The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 4th

Duke under investigation for Title IX complaint

The complainant was filed by a current student at the university, and the investigation was initiated in November by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

“The university will cooperate fully with the investigation, which will review the handling of sexual misconduct and harassment complaints involving students, faculty and staff,” said Howard Kallem, director of Title IX Compliance at Duke’s Office for Institutional Equity, in an email.

In 2012, an investigation of UNC’s sexual assault policies was initiated by the Office for Civil Rights after three students stated the university facilitated a hostile environment for victims reporting sexual assault. This prompted a new policy on sexual assault that went into effect in August 2014.

Title IX, originally passed as part of the Education Amendment of 1972, serves as a comprehensive law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

Ilana Weisman, vice president for equity and outreach in Duke’s student government, said officials from the Office for Civil Rights will be working closely with Duke administrators, like the Office of Student Affairs and Office for Institutional Equity, during the investigation.

“Because it’s a federal investigation, it’s not directly a student issue,” Weisman said. “I really don’t think student government will be consulted at all.”

Duke’s Student Body President Keizra Mecklai said students have shared articles on social media, but have otherwise stayed relatively quiet.

“There has not been a student response of any kind that I’ve seen,” she said.

Wiesman said while she thinks everyone is interested in following the story, she hasn’t seen any day-to-day changes or loss in confidence from the student body.

“We have a really great sexual misconduct policy as it stands,” she said.

It could take anywhere from two to four years for this investigation to be completed.

“While we are not able to comment on specific cases, Duke is firmly committed to sustaining a safe, inclusive environment for all students and works diligently across the campus to ensure compliance with the letter and spirit of Title IX,” Kallem said.


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