BOULDER, Colo. -- A victim's counselor and a sex assault prevention expert have resigned from their jobs at the University of Colorado, saying they are unhappy with the campus culture.
Heather Sturm left her job at the Rape and Gender Education Program while Amy Robertson is stepping down as head of the school's victim assistance office.
Colorado has spent much of the year dealing with allegations that its football players or recruits were out of control. Nine women since 1997 have accused football athletes of rape, though no charges have been filed.
The university recently announced sweeping changes to the
athletics department. Sturm, however, criticized school officials
for rushing to put together a mandatory training program on sexual
harassment for students.
"If it was really of concern to them, there may be a more
deliberate effort of planning and implementing those sorts of
programs, instead of just waving a wand and saying we have it,"
The school faces federal lawsuits from three women who claim
they were sexually assaulted by football players or recruits. They
blame the school for using sex to lure recruits to its football
program and say the school failed to protect their rights under the
federal Title IX law.
Robertson said she would leave her job for "a combination
of personal and professional reasons."
"I'm feeling disheartened about the current campus climate,"
she said. "What has been going on certainly played a part in my
An investigative commission appointed to look into the
allegations concluded sex, drugs and alcohol were used by
player-hosts in recruiting but there was no evidence Colorado
officials "knowingly sanctioned" the activities. University
president Betsy Hoffman has outlined a plan to increase oversight
of the athletic department and improve how the school handles
sexual assault allegations.
University spokeswoman Pauline Hale praised the work of both
Sturm and Robertson.
"We regret that they feel disheartened by the events of the
past few months," Hale said. "However, we believe the campus is
taking appropriate and sustained action to address issues related
to athletics, sexual harassment and violence against women."
Commission member Jean McAllister, executive director of the
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said she was troubled by
"I think that it indicates that CU is probably not taking the
need for change seriously," she said.
In June, the head of Boulder County's rape crisis center cited the stress of the CU scandal in taking a two-month leave of absence. A claim at the time by Janine D'Anniballe, of Moving to End Sexual Assault, that she knew of other rape allegations against football players drew criticism and hate mail.
Meanwhile, two campus police officials -- including Chief Jim
Fadenrecht -- announced their retirements Tuesday. The other officer
was Tim Delaria, a 30-year veteran who recently had heart surgery.
Both Fadenrecht and Delaria have given sworn statements to
attorneys representing women in the federal lawsuits.
In a deposition released in July, Delaria said he was frustrated
with how the athletics department handled allegations that it uses
sex and alcohol to lure recruits. Fadenrecht expressed dismay when
the football program continued recruiting a high school player
after he was accused of raping a student in 2001. The recruit was
A campus police spokesman said both officers were leaving for