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55 Colleges Under Investigation In Alleged Violations Of Title IX

Courtesy: Forbes Images

Courtesy: Forbes Images

The federal government has has released a list of 55 colleges for alleged violations of Title IX in relation to sexual assault and harassment.  Recently, the White House began an initiative pushing for a national dialogue on how to combat sexual assault, including a recent public service announcement with a cast of actors such as Daniel Craig and Steve Carell.  The list was compiled based on open “sexual violence investigations” cases.  For some time, it has been reported on how colleges should best prevent and respond to cases of sexual assault.  Three Ivy League schools were included in the list: Harvard University, Princeton University, and Dartmouth College.

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The release Thursday of a federal list of 55 colleges with open “sexual violence investigations” underscores that the twin problem of how to prevent and respond to sex assaults on campus has become a national question, touching schools from elite privates to large publics to small regional schools.

The list from the Education Department continues the Obama administration’s push to shine a spotlight on sex assault in response to questions raised in recent years about how prominent colleges have handled rape allegations and related issues. This week, a White House task force released a report aiming to help colleges prevent sex assaults.

Three Ivy League universities landed on the list: Harvard University (its college and its law school), Princeton University and Dartmouth College. So did other prestigious private schools, such as Emory University, the University of Southern California and Amherst and Swarthmore colleges.

There were four schools listed from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia: Catholic University of America, Frostburg State University, the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights is examining complaints it received from individuals on campuses and those it discovered as part of its regular efforts to see if schools are in compliance with the federal law known as Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender at schools that receive federal funding.

The department said this is the first comprehensive look at which campuses are under review for possible violations of the law’s requirements for the handling of sexual violence. But the new list does not include details about exactly what the department is examining at each school.

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