USU investigating allegations of sexual assault, harassment of former students

Posted at 5:47 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 19:47:34-05

LOGAN, Utah – An investigation is underway at Utah State University after former students accused music professors of sexual assault and harassment on social media.

Whitney Griffith shared what she described as one of the darkest moments in her life on Facebook.

In 2009, the USU student wrote she was sexually assaulted by an instructor in the piano department. She reported it to the school’s Title IX office and law enforcement and eventually left the school. But she claims students are still being sexually discriminated, harassed and assaulted.

Amy Arakelyan, a piano major, says an instructor sexually harassed her and many students on a regular basis.

She wrote: “He would sit close to me and would make comments about what I was wearing.”

The university has hired an attorney to investigate several of the claims that have surfaced online.

“We don't know the details yet. What we have at this point is a number of Facebook posts that raise very, very serious concerns. We ourselves are taking them very seriously,” said Tim Vitale, Utah State University spokesman.

Administrators say the instructor Griffith referred to in her post has not worked at the university for some time. As for other details on this and other claims, they’re hoping the investigation uncovers answers.

“Our Title 9 office at the university, the music department, they've reached out to people who made the post," Vitale said.

President Noelle Crockett was out of town, but spoke to students and faculty via video chat Friday morning.

“She told them she will get answers for them and get back to them and take action,” Vitale said. “It was clear this morning from that meeting that she is taking it very seriously.”

The president expects the investigation to wrap up within the next eight weeks.

The Facebook posts from Whitney Griffith and Amy Arakelyan are embedded below: