Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

55 schools face federal sex-assault probe

By
From page A5 | May 02, 2014 |

By Kimberly Hefling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fifty-five colleges and universities — big and small, public and private — are being investigated over their handling of sexual abuse complaints under Title IX, the Education Department revealed Thursday.

The Education Department’s decision to release the list is unprecedented and comes as the Obama administration seeks to shed greater transparency on the issue of sexual assault in higher education and how it is being handled.

Going forward, the department said, it will keep an updated list of schools facing such an investigation and make it available upon request.

The schools range from big public universities like Ohio State University, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Arizona State University to private schools like Knox College in Illinois, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and Catholic University of America in the District of Columbia. Ivy League schools like Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth are also on the list.

California institutions on the list are UC Berkeley, the University of Southern California, Occidental College and Butte-Glenn Community College District.

The agency previously would confirm such an investigation when asked, but students and others were often unaware of them.

“We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue,” Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement.

Lhamon said a school’s appearance on the list does not mean that it has violated the law but that an investigation is ongoing.

Some investigations were prompted by complaints directly to the department; others were initiated by the department following compliance reviews triggered by other factors, such as news stories. That was the case at Dartmouth, where investigators visited the Hanover, New Hampshire, campus in late January to speak with students, faculty and alumni.

“We are hopeful at the end of this there will be a resolution that will strengthen our internal processes and result in a safer community,” Dartmouth spokesman Justin Anderson said Thursday. “There’s always something we can learn and ways to get better.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said there had been “lots of internal debate” about whether to release the list but that he believes in transparency; he said the more the country is talking about the problem of sexual assault, the better. Duncan said there is “absolutely zero presumption” of guilt in his mind for schools being investigated.

“No one probably loves to have their name on that list,” Duncan said during a White House media briefing. “But we’ll investigate; we’ll go where the facts are. And where they have done everything perfectly, we’ll be very loud and clear that they’ve done everything perfectly.”

Duncan said while being on the list might feel difficult for schools, it pales in comparison to the difficulty and trauma borne by sexual assault victims on American college campuses.

“In terms of what’s morally right there, the moral compass, whatever we can do to have fewer young women and young men having to go through these types of horrific incidents, we want to do that,” Duncan said.

Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It is the same law that guarantees girls equal access to sports, but it also regulates institutions’ handling of sexual violence and increasingly is being used by victims who say their schools failed to protect them.

Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education, a higher education group, said most of the schools were probably aware there was such an investigation. “I think that every college and university in the current environment is concerned about the need to be very attentive to what they are doing with regard to policies and procedures” related to sexual assault on campuses, Meloy said.

Citing research, the White House has said that one in five female college students is assaulted. President Barack Obama appointed a task force composed of his Cabinet members to review the issue after hearing complaints about the poor treatment of campus rape victims and the hidden nature of such crimes.

The task force announced the creation of a website, notalone.gov, offering resources for victims and information about past enforcement actions on campuses. The task force also made a wide range of recommendations to schools, such as identifying confidential victims’ advocates and conducting surveys to better gauge the frequency of sexual assault on campuses.

The department publicized guidance on Title IX’s sexual assault provisions in 2011, and complaints by students have since increased. Complaints, however, don’t always lead to an investigation.

The department can withhold federal funding from a school that doesn’t comply with the law, but it so far has not used that power and instead has negotiated voluntary resolutions for violators.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., have said non-compliance under the law is “far too common.” They say a lack of federal resources is partly to blame for that, and they’ve sought more money to ensure timely and proper investigations.

Another law that campus sexual assault cases fall under is the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to report crime statistics on or near their campuses. It also requires schools to develop prevention policies and ensure victims their basic rights. Investigations under this law are not included in the list that was released.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Davis, discovered

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    CalPERS members: Here’s how to choose Sutter Health

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Standing In: Sponge baths, and other perils of the restaurant biz

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

    Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

     
    Gallery hosts poetry night

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Parenting advice on radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Archer event set for Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Check out Soroptimists at info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Energy plan calls for big renewables projects in state’s deserts

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5

    Election programming available through Davis Media Access

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Yolo County flu vaccination clinics ready for the season

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Junior high students invited to math festival

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

     
    Shelter volunteers take on play time, poop detail

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Unitrans persists through changing times

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

     
    Farmers Market hosts Fall Festival

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    School spending by rich parents widens wealth gap

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

    Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    There are plenty of fun activities around town

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

    Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Feeling shunned after tragedy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Climate change is coming for you

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A true vision for peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Drivers, just follow the rules

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Let’s fix the park deck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    ‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Barbara Archer for school board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Vote for change on board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Poppenga considers all students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Davis robotics team pays it forward

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6