection of our students."

Hillsdale College lists it's sexual misconduct policy on it's website, and says "All reports of sexual misconduct will be reviewed and investigated, as appropriate."

They go on to say that the school "takes the safety of its students very seriously and strives to educate students about sexual assault."

However, Martin says the school has not helped it's students.

"It's not helping create a campus environment that is safe and nurturing," Martin says. "And when students do come forward, it's not handling the reports properly."

Hillsdale College now has until December 22 to respond.

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