How colleges and universities—and even grade schools—handle reports of gendered harassment on their campuses (including but not limited to reports of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and rape) remains a persistent topic.
The Department of Education recently handed down a $4.5 million fine, the largest-ever of its kind, to Michigan State for “its systemic failure to protect students from sexual abuse” and requires the school “to make major changes to its Title IX procedures.” The DOE has recently found that the University of North Carolina “violated campus safety laws for years to an extent that can’t be fully measured” and is currently investigating the University of Maryland. The University of Texas, following sustained student protests and extensive coverage in the student paper, recently announced that they have hired an outside law firm to review their Title IX policies and offer improvements. These stories are plentiful.
While there are multiple entry points into a discussion of how educational institutions respond when gendered harassment or violence is reported, this article will look at one in particular: the way in which compassion and compliance can be at odds as administrators manage the aftermath of reported harm.
This article will cover:
- Title IX and Compliance
- Institutional Betrayal and Courage
- Bringing Compliance and Compassion Together
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