Remember when the U.S. Department of Education announced its task force on rape and sexual assault on campus this past May? The move was a huge success for those that have been working tirelessly to advocate for victims of sexual violence on college campuses across the nation, and finally addressed a national epidemic that had been untouched by the proper authorities for too long.
Coinciding with the task force, the department's Office of Civil Rights soon released a list of 55 schools that were under federal investigation for mishandling reports of sexual violence on campus. At the of end May, that number increased to 60 with the addition of five new schools, and now, it's getting even bigger. Federal officials confirmed yesterday that the list is now 76 schools long. Universities under recent investigation include Kansas State University, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, and Stony Brook University, a SUNY school. These universities, along with the others, are being investigated for violations of Title IX and the Clery Act. Title IX forbids discrimination on the basis of gender, and the Clery Act requires that schools must notify students, faculty and staff about crimes on campus.
The details of the majority of the complaints that prompted these investigations aren't available to the public. With Johns Hopkins, however, more information is available. After a "drug-faciltated gang rape" that took place at a fraternity house, there was no notification from the university of the incident that went out to the student body. The punishment for the fraternity involved was also minimal: They were suspended from campus for just a year.
Even as the number of schools grows, 76 is surely only a sliver of the schools that have inappropriately handled reports of rape or sexual assault. But a growing list is a positive step in combating this problem on campuses throughout the nation. Is your college or alma mater on this list? Or for those just starting the college process, does this list change your decision about where you'd go to school? See the full list below.
The Fight Against Sexual Violence on College Campuses: End Rape on Campus
The Fight Against Sexual Violence on College Campuses: One Student
Big Shame on Campus
Sexual Assault Survivors Speak Out Against Campus Rape