Alumni take a stand against how University of Richmond handles sexual assault allegations

RICHMOND, VA (WRIC) — Some University of Richmond alumni are pulling their support and their money from the school as the latest fallout from two students coming forward with sexual assault claims. Both students published articles in the Huffington Post, and both say the university mishandled their cases.

“Money talks and that’s always been especially true at Richmond,” Christine Hardenberger, class of 1990, told 8News Reporter Matthew McClellan. “I loved going there and have always been a huge supporter of my alma mater,” adding that she has given financial support steadily throughout the years.

On Friday, however, she signed a petition cutting off her donations to the university.

“The university depends heavily on donations,” Hardenberger said. “That’s just a fact.”

In less than 24 hours, well over 200 people joined the cause, pulling their financial support in protest.

“I plan to hold my money back until things change,” the Richmond resident told 8News.

Specifically, the petition demands a public apology from the university for its handling of a rape case published by student CC Carreras on Tuesday.

“I think (this petition) has the power to be hugely powerful,” Hardenberger added.
Members of the alumni association also called for a detailed plan of action to end what is perceived as a rape culture on campus.

“They won’t be sending anything until there is a zero-tolerance policy,” Hardenberger said.

Finally, donors are pushing for a sexual assault response and prevention center at University of Richmond. As alumni mark their giving cards with zeroes, some fear the university is running out of time to tackle the controversy head-on.

“The lack of our checks coming in is going to give them more pause than anything,” Hardenberger said.

Despite repeat attempts to get a response from the university, requests for comment went unanswered.

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