Dear Rose and Julian,
Thank you for contacting Fourth Estate about this story. We believe the readers will benefit from your response and we appreciate you reaching out to do so.
We take corrections requests very seriously, and are willing to transparently make corrections if determined to be necessary. We would like to clarify some of our reporting in regards to the corrections requested.
The headline of the story, “How a Title IX report in Student Government dragged on for over a year,” is referring to the report made to Title IX on March 30, 2017 by “student government advisors,” according to the email Jennifer Hammat sent Brenda. If we go by the date Brenda herself made contact with Title IX, April 19, 2017, we are still past one year at the date of publication. Brenda alleges that she was never updated on the status of her report and has still not been updated. She claims that after her last meeting with a CDE employee, she was told she would be updated via email. If someone is able to provide us with information that can prove Brenda was contacted and informed on the final status of her report, without violating FERPA, we will be able to make a correction that she was in fact told by a Title IX representative that Title IX stopped looking into her report on a certain date.
The word “investigation” or “case” is not used, because we verified it was a report and not an investigation.
The story is clear that there have been no formal Title IX investigations for Kanos or other student government members. Please refer to the following excerpts:
Based on Brenda’s statements to Fourth Estate and the grievance, Brenda believed that her reports were a “formal investigation” against Kanos. But according to Hammat, there have been zero formal Title IX investigations involving student government members between 2016-2018.
While it seems Brenda never opened a formal investigation that she believed she did, there have been multiple formal Title IX investigations at Mason that took longer than 60 days to complete.
“Students who wish to run for Student Government must be in good standing with the university,” CDE Vice President Williams wrote to Fourth Estate. “That includes no Title IX charges or discipline. While I can’t speak directly to this, it is my understanding that David Kanos was in good standing with the university when he ran for office, and he remains in good standing now as Student Government President.”
All of these excerpts were based on correspondence between Fourth Estate and university staff. For these reasons, we are not able to make the corrections requested without further information. If you believe these or other passages are factually inaccurate, please let us know specifically so that we may issue an appropriate correction.
To clarify further: you wrote that “there is no specific ongoing Title IX investigationinvolving former Student Body President David Kanos.” Have there been previous Title IX investigations or reports involving Kanos that are now closed? If so, we appreciate the opportunity to update the original article to correct the record.
Other students have come forward with their own experiences, whether it is with the Title IX office or Kanos. We will further investigate for updates and follow-ups if necessary, and we would welcome a response from the university. We are not printing again until fall 2018, but we can publish a letter from the university online addressing the original article. We can also print your original email, with an editor’s note about the corrections requested, if you would like that to be the letter from the university. If anyone who did not originally respond to comment for the article would like to now come forward with more information, we would be happy to continue reporting and updating.
Thank you for your cooperation with the comments we have received thus far.
Fareeha Rehman, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Michael Eberhart, News Editor