University of Tennessee releases annual Title IX report

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The University of Tennessee Title IX report shows there were 103 violations reported on campus in 2016.

Title IX director, Jenny Richter, sent out the Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation annual report to UT students, faculty, and staff on Wednesday.

According to the report, 64 of the 103 violations were sexual misconduct related. Last year, there were 38 reported violations for sexual misconduct.

“More and more students are reporting incidents of misconduct and receiving the care and support needed to help with these difficult and complex issues,” said Richter in the annual report.

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Richter believes that education is the reason for the higher number of reports.

“We attribute that to the fact we have done a much better concerted effort toward making sure that people know what to do if something happens,” said Richter.

UT leaders plan to continue their focus on education for students and teachers about what to do and how to report these situations.

The remaining violations reported included 23 for relationship violence and 16 for stalking. There were zero reports of retaliation.

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SIU Carbondale under investigation regarding Title IX complaint

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CARBONDALE, IL – Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is under investigation for possible discrimination in the school’s athletics program.  A spokesperson for the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education indicated the investigation began last month.  The office, however, can’t provide details about the case, because it’s an open investigation.  

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SIU Athletics Director Tommy Bell issued the following statement.

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For the full report, click here…..

 

OCR to Visit Cornell, which has the highest number of active Title IX Claims in the Nation 

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The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights investigators will visit Cornell University next week in the midst of its sixth open Title IX violation investigation — the most of any university in the nation.

Sarah Affel, Cornell’s Title IX coordinator, told USA TODAY College that the Office for Civil Rights is reviewing Cornell’s compliance with Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination by educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance.

For full story click here

 

Student who reported a rape to WashU is still waiting for answers

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ST. LOUIS • It’s been more than 130 days since soon-to-be sophomore Katy Hutson reported to Washington University that she was raped.

She’s still waiting for the school to produce even a precursory report of the incident, let alone a conclusion about her allegations.  See full report here.

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IU settles lawsuit over Title IX violations

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University Bloomington has settled a lawsuit with a battery victim who alleged the university fostered an environment of dangerous activity.  Jane Doe filed the federal lawsuit in June 2016, accusing IU and the Delta Tau Delta fraternity of ignoring then-student John Enochs’ history of sexual assault.

As part of a plea agreement in the criminal case, Enochs pleaded guilty to battery in exchange for prosecutors dropping two counts of rape against him.  IU Bloomington released a statement Tuesday on the settlement with Jane Doe.

“While Indiana University is bound by the confidential provisions of the settlement, the university remains strongly committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all members of its community and continues to believe its Sexual Misconduct Policy provides a fair, impartial and robust investigation and adjudication process…”

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Jane Doe’s attorney Jeff Herman also released a statement on the former student’s behalf.  “My client is pleased to resolve the matter with IU,” said Herman. “She looks forward to her day in court and holding the Delta Tau Delta fraternity accountable.”  

Doe filed a civil suit against Indiana University Bloomington officials and administrators saying they condoned Delta Tau Delta fostering an environment of dangerous activity, ignored Enochs’ history of sexual assault and failed to put in place measures to protect a ‘foreseeable’ sexual assault at Delta Tau Delta social event at the fraternity house.  Jane Doe’s lawsuit against Delta Tau Delta is still pending.

“The National Fraternity will soon be filing a Motion To Dismiss, as it had no knowledge of and nothing to do with the event and certainly had no expectation that a former member might be accused of sexual assault,” said Jim Ewbank, attorney for Delta Tau Delta. “Indiana state courts have routinely thrown out similar cases against the National organization and we will ask this judge to do the same.”

Enochs was initially charged with raping two separate women while at IU, one in October 2013 and another in April 2015.  The federal complaint filed by Jane Doe alleges a Title IX violation based on an April 2015 incident with Enochs.  Previously, Enochs had also been accused of sexual assault by another female student in October 2013.  He was charged with two counts of rape in September 2015 based upon the two incidents.  Indiana University Bloomington expelled Enochs on July 10, 2015, according to the court filing in the Jane Doe lawsuit.

Student political consciousness takes center stage at Bethune-Cookman’s commencement with Betsy DeVos

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Hundreds of graduating seniors of a historically black university in Florida booed and turned their backs on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as she stood up to deliver a commencement speech today.  “Let’s choose to hear each other out,” DeVos said, straining to be heard above the crowd at Bethune-Cookman University’s graduation in Daytona Beach. “We can choose to listen, be respectful and continue to learn from each other’s experience.”  But most of the students remained with their backs turned as the crowd applauded. University President Edison O. Jackson took the podium and tried to quiet the crowd, threatening to end the graduation. “Your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go.”

Many — although not all of the students — eventually took their seats.  One man was escorted out by security.  rrrr

 

Is genetic discrimination the new face of racial bias on your campus?

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With advances in technology come new sets of complex issues campus employers must face.  Recently, a veteran police sergeant with the Hastings Police Department is suing the police chief and the city, saying he was the subject of racial discrimination.

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A complaint filed in federal court alleges state and federal civil rights violations, detailing events following a genetic test Sgt. Cleon Brown took through Ancestry.com revealing he is 18 percent black.  Brown claims after he revealed the test results, Hastings Police Chief Jeff Pratt called him “Kunta”, a character in the novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family by American author Alex Haley.” The lawsuit also alleges some police department employees started whispering “Black Lives Matter” while pumping their fists as they walked past Brown.

Under Title II of GINA, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers and other entities covered by Title II (employment agencies, labor organizations and joint labor-management training and apprenticeship programs – referred to as “covered entities”) from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.

As campus HR administrators and EEO executives, do you incorporate GINA topics in your employee trainings?  Do you simply incorporate this subject under your various Title VII trainings as a form of illegal race discrimination?  As this technology evolves and becomes more popular, do you anticipate an increase in these type cases in higher education both as to employment discrimination and privacy rights?  Is genetic discrimination a civil rights issue?

Male Cornell student alleges gender bias in Title IX lawsuit

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In April of 2017, University EEO reported that a male senior student at Cornell University has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the university, a former Cornell Title IX investigator and Interim Judicial Administrator Jody Kunk-Czaplicki following an investigation of physical and sexual misconduct allegations.  The lawsuit states the university wrongfully suspended him and intentionally inflicted a flawed Title IX investigation process that denied him the right to a hearing and due process.  Additionally, the lawsuit claims the university refused to investigate the male student’s own accusations of sexual misconduct and physical assault against a female student.  This matter is similar to the litigation occurring with Notre Dame University and alleged bias against male students.  The Washing Post recently reported on a similar topic regarding the rise in lawsuits against colleges and universities from accused male students alleging due process violations.

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State colleges and universities are subject to due process considerations.  Cornell University is private, however.  Do you support the idea of similar due process obligations on private institutions conducting Title IX investigations?  Why or why not?