Tuesday, April 28, 2015
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

.

News

Yolo Basin Foundation celebrates 25 years

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teens embrace public art through Pence Gallery program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Robotics team members reflect on their big win

By Kellen Browning | From Page: A1

 
City’s eco-classes will explore water, wildlife, pests, composting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Many hands make light work

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Baltimore smolders after violent night

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Davis police make vehicle theft arrest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Capay Organic hosts Cinco de Mayo party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Yolo County Bar Association honors Magna Carta, probation chief

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Sierra Club leaders will meet April 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Master Gardeners teach workshops throughout county

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Faithful Partner Fund established for K-9 officers

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

 
Pedro party, lunch benefit Yolo Hospice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Author — injured arm in sling — will sign her new book

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Chicken manure compost class planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Party celebrates release of Lescroart’s new novel

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Curious about calculus? Try Barcellos’ new book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Holmes’ Green Team wins state award

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Vacaville contractor convicted of fraud

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

New UCD art lecture series named for Thiebauds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Pinball show features lots of free play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Blueberries, apricots arrive at Sutter market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Asian garden open for tours this weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Forum

She knows their business

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Waking up to the awful truth

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Vaccine bill is vital for our health

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Thanks for camera’s return

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
David Brooks: Love and merit

By David Brooks | From Page: A6

Davis’ active transportation plan is right on target

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Dog’s freedom isn’t worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Another big inning does in Devil softballers

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

 
Huge first frame lifts DHS to big baseball win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil girls run it up on Grant

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD golfers move into first at Big West Championship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
AAA roundup: Cardinals break out big bats in Davis Little League win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Get a positive vibe Wednesday from Tha Dirt Feelin’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Momentum Dance Company plans spring concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

 
Winters Theatre Company performs on the Big Day of Giving

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

‘Contempt of Court’ next up at Winters Theatre Company

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
There’s no place like home in DMTC’s ‘Wizard of Oz’

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Have breakfast in Oz on May 16

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Black Sea Hotel to perform in Village Homes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

DMTC’s young performers present a steam-punk ‘Snow White’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7