Win In Harvard Case Will Ripple Across Campuses

A first-of-its kind Title IX complaint against Harvard Law School was finally decided at the end of December after more than four years of investigation. Women: 1; Harvard: 0. The federal complaint filed in 2010 against the nation's most powerful university sparked an extraordinary national movement against campus sexual assault, and its impact will be huge. You may have missed it in the year-end rush but let's take a moment to savor this important and hard-fought victory.

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Federal Agencies Can Better Support State Efforts To Prevent And Respond To Sexual Abuse By School Personnel

To help prevent the sexual abuse of students in public K-12 schools, 46 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia surveyed by the General Accounting Office (GAO) required background checks of applicants–such as teachers or bus drivers–seeking public school employment; however, the methods and sources varied widely. Forty-two states established professional standards or codes of conduct for school personnel, and 22 of those included information on appropriate boundaries between personnel and students.

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Campus Report: Anatomy of a Rape Case at the University of Virginia

“This was a very difficult case. Ms. X provides a very compelling and believable account of the events and has clearly been affected by this incident. Mr. Y, your behavior was crass and disrespectful but this panel could not come to a unanimous conclusion that the policy had been violated in this instance. That said, this panel urges you, Mr. Y, to evaluate your actions and your treatment of women in the future. We would strongly suggest that you consider counseling around the issue of consent and respecting the wishes of your sexual partners. The panel wishes Ms. X well as she continues to work through the trauma that this incident has clearly caused.”

These are the words that Dean E. read out loud at the conclusion of a grueling ten-hour hearing in which I had to single-handedly defend my case against the person who had drugged and raped me last December.

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Office For Civil Rights Releases New Guidance: Questions And Answers On Title IX And Sexual Violence

On April 28, 2014, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights released a new guidance entitled Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence.Here is their summary of the Guidance.

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Nonconsensual Sex: How Colleges Rebranded Rape

Nonconsensual sex is sexual assault. Several schools make that clear. In Princeton University’s policy, for example, next to the category “non-consensual sexual penetration,” it states in parentheses that the act is “commonly referred to as rape.” And next to “non-consensual sexual contact,” the act is “commonly referred to as sexual assault.” But the reason that hearing boards winced at the word “rape” is the exact reason activists think the term is important: It’s violent and powerful, and does justice to the violation that victims experience. Anti-rape campaigners have pressed their communities to understand what rape is, and how much it happens. Many see “nonconsensual sex” as a harmful euphemism.

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An Open Letter To University Presidents About Campus Sexual Assault

On March 7 2014, you were granted unprecedented authority to engage in gender discrimination and explicit subjugation of women on campus. Bestowed upon you by Congress, the Campus SaVE Act (SaVE) provides that the redress of civil rights violence on the basis of sex should occur under less protective standards compared to civil rights violence on the basis of all other protected class categories such as race, national origin and religion.

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Sexual Violence Begins in Middle School

A recent survey of 1,391 students from four Midwest middle schools (grades 5-8) indicated that middle school-aged students are experiencing real acts of sexual violence. The survey sample was evenly split between boys and girls.

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Bloomberg Businessweek – Changing How Colleges Deal With Rape

On April 20 of that year, Karasek says, she and three other women walked into Berkeley’s Center for Student Conduct to report that the same student had assaulted them. They told their stories to several administrators, including the school’s Title IX officer, Denise Oldham. At the meeting with Oldham, who enforces women’s rights to equal education under Title IX, Karasek says they were asked to write statements about the assaults. She assumed this was a formality and didn’t submit hers for almost a month. One woman, she says, misunderstood and didn’t write anything. Karasek says the school never followed up with that student. “She thought that telling her story out loud counted as informing the school,” she says. Berkeley acknowledges that a verbal report is enough—but Karasek says the women don’t know if that complaint was ever addressed. Berkeley says it can’t comment on specific students’ conduct cases and refused repeated requests to make Oldham available for interviews, saying “she’s focusing all her attention on addressing the situation.”

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Why the SaVE Act Harms Women on Campus

Please resist supporting or seeking support from any group that lobbied for the Campus SaVE Act. It is profoundly anti-women's equality; it's overtly sexist and it explicitly segregates and subjugates women by requiring or allowing the redress of violence against women on campus to be subjected to less protective legal standards compared to all other forms of civil rights violence.

That women WERE equal under Title IX BEFORE SaVE (at least in the written law—if not its enforcement) for more than forty years and then became expressly UNequal in higher education in 2014 is outrageous, though maybe not surprising. Only when victims started speaking up did Congress slap them down by giving schools express permission to devalue civil rights violence against women.

For those of you who care about the fair treatment of women, please take the time to read the law critically, and read the lawsuit that was recently filed to stop SaVE so you can understand WHY certain of its provisions are so offensive and dangerous.

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Stop Campus Sexual Assault

The Problem of Campus Sexual Assault

Recently, a friend and fellow University of Chicago alumna showed me an open letter to university president Robert Zimmer demanding that the university reevaluate its policy regarding campus sexual assaults. After reporting an assault by her then-partner and being illegally offered a mediation session by Dean of Students Susan Art, current fourth-year student Olivia Ortiz filed a complaint with the United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR), prompting a larger investigation of the university for possible violations of Title IX. In response, a coalition of alumni wrote and circulated the letter in question. I gladly added my name.

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