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The Daily Tar Heel

University responds to federal request on sexual assault

UPDATE: The University has posted a “public record copy” of its response to the Office for Civil Rights. It can be found here.

The University responded Thursday to a federal request for information about UNC’s handling of sexual assault, marking its first effort to comply with an investigation of sexual assault procedures.

The request, made by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, mandated that UNC submit all documents, policies and data surrounding sexual assault by Thursday.

UNC will release its response to The Daily Tar Heel today once it has been redacted, said Karen Moon, director of UNC News Services.

The requested documents include detailed descriptions of procedures and a spreadsheet of all student complaints of sexual harassment.

The investigation, announced March 1, was opened after a complaint was filed by three students, one former student and one former administrator with the office on Jan. 16, accusing UNC of creating a hostile environment for survivors of sexual assault.

“What we have done up until now is not perfect,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said in an interview.

According to a UNC News Services press release, UNC is cooperating fully and will continue to do so.

Jim Bradshaw, a spokesman for the Department of Education, has said that the office aims to complete investigations within six months.

In the last four years, the Office for Civil Rights has received more than 120 complaints regarding sexual violence but launched only 11 investigations.

“This (investigation) is unbelievably important and goes right to the success of the University, in terms of our students feeling safe here,” he said.

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