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U. of C., Knox College Among Schools Being Investigated for Handling of Sex Cases

May 1, 2014

Chicago Tribune
By Stacy St. Clair

The University of Chicago and Knox College are among 55 schools under federal investigation for their handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints, according to a list released Thursday the U.S. Department of Education.

Both schools have been under investigation for several months, though neither would release details about the allegations leveled against them. The Department of Education also declined to discuss the cases, despite trumpeting a new era of transparency at the agency.

U. of C. student Olivia Ortiz told the Tribune she filed a Title IX complaint against her university in April 2013, nearly a year after she accused another student of sexually assaulting her. Ortiz says rather than investigate the allegation as required federal law, the dean held an informal mediation session with them and characterized Ortiz’s allegation as a “dispute between students” instead of sexual attack.

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“The list itself is not really breaking news. It’s really a way to shine a spotlight on the situation and to make the point that this issue happens at all types of institutions,” said Karen Ibach, a Philadelphia-based attorney who works with universities on Title IX compliance issues.

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