USC Mishandles Rape Claims, Students Say
USC / Facebook
Updated at the bottom: USC responds, saying only two students have officially complained to the feds. First posted at 9:01 a.m.
A group of students is touting a U.S. Department of Education investigation into claims that USC hasn't dealt properly with rape and sexual assault reports.
The students are holding a "media availability" for reporters this afternoon. They say 13 students put their names to a claim with federal education officials in May that alleges ...
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... "gross mishandling of rape and sexual assault cases" on the part of the university.
The group says more than 100 students signed on to the claim but only 13 put their names to it. Now feds are looking into it, they say.
The complaint started out life when student Tucker Reed reported that she was raped by her boyfriend, organizers say. USC's response was allegedly so underwhelming that she started a group called the Student Coalition Against Rape (SCAR).
We'll publish USC's response when we get it.
[Update at 12:45 p.m.]: Jody Shipper, executive director of USC's Office of Equity and Diversity, stated today:
The university is strongly committed to upholding all aspects of Title IX. We have received a letter from the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education notifying us of a complaint by two USC students alleging Title IX violations. The opening of an investigation is an expected step in the process, and the OCR states that 'opening the allegations for investigation in no way implies that OCR has made a determination with regard to their merits.
We look forward to working with OCR to address any concerns and review our protocols as needed. The university, working with the Women Students Assembly and other groups, updated our sexual assault reporting guidelines in 2011-12. More recently, and prior to the filing of this complaint, USC began an ongoing review of policies and procedures in light of updated federal guidelines. The university remains vigilant in addressing any issues promptly and fully as they arise.
The university offers confidential resources for students including the Student Counseling Center and the Center for Women and Men.