FSU Letters to NY Times Editors

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times

Dear Editor:

A 5,600-word, front-page story on Florida State University [A Star Player Accused, and a Flawed Rape Investigation; 4/16] contains a number of striking errors of omission regarding the university’s overall commitment to combating sexual assault and our handling of specific cases. This is especially frustrating since we informed the Times that federal and state privacy laws prohibit the university from discussing accusations relating to the details of particular cases, precisely because the law rightly places a high priority on maintaining confidentiality for victims of sexual assault.

Nevertheless, FSU told the Times about the considerable resources we dedicate to supporting victims of sexual assault. These include a 24-hour, on-call advocacy program that guides victims through the legal and healing processes—often during the course of months and years. Our victim advocates respond immediately to reports of assaults, provide crisis counseling, attend medical exams and police interviews, advise victims on legal and all other options for seeking justice, arrange for academic accommodations with professors and much more.

The university strives to live up to its duties to both the letter and spirit of the law in responding to allegations of sexual assault. We also are cooperating fully with the Department of Education’s review of this matter. Obscuring these facts does a disservice to readers and the entire university community.


Liz Maryanski
Vice President for University Relations
Florida State University