TikTok rape allegation spurs dozens of students to rally at Central Connecticut State – CT Insider

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About 100 students marched through Central Connecticut State University Friday to call for action after a video on TikTok accused a student of sexual assault.
Students stand outside the Central Connecticut State University Police Department Friday asking for a response after an accusation of rape on campus surfaced on social media.
Dozens rallied Friday at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain after a woman posted a TikTok video accusing a CCSU student of rape.
About 100 students marched through Central Connecticut State University Friday to call for action after a video on TikTok accused a student of sexual assault.
NEW BRITAIN —  About 100 students marched through campus at Central Connecticut State University Friday after a rape allegation against a student surfaced on social media. 
The dozens of students gathered outside the Student Center before marching through the New Britain campus, chanting remarks such as, “Stop the violence,” “no more silence” and “two, four, six, eight, Central needs to stop the rape.” 
In a TikTok video that went viral, a young woman addressed the accused student, saying she wished there were fewer people involved in the school who are “accused of rape, such as you,” according to The Record student newspaper.
“A college campus is meant to be a second home and we shouldn’t have to worry about our whereabouts and feel vulnerable all the time,” said Reva Deonarine, a senior at CCSU.
Students organized the event by sharing a flyer on social media, where it “spread like wildfire.”
“My Snapchat story had 700 views (after posting the flyer),” said Lauren Cedrone, a sophomore at CCSU. “It never had that many before.” 
At the rally, students traveled from the Student Center, to Davidson Hall, back across campus to the Quad and down to the CCSU Police Department on East Street, demanding the university live up to the “zero tolerance” policy it boasts.
While the TikTok video and the student accused of rape were the impetus for the rally, many attendees said the demonstration was about addressing the culture on campus overall.
“Hopefully, with this happening here at Central, other colleges and even other high schools around the nation take action and start addressing their own issues as well,” said Bria Stanley, a CCSU junior. “We are not the only campus with this problem.”
The crowd of students tried to convince members of the police force to come outside and address the protestors, but no one came out. On the way back to the Student Center, the crowd passed a parked CCSU police car and directed their chants at the officer inside. 
“Protect the victims, not the abusers,” the crowd chanted.
The university is investigating the allegation, even though no formal complaint had been filed as of Friday morning, said Janice Palmer, a CCSU spokesperson. 
Kellie Byrd Danso, vice president for student affairs, attended the rally to “listen” to what the students had to say. She said the university hired a firm to independently investigate the accusation, but encouraged any student with a complaint to file it with the university.
“If they have concerns, if they have grievances, please come forward,” Danso said. “We need them to come forward. We have an anonymous system so they can report anonymously to the police department or office of equity.”
While students did not address accusers by name, they made it clear it was more than just the person accused on TikTok.
“There are several people with several interactions with several different people that they haven’t been comfortable coming forward with,” Stanley said.
In an email sent to the university community Wednesday evening, CCSU President Zulma R. Toro said the school was alerted to allegations of sexual assault against a student earlier that day. She said the university does not tolerate any form of bullying or sexual misconduct. She said she directed Craig Wright, the newly appointed vice president for equity and inclusion, to launch an “expedited and thorough investigation.” 
Toro encouraged students who have information about the alleged assault or who were personally affected by it to contact Wright via email. She also said Danso and her team were working to ensure all parties involved received “appropriate and necessary support.”
“It shouldn’t be a situation that is swept under the rug,” Deonarine said. “Over time, it could blow up and hurt a lot more people.”
In 2019, two CCSU theater professors left the university after allegedly engaging in “sexual misconduct” with their students. In 2020, the CCSU police paid $1.75 million to settle claims accusing police officers of sexual harassment and assault.


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