For the first time, the U.S. Department of Education released a comprehensive list of fifty-five colleges and universities that are under Title IX investigation. The list was released earlier today naming prestigious institutions such as Harvard and Vanderbilt. Harvard alone has one hundred sexual assaults in the last three years.
Title IX is a federal law that requires all schools to advise sexual assault victims of their rights, conduct proper investigations, and ensure the victim’s safety. As of right now all fifty-five schools are in violation of the law.
The White House announced their plans to educate colleges and universities on how to combat sexual assault on their campuses. Students across the country are protesting the lack of attention to sexual assaults on their campuses. The government says that one in five women will be sexually assaulted before graduation.
Students such as Sarah Tedesco from Emerson College in Boston are speaking out about the issue, “We should be equipping those students with what they need to know if it does happen,” she said. “It’s an epidemic. There are students at other schools committing suicide because nobody’s listening to them.”
In January, a bipartisan group of 39 Congress members joined in on the critics of the U.S. Department of Education, telling the department to end the “guessing game” and reveal the colleges under investigation.
As stipulated in the report released yesterday, the White House Task Force on College Sexual Assault will update the list regularly and make it available to the public upon request. Title IX complaints involving sexual assault cases shot up from seventeen in 2012, to thirty in 2013, and thirty-seven in the first half of 2014 alone.