As AL.com’s Carol Robinson reported, on the second anniversary of Megan Rondini’s death the University of Alabama settled its portion of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the former student.
The University of Alabama has settled its portion of a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Megan Rondini, a former student who killed herself after alleging she was raped by a man from a prominent family.
A stipulation of dismissal with prejudice was filed in federal court in Birmingham. The single-page court document does not specify any financial terms or agreement, but the University released a joint statement with Rondini’s family stating that the University of Alabama will commit $400,000 in funding to facilities, services and personnel dedicated to combating sexual misconduct.
The University of Alabama released this joint statement with the Rondini family: “The University and the Rondinis share the desire to eliminate sexual misconduct and, in the event it does occur, provide support to the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable.”
A joint statement from the Rondini Family and the University of Alabama laid out measures that will be taken by the University including:
•A commitment of $250,000 to the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center, Inc. to provide facilities and services to aid and support victims of sexual assault.
•The University will also commit an additional $150,000 by the end of 2019 to continue its efforts to add personnel to its team of employees dedicated to addressing issues associated with sexual misconduct.
•Over the next five years, the University will contribute a total of $50,000 in a scholarship named after Megan Rondini. The scholarship will give preference to students focusing their studies at the University on biological sciences, veterinary studies, and/or STEM/MBA and a desire to promote gender equity in those fields.
•The University will posthumously award Megan Rondini a magna cum laude B.S. degree with an accompanying certificate from the University’s Honors College dated May 2018.
Perhaps the University will consider as one of the “issues associated with sexual misconduct” the prevailing use of alcohol by under-aged drinkers on and off campus.
The University has existing policies on alcohol use but their enforcement has been somewhat lacking.
An article by AL.com’s Kelly Poe listed three bars in Tuscaloosa as being in the top twenty five purchasers of wholesale liquor in 2016 for on-premise consumption. They all cater to University students. One of them Innisfree was where Megan Rondini was last seen in public before her alleged rape occurred.
Copper Top, Innisfree and Rounders were ranked 25th, 7th and 6th respectively. Sales to under-aged drinkers, who are often binge drinkers, may occur at the bars, since they primarily serve University students.
Poe reported on the three bars:
•No. 25: Copper Top
The bar in downtown Tuscaloosa’s Temerson Square known for its cheap beer and pool bought $169,842 worth of liquor in 2015. About a mile away from campus, it’s a frequent stop for University of Alabama students.
•No. 7: Innisfree Irish Pub
Innisfree Irish Pub has two locations in Alabama, and unsurprising to anyone who’s ever been there, they are both on this list. The Tuscaloosa location on University Boulevard came in 7th with $255,728 worth of wholesale liquor last year.
•No. 6: Rounders Tuscaloosa
Rounders was established on the strip in Tuscaloosa in 2009. The bar is nearly 10,000 square feet and three distinct venues in one. It has three full service bars – and a lot of booze. In 2016, Rounders bought $259,087 worth of wholesale liquor.
Since alcohol is the #1 Date Rape Drug, the University of Alabama would further the legacy of Megan Rondini by making a greater effort to curb the use of alcohol by its students who are under-aged. Measures could be taken by the University such as restricting alcohol use at Greek organizations on campus, better educating students on the risks of drinking and working with law enforcement in Tuscaloosa to insure that the city’s existing codes on under-aged drinking are better enforced.
Making the campus a healthier and safer place to live and study would be a true legacy for Megan.