Bob Jones University’s intolerance for alcohol consumption clearly outweighs any intolerance to sexual assault, given that the university expelled a student for drinking off-premises, after reporting an assault at a nearby college.
A former Bob Jones University student is suing the evangelical university based in Greenville, South Carolina after she says she was assaulted by a football player at local Furman University, WYFF4 reports. The Jane Roe at the center of the case accuses both schools of negligence after she reported the sexual assault.
In October Jane Roe and a friend attended a party at Furman University where a football player gave Roe alcohol and marijuana. She then says she was assaulted while intoxicated and the encounter was recorded and later shared by the player, WYFF4 reports. Roe reported her assault to Furman police, one of whom was Bob Jones University album Trevor Whitfield.
Whitfield clearly cared more about the fact that the students had consumed alcohol than the fact one of them had been assaulted, expressing disapproval and noting “his disappointment in their behavior as an alumnus of Bob Jones University” according to the lawsuit. The officer then called Bob Jones University to report the girls had consumed alcohol. Following a trip to the hospital where she received a sexual forensic exam, Roe was then expelled by the university for alcohol consumption.
According to the 2020 - 2021 Bob Jones University handbook, “students of any age who drink any alcoholic beverages, whether on or off-campus, forfeit their privilege of enrollment as students.” Even if you drink an alcoholic beverage over Christmas or summer break you are still subject to “denial of enrollment for at least the following semester.”
This is not the first time Bob Jones University has been accused of grossly mishandling sexual assaults reported by its students. In 2012 the university hired, then fired, then hired again the consulting group GRACE, an independent organization that addresses sexual abuse in churches and related groups, to investigate its school. A 2014 report that confidentially surveyed 381 former and current students found that the school displayed a “blaming and disparaging” attitude toward abuse victims and that the university actively discouraged people from reporting sexual abuse to the police, the New York Times reported at the time.
The new lawsuit claims that “Bob Jones made the decision to expel the plaintiff without investigating the allegations against her, conducting any type of fact-finding investigation, or holding any type of hearing” and is requesting monetary damages. As for Whitford, he resigned from Furman University in December, 2019 and accepted a job at another law enforcement agency, Greeneville News reports.