One day after Liberty University settled with 12 Jane Does and eight unfiled claimants who accused the school of creating an environment that increases the likelihood of sexual assault.
Here’s the statement:
Liberty University president Jerry Prevo made it clear when the Jane Does filed their lawsuit that, despite certain claims being potentially outside of the statute of limitations, the university was committed to doing what it could to “make things right” with the plaintiffs represented by attorney Jack Larkin.
Liberty University can confirm that the institution reached settlement agreements with all the Jane Doe plaintiffs, as well as all but two of the additional Jane Does that attorney Larkin represented. As a result, Mr. Larkin dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit that he had previously filed on the Jane Does’ behalf.
The University can also share that, before attempting to settle, it has already undertaken various initiatives over many months, under the direction of President Prevo and the Board of Trustees.
Some of these initiatives include over $8.5 Million in security upgrades, including the installation of security cameras, blue light boxes, and enhanced campus lighting, along with the launching of a cell phone app for emergency reporting.
The university also launched reviews of, and elected to further enhance, many of its existing policies. Its ongoing review of the campus Title IX department will result in further strengthening of its policies and procedures, including additional mandatory training for students and employees. There will also be changes to Liberty’s amnesty policy. The existing policy is now being revised to better communicate — with respect to reports of sexual harassment and/or assault— that Liberty does not discipline parties who engage in behaviors, in connection with that sexual harassment and/or assault, that would have otherwise violated its student honor code.
Liberty also intends to add additional lactation rooms to better support mothers who are members of the University community, and to improve community awareness of accommodations available to those who are pregnant and/or parenting. In addition to Liberty making donations to community sexual assault response programs, the university is also reviewing its own student counseling services to ensure that there are more services available to the community by licensed mental health providers, including in rapid response scenarios resulting from sexual assault.
Again, the University hopes that the many measures that it undertook prior to the settlement also convey the sincerity and seriousness by which Liberty University is approaching these concerns under the direction of President Prevo and the university’s Board of Trustees.