Columbia University has established new policies regarding the way in which the school will handle
complaints regarding sexual assaults. Specifically, the new sexual assault policies will address
the way the school investigates and disciplines offenders for sexual assaults on campus. The
University President announced that its latest procedures would afford more transparency in an
attempt to provide the public with pertinent information while maintaining confidentiality to
The action by the University President is in response to allegations by student groups that the
school has previously improperly handled allegations of sexual attacks. A student publication
reported that three women allege that Columbia mishandled their sexual assault complaints. It is
believed that the pressure of student government prompted the institution to re-examine their sexual
abuse complaint, investigation and discipline processes.
Columbia University’s New Sexual Abuse Policy
Columbia University’s new policy for gender-based and sexual misconduct is multi-faceted. The
University’s goal in enacting the new guidelines is to balance the privacy of victims while
concurrently offering anonymous data to the student body. Included in the program is a new website
and a compilation of statistics. The material contains unidentified information regarding sexual
assaults and misconduct throughout the campus.
The school’s new policy is a move in the right direction to garner the student’s body
confidence in the University’s capability to handle sexual assault and misconduct complaints
effectively. University officials assert that with newer resources and policies in place, the
school will be able to conduct more effective and timely assault investigations.
According to Columbia’s President, the new resources provided by the school will exceed the
requirements of the Clery Act. The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges to provide
public records of any campus crimes. A victim of sexual abuse who believes they have been
mistreated can bring a sexual abuse lawsuit claiming their University has violated the Clery Act.
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