Update: Yesterday, we reported that George Wasson, president of the Meramec campus of St. Louis Community College, had resigned in the wake of accusations that the school was slow to respond to a violent, random student attack in a campus bathroom. Our original coverage and the full letter from the chancellor is below.
Last night, Daily RFT received additional information from the college about its efforts to respond to the criticisms it is facing -- mainly that the alleged attacker was apprehended and then let go and that the school neglected to send out a campus-wide security alert after a nineteen-year-old student was assaulted.
For starters, Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey now says that the college is "conducting an internal investigation of St. Louis Community College personnel involved with the incident on the Meramec campus."
The college's latest update doesn't include too many details on this investigation, but officials say that once it is complete, they will make a statement about an "action plan" going forward.
Dorsey also says that she has accepted the resignation of Meramec President George Wasson and notes that Wildwood Campus President Pam McIntyre is stepping up in the interim.
Meanwhile, Wasson was asked to remain available for "unfinished actions commenced by him, and in exchange he was placed on paid administrative leave" until his contract expires June 30 this year, the college says.
Additionally, camuses and educational centers across the college will be hosting "safety forums" with student and faculty, aimed at gathering input and reviewing procedures.
"We are committed to doing all we can to make St. Louis Community College safer for everyone," Dorsey says.
Check out our original coverage and video from the latest press conference below.
Original post, Tuesday, April 30, 10:08 a.m.: In the face of accusations that St. Louis Community College officials were slow to respond to a violent student attack in a bathroom, George Wasson, president of the Meramec campus, has resigned.
"The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority," Myrtle Dorsey, chancellor of St. Louis Community College writes in an e-mail to students and faculty. "The past week has taught us that we all need to work together toward that common goal."
A college spokesman tells us that the e-mail went out yesterday to students and faculty and will be sent out to the whole college this morning. And at this time, the college has no further comment beyond the letter.
What went wrong?
As we reported last week, Jevon Mallory, an eighteen-year-old community college student at the Meramec campus in Kirkwood allegedly attacked a nineteen-year-old student in the women's bathroom while she was washing her hands.
The victim Blythe Grupe and her family have spoken up about the horrific incident, in part, because they were not pleased with the university's official response.
After the attack -- in which the suspect who she did not know reportedly put her in a headlock, tried to cover her mouth and tackled her down to the floor -- Mallory was apprehended on campus. Grupe was rescued after an instructor heard her screams.
Soon after, Mallory was released, because, police said at the time, he had not yet been charged. He was banned from all of the college's campuses, but that was not enough to appease the victim and her concerned family, who told reporters they were also upset that there was no campus-wide security alert in the aftermath of the attack.
Eventually, Mallory was arrested and charged -- but campus officials have faced a great deal of scrutiny over their response.
Enough so, it seems that the top leader on the impacted campus has stepped down, announced yesterday, effective immediately.
The letter from Dorsey says little about Wasson's resignation other than that it is effective immediately and that in the interim, Wildwood Campus President Pam McIntyre will step up as Meramec campus president. She says that the college has also begun a formal search process for a replacement.
In the letter, Dorsey says the college is taking a number of steps to address this situation.
Continue for more on the chancellor's letter and video from a recent campus press conference.