According to a letter from Branch to Chancellor Carol Folt, Robinson initially met with Katie Nolan, the interim Title IX compliance coordinator, on March 9 to report that she had been sexually assaulted in Ram Village in February.
According to the letter, the conclusion date of the investigation was pushed off multiple times until June 24, when Robinson was told the Title IX office had “completed its investigation.” She and Branch were told a final decision would be reached on July 5.
The letter said the decision was then pushed off until July 18, even though the investigation had concluded.
Branch said the office notified them on July 18 that a decision wouldn’t be made until it received Robinson’s blood alcohol content from the rape test kit. However, Branch said this violates UNC’s Title IX provisions.
“The University failed by completely disregarding the new Title IX guidelines that they so publicly pronounced they have put in place,” she said.
UNC’s Title IX office referred The Daily Tar Heel to the University’s Tuesday statement when asked for comment.
Another issue Branch had with the Title IX office was their distribution of Robinson’s victim impact statement. When Robinson was informed that the Title IX investigation had closed, she provided the statement.
Branch said the University violated its own policy when they distributed the statement in a July 11 meeting among UNC officials.
“The Title IX guidelines specifically state that her statement is only to be used at the conclusion of the investigation when a decision has been reached, and it is only to be used in determining the appropriate punishment for the accused,” Branch said.
Andrea Pino, a UNC graduate and founder of End Rape on Campus, said she has generally supported the sexual assault policy UNC released in August 2014.
“You know, a policy is great but if it’s not being enforced, and there isn’t a deterrence for the crime, it might as well not even exist,” she said.
Pino said she is worried about the focus of the investigation.
“It’s unfortunate that a lot of emphasis has been put on whether or not she was drinking, because the bigger problem is that her sexual assault happened and nothing was done about it,” she said.
UNC’s statement Tuesday noted that the issue is complicated.
“These matters are complex and often involve multiple agencies including law enforcement. While the University always tries to complete an investigation as quickly as possible, our priority is to ensure that the factual investigations are complete and conducted in a fair and thorough manner,” the statement said.
Editor-in-Chief Jane Wester contributed reporting.