UW Rowing Launches Assault Awareness Campaign

Courtney Cameron Headshot

After two student-athletes from the University of Washington were dismissed from the men’s rowing team and charged for allegedly distributing a video of both men having sex with an intoxicated female freshman student without her consent in 2017, coaches had to take a hard look at the culture being fostered in their program.

Men’s and women’s rowing team physician Hank Pelto told the Seattle Times, “There was kind of this guttural feeling that something more needed to happen, or we needed to take it in our own hands.” The result was the founding of Student Athletes Against Sexual Harassment and Assault.

Then-captain of the women’s rowing team and current assistant coach Maggie Phillips was a driving force in that conversation, sharing her vision that the initiative against rape-culture at the UW would be student-driven. “At the end of the day, the people that are creating the culture are the people that are rowing the boats,” she said. “Any change is going to come from them.”

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