A report in the Daily Northwestern this week exposed the involvement of the University Ombuds in a new campus controversy. Northwestern University has been rocked this year by multiple allegations of hazing and other misconduct in multiple sports programs. Most recently, Northwestern's cheerleaders have complained about safety concerns and a culture of body shaming. The campus newspaper revealed that the University Ombuds, Sarah Klaper, worked on the issue last year:
Cheerleaders told The Daily they have brought these allegations to athletic administration in both individual and group meetings, but feel there has not been an adequate response.
“Whenever we try to bring stuff up, it’s swept under the rug,” Smith said.
The Office of the Ombudsperson worked with the team in spring 2022, facilitating conversations between cheerleaders, Ruiz and Athletics chief of staff and deputy director Monique Holland, about getting more resources for the Spirit Squad, Lee said.
But an April 2022 email from University Ombudsperson Sarah Klaper to cheerleaders and reviewed by The Daily stated what they already knew: The lack of varsity status means they cannot access specialized academic advisors, priority registration and the athlete dining hall, among other benefits.
These kind of revelations, while rare, offer a glimpse into the kind of cases Ombuds handle. (Daily Northwestern.)
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