Former FIRE Intern Weighs in on Vandy Sexual Assault Scandal

September 30, 2013

One of FIRE’s favorite things to see is its former interns returning to school to advocate for individual rights on their campuses. So folks here at FIRE were excited to see 2013 intern Madeline Gootman publish an editorial commenting on the recent attempts by Vanderbilt alumni to get their school to respond more directly to a recent sexual assault that occurred on campus. Maddie writes: Vanderbilt is an educational institution, not a justice organization. When Vanderbilt officials learned about the assault, they did not cover it up as many other universities have done, though they had ample opportunity, since the university uncovered the assault from a security tape. Vandy administrators could have easily let the tape sit, unacknowledged, indefinitely. Instead, they reported it to the Nashville Police Department, an entity that has the power of law and is a part of the justice process.Vanderbilt’s power over the lives of the accused perpetrators of this horrific crime extends only to their involvement with the university; the accused athletes have been suspended and forbidden from campus. What more can Vanderbilt do to satisfy these alumnae in uproar? Check out the rest of Maddie’s great post over at Thoughts on Liberty, and learn more about FIRE’s internship program at

Schools:  Vanderbilt University