UNH president wants apology before meeting with student activists

  • UNH students gather at the home of University President James Dean to protest the school’s response to recent allegations of sexual assault on campus on Oct. 25. Samantha Coetzee

New Hampshire Public Radio
Published: 11/26/2021 2:00:28 PM
Modified: 11/26/2021 2:00:11 PM

The president of the University of New Hampshire, James Dean, says he won’t meet with a new student group working to address sexual assault on campus until they apologize to him for what he called “disrespectful behavior.”

Last month, students unhappy with UNH’s handling of sexual assault protested outside the home of James Dean, which is located on campus.

Students at UNH have said they’re disappointed with the administration’s response to their demands for more action to deal with issues of sexual violence on campus.

In an opinion piece published last week in Manchester InkLink by the UNH Sexual Violence Action Committee, student Isabella Luca noted: “A President at UNH shouldn’t make doing their job contingent on how happy and agreeable the student body is.”

“President Dean should be meeting and communicating with students as it is the exact position he signed up for. Delaying this and asking for an apology from an unrelated group of students is unacceptable and shows us that finding solutions isn’t his top priority,” Luca said.

In a statement Monday, a UNH spokesperson said the school condemns all forms of sexual violence and is working on the issue. But the spokesperson said Dean would not meet with the new student group until they apologized for what he called the jeering and ridicule they displayed when he tried to speak during their earlier protest at his home.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.

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