Occidental and Swarthmore Colleges Are Accused of Mishandling Assault Cases

Occidental and Swarthmore Colleges Are Accused of Mishandling Assault Cases

April 22, 2013

Two separate complaints were filed alleging violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 at Occidental College and of the Clery Act at Swarthmore College. Gloria Allred filed a complaint alleging that 37 Occidental students have been "raped, sexually assaulted, battered, harassed, or retaliated against for speaking out against sexual violence" since 2009. The complaint also alleges that the college discourages reporting of sex crimes and proceeding with criminal and administrative action against perpetrators. Occidental officials defended the college, pointing out that it has updated its sexual misconduct policy, put training in place on how to respond to reports of sexual assault, and taken steps "to better educate the campus community and foster a culture that rejects sexual violence." The school said it has retained two former sex crime prosecutors to conduct an independent review of its policies and practices.

One of the students who filed the complaint against Swarthmore said the college did not take her complaints of sexual harassment by a fellow student seriously. Swarthmore said it has acknowledged flaws in its record and has been trying to respond to them. The college plans to ask outside experts to review its handling of sex-related cases.

Occidental and Swarthmore Colleges Are Accused of Mishandling Assault Cases
Charles Huckabee
The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 19, 2013

Sexual Harassment/Assault