To Whom it May Concern:
My name is Raina Gee, a Freshman marketing student and first year member of the Blue Squad Cheerleading team. During the fall semester, I was raped by a graduating senior and former drum major of the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. Upon reporting my case to the Cheerleading coaching staff, I was met with lack of empathy and responsibility for my situation.
Additionally, my coaches failed to follow proper protocol and report the incident on my behalf. I would like to express my deep disgust and disappointment for the negligence and utter disregard that the Cheerleading coaching staff displayed towards my sexual assault case.
In the Sexual Misconduct Handbook, Section 5 lists athletic coaches as responsible employees that are required to report any incident regarding the sexual assault of a student. This means that once a student expresses that they have been sexually assaulted, the LEGAL response from a coach and/or staff as stated in the Sexual Misconduct Handbook is: NC A&T is “on notice” once sexual misconduct has been reported to you. As a Responsible Employee, you are expected to report to the Title IX Coordinator within 24 hours of receiving the report.
The Aggie Cheer Staff blatantly failed to do so and further ignored my attempts to discuss the situation with them. Moreover, the month of January will mark two months in which the coaching staff has failed to address and report this incident. I am deeply appalled by not only the blatant negligence, but also their disregard for my safety as a student on this campus. Because of my sexual assault, I have been bullied by members from the Blue Squad Cheerleading team and made to feel as though I am at fault for my assault. I refuse to allow this culture to perpetuate on this campus or within any athletic program.
The treatment that I have received throughout this process from my coaches has not been conducive to my mental and emotional health. Because of the maltreatment that I have experienced and the neglect shown by the cheerleading coaching staff, I am calling for their immediate removal from the North Carolina A&T Cheer Program. It is my belief that if the coaches remain in place, that the culture of sexual assault and victim blaming at the expense of protecting the brand of program will continue.
It is my sincere desire that the university and athletic department further discuss the protocol in place to address sexual assault and that there is thorough training to assure that all employees and athletes are well educated. There is a crucial need for implementation workshops and training related to sexual assault on campus. The lack of support on behalf of the NC A&T cheerleading coaching staff further affirms that we need to actively work to dismantle this cycle of rape culture and oppression of women on this campus! Iam here to say…this ends with ME!
Survivor & Concerned Student