5.24.16 | Max Kutner
Chelsie Hayes felt she was out of options. In April, it had been five months since she reported to Kenyon College that a classmate had raped her. School investigators had found the accused student more than likely responsible of sexual harassment—for telling Chelsie she was “too cute to be a lesbian”—but said they did not have enough reason to suspect rape. Chelsie appealed, but the school upheld its decision.
“After the appeal, there was nothing left of me. I felt dead inside,” she says. “It made me feel like Kenyon really didn’t care about me or what happened to me. It was like I was at the edge of the cliff and that just pushed me over.” She packed up her belongings and withdrew from the selective college of 1,600 students in Gambier, Ohio, forfeiting credit for the semester of her sophomore year, and moved home.
Her brother Michael Hayes, who also attended Kenyon, had graduated in 2014. He loved his time there and says his sister’s ordeal made him feel as if his alma mater had betrayed them.