Friday, July 26, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #118 - Part 7

The little thing: USC "reviewing" its policies on sexual violence on campus - 41 years after Title IX enacted

Now for a quick, occasional segment called "the little thing." Frequently, I find that there is something in some issue or article that is getting passed over, some little thing that's revealing but isn't drawing attention as people focus on something else. This is an example.

The University of Southern California is facing a federal investigation for alleged failures by school officials and campus police to prosecute rape.

Title IX, as you may well know, is the part of civil rights law that addresses sex discrimination in educational institutions. In response to a Title IX complaint filed in May, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the OCR, has launched an inquiry.

The claimants are a group of 13 students, along with several other unnamed students, who claim they suffered from extensive failures on the part of USC administrators and the Department of Public Safety in responding to reports of sexual violence on campus. Such failures would be violations of Title IX.

Complaints included a charge that USC dismissed one student's claim that her ex-boyfriend had raped her, despite her providing a recording of him admitting to it. An official told her the goal here was to "educate" the assailant, not to "punish" him. Another student said campus police told her she hadn't been raped because her attacker had not orgasm. A third, who complained of a sexual assault at a fraternity event, got told that women should not "go out, get drunk, and expect not to get raped."

Assailants who did get "punished" frequently got a slap on the wrist, often just a requirement that they stay away from their victim.

This is a serious issue, violence, sexual violence, on campus is a serious issue, serious enough that the OCR is currently engaged in similar investigations at four other colleges.

But here's the little thing, the thing that got me:

Jody Shipper, who is Title IX coordinator for USC and executive director of the university's Office of Equity and Diversity, said the university "remains vigilant in addressing any issues promptly and fully as they arise," and has been reviewing its policies to ensure they comply with federal law, adding that "We look forward to working with OCR to address any concerns."

Excuse me? Title IX was passed in 1972 and now, 41 years later, you are "reviewing your policies?" You are just now "addressing concerns?" And you wonder why there's a problem?

Apparently, the "higher learning" part of university life does not extend to the higher levels of administration.

Sources: rape-investigation_n_3607954.html

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