By CHRIS MARKHAM
Monday afternoon, many of the University of Mary Washington community read a letter written by President Rick Hurley in response to a Title IX complaint filed by Feminists United on Campus and Feminist Majority Foundation. The letter, directed at FMF President Ellie Smeal and sent to UMW students via email, rebutted many of FUC’s initial statements and arguments made in May.
Monday night, FUC’s Facebook page posted a response to Hurley’s email. The post focused on the alleged misunderstanding of the group’s believed connection between the inappropriate Yik Yak posts and the murder of Grace Mann.
There is a deep misunderstanding about the title IX complaint filed by our club a few weeks ago. Many people, including the UMW president, think we are trying to link threats on yik yak to Grace Mann’s death. This could not be further from the truth. Not only have we literally NEVER said such a thing, we have been actively trying to discourage such speculation from the get-go.
The group also posted screenshots of older social media posts backing their initial stance that they did not want the Yik Yak comments and Mann’s death to be bundled together.
We have stood by these statements from the beginning and will continue to do so no matter how badly our college president embarrassingly tries to spin it in a desperate attempt to refute the facts and evidence we presented in the complaint.
The post then quoted a segment of Hurley’s letter where he goes on to discuss the “troubling” connection that FUC was making between Mann’s death and the complaints made by the group.
“By far, the most troubling aspect of FUC’s and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s complaint is the implication that there is a connection between the concerns raised by members of FUC and the murder of Grace Mann. Grace’s death was a terrible tragedy, but it is irresponsible for FUC and the Feminist Majority Foundation to opine that it was related to the rise in explicit and offensive comments on Yik Yak. […] And in this case, the speculative connection FUC and the Feminist Majority Foundation claim exists between Grace Mann’s death and Yik Yak commenters spreads misinformation, and worse yet, it adds undue pain for the grieving Mann family.” -President Hurley in a campus wide email on June 8, 2015
The post concludes with strong words on Hurley’s alleged lack of fact-checking.
Maybe next time he will do some fact checking and listen to us before “initiating a highly-publicized media campaign with unsubstantiated claims and misinformation”. #PresidentHurley #UMW #MaryWashington#FeministsUnited #FeministMajorityFoundation #YikYak #EllieSmeal#TitleIX