Campus Violence

04.19.13

Students Accuse Swarthmore, Occidental of Flubbing Sexual-Assault Cases

Latest in a line of lawsuits and federal complaints against prestigious colleges over their handling of sexual violence.

Students have filed complaints against Swarthmore and Occidental colleges with the Department of Education, charging them with mishandling sexual-assault and harassment cases. The colleges are just the latest in a series of high-profile schools to be accused of failing to take a hard line against sexual violence. “In the past two years,” The New York Times reports, “such claims made about Amherst, the University of North Carolina, Wesleyan, Yale, and others have led to a mix of lawsuits, federal complaints, investigations by the department, internal inquiries by the colleges, and revisions of their policies.”  In several cases, student rape victims say they were discouraged from going to the authorities, a violation of the Clery Act, which requires reporting of campus crime. The problem appears widespread; according to the Times, “activists say they are preparing similar accusations against other well-known colleges.”