• Columbia Lion

    Final Bell

    The ‘Rapist’ Lists on Columbia’s Walls

    A growing sex abuse scandal at the Ivy League institution has taken a vigilante turn.

    Earlier this month, after a string of sexual abuse accusations at Columbia University, the campus newspaper published an op-ed that asked, “What would you do if you found out someone you knew had definitively sexually assaulted someone?”

    As if in response, an anonymous person or persons began writing a list of alleged rapists on Columbia’s walls.

  • Mike Segar/Reuters

    Title IX

    Is Columbia Mishandling LGBT Rape Cases?

    One queer trans student, part of a group of 23 undergrads who filed complaints against the university with the Department of Education last week, says the school has acted dismissively when dealing with reports of LGBT rape.

    As part of a 23-person federal complaint against the New York Ivy, one queer trans* student claims the school devalued their experience because it “didn’t fit the normative ‘boy-rapes-girl’ narrative.” 

    Twenty-three Columbia and Barnard students filed complaints against the university with the federal Department of Education last Thursday, alleging violations of Title IX, Title II, and the Clery Act. They allege that the school has repeatedly mishandled cases of rape and sexual violence and failed to give rape survivors the academic accommodations they need.

  • A view of the Butler Library campus of Columbia University. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

    Did Columbia Botch 3 Rape Cases?

    The New York Ivy has become the latest in a string of schools to be accused of sweeping charges of sexual assault under the rug.

    Only days after Obama announced the formation of a federal task force on sexual assault, three students have alleged that Columbia University may have mishandled repeated accusations of rape against a former athlete. According to a story by the Blue and White, a student publication, three women separately brought charges of sexual violence against the same student. One woman reportedly never got a hearing, while a second saw her case drag out for seven months as her alleged rapist delayed his hearing due to “academic conflicts,” according to the Blue and White. Columbia’s official policy on gender-based and sexual misconduct (PDF) states that the school will attempt to conclude all sexual assault cases within 60 days.

    One of the women, speaking under the pseudonym Sara, told a reporter for the Blue and White that the alleged rapist was a friend with whom she’d had consensual sex before. One night, after drinking at a party, she said he followed her back to her room and quickly grew aggressive. Sara told the Blue and White that her assailant, “Tom,” “grabbed her wrists and pinned her arms behind her head. She said that he pushed her legs against her chest and forcefully penetrated her anus…Sara said she began to struggle, screaming at him to stop, yelling at him to get off of her. He didn’t stop,” according the Blue and White. When Sara took her case before a panel of faculty members, she said she found them combative and insensitive. “Did he use lubrication? I don’t understand how it’s possible to have anal sex without using lubrication first,” one asked, according to the Blue and White report. Tom, whom the Blue and White says did not respond to requests for comment, was found “not responsible” for the allegations this past November, according to the Blue and White.

  • Graduates wait to hear President Barack Obama deliver the Commencement Address at Barnard College's graduation last year. (Timothy A. Clary/Getty)

    Bright young things

    Barnard’s Cheating Conundrum

    Last week, Barnard and Columbia were rocked by reports of cheating during final exams. But who’s to blame? Lizzie Crocker investigates.

    Earlier this week, two cheating scandals erupted at New York City’s prestigious Columbia University and its sister school, Barnard College, smearing their sterling reputations. On Wednesday, The New York Times reported rampant cheating in a popular English survey course at Barnard; apparently, students had been cutting corners for most of the semester, taking advantage of the loose structure of the class and its laid-back teacher. Three days later, Columbia became embroiled in its own scandal when it was revealed that a professor had leaked hints about a final exam to students in his section of Literature Humanities, a.k.a. Lit Hum, part of the Core Curriculum that is described by many graduates as the hallmark of a Columbia education.

    The latest incidents at Barnard and Columbia come only eight months after allegations of widespread cheating at Harvard, which resulted in the expulsion of dozens of students. Of course, cheating is an evergreen issue in education, but it incites particular shock and horror when it occurs at the most highly esteemed of private institutions. Finger-pointing inevitably ensues, along with heated debates among students, parents, professors, and administrators. But when cheating is systemic, the issue of whom to blame is rarely black and white.