You may have heard his name tossed around in the past few months, but decided not to remember it when you heard he worked for the university about 20 years ago and died in 2005. The truth is that his horrifying legacy is unresolved on Ohio State’s campus and still very alive for his victims today.
A few brave survivors have publicly given their testimony to the Board of Trustees on Thursday, attempting to earn some kind of compensation for their unacceptable treatment by Strauss back in the ’80s and ’90s.
Strauss took his own life in 2005, seven years after leaving Ohio State.
While he was originally hired in 1978 as an Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, within his first year he began volunteering as a team physician for male OSU athletes in swimming, wrestling, hockey, fencing, and other sports.
To hear some of their anonymous stories, read the timeline of events made by The Ohio State Accountability Project. (Please note, these stories detail drugging, sexual assault, and very graphic experiences. They can be incredibly triggering for some readers, so we advise that you read at your own risk.)
According to The Lantern, Chairman Gary Heminger told victims at Thursday’s full board meeting that they are “dedicated to a fair outcome,” and more specifically noted, “this means that Ohio State is committed to monetary resolution.”
President Drake said that there are currently “limitations of legal process” preventing the university from taking immediate redemptory action. However, once they are removed, he said, “this university looks forward very much to creating future opportunities to engage directly with survivors in pursuit of a restorative justice model.”
These promising words haven’t completely comforted survivors who are looking for direct and tangible action from the university after decades of silence.
The Ohio State Accountability Project is an activist group representing the survivors and pressuring the university to make change happen faster. They’re offering an online petition to “blow the whistle on the fundamental failures of The Ohio State University in protecting student athletes and victims of serial predator Dr. Richard Strauss.”
You can sign it at the bottom of their timeline here.