Editor’s Letter: Who is responsible for sexual assault on campus? FAU won’t tell you.

The UP requested the disciplinary records of students who violated the university’s sexual assault policy between 2018 and 2022. Despite them being public record, university officials won’t give us the records, so we’re taking legal action.


Photo by Kendall Little

Kendall Little and Savannah Peifer

If your roommate, friend, or classmate sexually assaulted someone, would you want to know? The UP believes you should, but FAU thinks you shouldn’t.

On Aug. 22, the UP requested the disciplinary records of FAU students who violated the university’s sexual assault policy between 2018 and 2022. Those documents would have included the alleged offender’s name, nature of offense, date of offense, and the result of the disciplinary proceedings. Less than an hour after we put in the request, we received an email stating the university denied us the records. 

Records custodian Rachelle Hollingsworth said she couldn’t send us the documents because doing so would violate the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This act protects the confidentiality of students’ educational records. However, there’s a certain exception allowing universities to disclose the results of a sexual assault case once it’s complete.

This isn’t the first time FAU cited FERPA to avoid providing records — and it certainly won’t be the last. But we believe university officials should not hide behind FERPA whenever they don’t want to release important information, such as sexual assault on campus.

Not only did university officials deny us the information, but Joshua Glanzer, a university spokesperson, won’t respond to our emails requesting to speak with us about the reason we can’t have them. We think their silence speaks volumes about how little they prioritize open communication with the student body.

Even if we had requested a record that contained confidential information, the university has a duty to redact the parts we cannot legally see and send the record. We believe outright denying the documents altogether is unjust — and university officials have denied us a lot of records over the years.

We believe it is FAU’s responsibility to release these records for public safety reasons. Your classmate, roommate, or friends could have violated the university’s sexual assault policy and you would never know.

It’s crucial for your awareness and safety, and we are prepared to go to court over it.

Other student news organizations have gone to court over the same records — and won. 

The Daily Tar Heel, a student-run organization covering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spent four years in a legal battle to get the disciplinary records. The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in the paper’s favor in 2020 and UNC eventually released the records.

On Oct. 11, we had an attorney send a certified letter to FAU, explaining if we did not receive the public records we requested, we’d be taking legal action. 

We need these records to report them, and you need them so you can stay safe. 

The way we see it, the university is choosing to protect students who sexually assaulted others. Why is FAU choosing to protect these individuals instead of protecting you? 

If you would like to support the UP as we fight for these records, use your voice through social media and demand the release of the disciplinary records. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter for updates on the case: @upressonline.

Kendall (left) and Savannah (right)

 Kendall Little, Editor-in-Chief

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @klittlewrites

Savannah Peifer, Social Media Manager

Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @ginger.savvy