NYC College Responds to Sexual Assault Investigation
Dana Gethers | 5/17/2014, 10:57 p.m.
A recent federal report cited 55 colleges and universities under Title IX investigation for mishandling sexual violence issues reported to officials. The report, released by U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) earlier this month lists several Ivy League schools and New York City’s own CUNY Hunter College.
“New York City has more college students than the entire population of Boston, and when these students are not protected, it’s a shameful mark for our city,” said NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James. “Our city must play a leading role in fighting to prevent sexual assault on college campuses, as well as make sure victims have the ability to come forward, and that their complaints are not swept under the rug.”
The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault was established in January 2014 with this goal in mind released new guidelines for the responsibilities of colleges and universities across the nation when addressing any form of sexual discrimination or assault.
Hunter College released a statement on the issue reasoning that the institution believes it has been unfairly included on the list.
John Rose, the Dean of Diversity and Compliance at Hunter revealed the following: “An investigation commenced eighteen months ago when a single student complained to Hunter of sexual harassment and filed a subsequent complaint with OCR. Following Hunter's investigation and report, the student withdrew the OCR complaint 9 months ago. OCR has chosen to keep the file open.”
“Hunter has always been committed to maintaining a campus environment free from discrimination, intimidation or violence of any sort. It is a core value of the College and a goal we vigorously pursue by broadly disseminating our policies and rigorously enforcing them,” said Rose.
Some Hunter students appear skeptical. One posted the flyer shown above in bathroom stalls throughout the campus directing students to a Tumblr page that urges students to Claim your voice. Speak up against sexual assault and emPOWER yourselves to make a difference!
“In the coming days and weeks my office will explore substantive actions meant to step up sexual assault prevention, and increase reporting on college campuses around the city,” said James. “As a city and as a country, we must come together to foster a culture where no woman or man is threatened by the scourge of sexual assault.”