UMich admin removes ‘Hail to the Victims’ campsite without Jon Vaughn’s knowledge

On Monday afternoon, the University of Michigan removed camping outside the president’s home on South University Avenue, where for the past 150 days former UM football player Jonathan Vaughn has lived to protest the University sexual misconduct policies.

Vaughn, who is one of more than a thousand survivors of sexual abuse by the late sports physician Robert Anderson, told the Michigan Daily on Tuesday that he had not been informed that the University had planned to remove the camping. Vaughn said the campground is on City of Ann Arbor property and his attorney and the Ann Arbor City Assistant Attorney have come to an agreement that they plan to move the camp by the end of the day. end of day March 13. According to Vaughn, University attorneys were also aware of the plan.

“My birthday is the 12th and I was planning on having a great farewell party with the students and faculty just to tell them how much we appreciate it and (then) we were going to start moving to the next phase to help to make this campus safe,” Vaughn said. “So for (the University) to do this, after knowing what our plan was, it just shows who they are right now as an organization and leadership. ”

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald declined to say whether or not the university was aware of Vaughn’s plans to leave.

The move comes after the University and more than 1,000 Anderson survivors reached a $490 million settlement on January 19. It was widely reported that the settlement contained a clause requiring Vaughn to end his protest outside the president’s house. However, in an interview with the Michigan Daily last month, the university’s acting president, Mary Sue Coleman, said she was unaware of this stipulation.

“(Vaughn’s departure) was never officially part of Anderson’s settlement, as far as I’m told,” Coleman said. “I wasn’t part of the Anderson settlement, it was confidential mediation, but I don’t think it was an actual condition.”

Fitzgerald confirmed to The Daily that the University has removed all material from the South University location. Fitzgerald declined to say whether Vaughn was notified of the takedown, citing confidential mediation and federal court orders.

“The trailer, tent and other items along South University Avenue have been removed by the university,” Fitzgerald wrote. “All personal property has been stored and can be retrieved.”

Vaughn also said he intended to get his belongings back but didn’t know when they would return to the site.

“I know for a fact that I’m definitely going out with a bunch (of people) to celebrate my birthday this year,” Vaughn said. “I’m going to need someone to help me tow it and they may not be available until early Saturday morning or Friday. So I won’t know today, but I will definitely get all my belongings back.

Vaughn also told the Daily that he was unaware of the clause.

On Monday night, Vaughn tweeted a photo of the empty campsite with the caption “What did you do?”

Vaughn said he was talking with lawyers about possible human rights violations regarding the removal.

“All I’ve done my whole time was fight for campus safety,” Vaughn said. “I spoke the truth, so I cannot understand why I am treated less than a human being and vilified by an institution I helped build. Judgment day is coming, because you can’t treat people so badly (for) so long.

Vaughn said Tuesday afternoon that he had had no contact with the University regarding the removal from the campsite.

Daily News editor George Weykamp and Daily Staff reporter Anna Fifelski can be reached on [email protected] and [email protected]

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