UNC among schools being checked for possible sexual assault viol - WNCN: News, Weather

UNC among schools being checked for possible sexual assault violations

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The department also had unauthorized grade changes and other problems dating to the late 1990s. The department also had unauthorized grade changes and other problems dating to the late 1990s.
WASHINGTON - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of two North Carolina universities being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints., the federal government said Thursday.

UNC and Guilford College in Greensboro were the only North Carolina schools listed among the schools under investigation, according to the government.

The list includes a wide variety of schools, including Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, Ohio State, Swarthmore, Penn State, Virginia, Vanderbilt and Florida State.

The Department of Education decided to release a full list of all higher education institutions under investigation for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.

In the past, department officials confirmed individual Title IX investigations at institutions, but the department decided to release a full list.

"We are making this list available in an effort to bring more transparency to our enforcement work and to foster better public awareness of civil rights," Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon said. "We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue. I also want to make it clear that a college or university's appearance on this list and being the subject of a Title IX investigation in no way indicates at this stage that the college or university is violating or has violated the law."

See the full list here

On Tuesday, UNC senior Andrea Pino and alumna Annie Clark attended a Tuesday news conference in Washington for the White House task force aimed at protecting students from sexual assault.

"This is the first time the task force is unveiling what they're recommending," said Pino, who said she was the victim of assault and has been pushing for change in how universities handle sexual assault cases. "They're not perfect, there's a lot of gaps including how it is that we're going to be holding schools accountable.

"How it is that we're going to fix a lot of the inner problems at the Department of Education in the sense that they simply can't handle the influx of complaints that they're having right now."

UNC has been in the spotlight for the way it handles sexual assaults. The Office for Civil Rights began investigating the university more than a year ago after receiving a complaint from three students, a former student and a former assistant dean of students saying UNC mishandles sexual abuse cases.

Last week, the Department of Justice launched a nationwide college tour at North Carolina Central University in Durham to better protect students against sexual assault.

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