Law School Allegations, COVID-19 Outbreak and Missoula Women’s March | New


Allegations by law students regarding the repression of women

More than a dozen current and former students of the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III Law School have reported a lack of support for female students from their school administration, according to an article in the Daily Montanan.

The story claims that Law School Dean Paul Kirgis and Associate Dean of Students Sally Weaver discouraged some female students from reporting sexual harassment and assault to the Title IX office, which enforces federal law requiring schools not to report sexual harassment and assault. do not discriminate on the basis of sex. Both administrators are mandatory reporters, which means that they are required to report such incidents themselves to the Title IX office.

Kirgis and Weaver denied the charges in emailed responses to the news agency.

But some of the people the Daily Montanan spoke to said not only did they not know how to run for Title IX but felt unsafe in the courts and feared the dean would fight back. by not signing their character and physical form, a requirement for Admission to the American Bar Association.

One of Missoula’s mayoral candidates, Jacob Elder, is at the center of some of the sexual assault allegations. Elder is a law student at UM and was a red shirt for the Griz football team in 2011. UM hired a private California company, Grand River Solutions, to investigate potential violations of the Title IX policy and examine Elder, Weaver and Kirgis. Although the article says the investigation ended this summer, the findings are private.

Elder claims his innocence, even claiming in an Instagram post in May that the claims are aimed at destroying his political career and that he has done nothing wrong.

“They said they would protect our Grizzlies,” said one of the anonymous women in the story. “They would love our Grizzlies. And then they did just the opposite. And I just want to know: what Grizzly bears are they talking about? To me, it seems to me that they are only men, they are athletes, it is the football team. It is not me.” (Mazana Boerboom)

COVID-19 Update

The Missoula City-County Health Department reported four new UM-affiliated COVID-19 cases last week, bringing the university’s total number of active cases to 80 as the region continues to do so. facing a record peak in viruses.

Active cases in Missoula County jumped to 1,560 cases on Monday. There have been 52 hospitalizations, with 13 residents out of the county filling hospital beds. Statewide, there are more than 10,000 active cases of COVID-19. The New York Times reported that Montana has some of the most out of control virus levels nationwide.

“We want to ask people to limit their social circles right now,” said Hayley Devlin, Missoula County public information officer. “Especially young people, the 20-29 age group is the most common age group for getting COVID-19.”

The 20-29 age group is also the least vaccinated. University officials said they had no estimate of the percentage of MU students, staff and faculty vaccinated.

Devlin said the county’s contact tracing service is also backed up due to a high number of close COVID-19 contacts. While positive cases will receive a call within 24 hours of being tested, their close contacts could wait four to five days for a call from the health department. (Griffen Smith)

COVID response team issues guidelines for students

In an email to students on Monday, the COVID response team issued guidelines for students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 or who have been identified as close contact.

According to the email, students who test positive should contact their instructor and arrange an absence plan, including making up for missed work, getting class grades, or joining a class via distance options, provided that these options are available. The email urged students living off campus to self-isolate at home if they test positive, and said those living in the dorms will be placed in isolation and provide meals from UM Dining.

Employees are urged to self-isolate if they contract the virus and to inform their supervisors that they will be absent from work.

As for close contacts, only those who are identified by the Missoula City-County Health Department or who have developed symptoms can request a test, according to the email. The Curry Health Center only tests symptomatic students.

Fully vaccinated close contacts, who have been contacted by the health department, may request a test within days of exposure if they do not show symptoms, but are not required to self-quarantine, according to th -mail.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students, who are close contacts verified by the health department, will likely be asked to quarantine for 14 days, but could be released if they test negative after seven days.

The response team also urged students to update their contact details on Cyberbear and answer calls from the health department, which will be numbers starting with 406-830-XXXX and 406-550-XXXX. (Mo)

Women’s march

The Missoula Women’s March is scheduled to be held at the Missoula County Courthouse on Saturday, October 2 at 11 a.m., one of several marches taking place across the country in response to a controversial abortion bill in Texas. The Missoula event is hosted by the Women’s Resource Center at UM.

Texas Senate Bill 8 would ban abortions once a fetus has a detectable heartbeat. The bill only provides exceptions for medical emergencies, but does not provide exceptions for incest or rape.

Mia McKinney, organizer of the Missoula walk and student director of the Women’s Resource Center at UM, encouraged the students to come to the event.

“UM students should attend to make their voices heard on anti-choice laws in our state and our country,” McKinney said.

Students interested in attending the Missoula Women’s March on Saturday can confirm their attendance online. (Marie Thomas)


Nancy I. Romero

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.