Boulder, CO– The government shutdown has far-reaching effects and the U.S. Department of Education investigations has suspended investigations into sexual assault and harassment on college campuses, including the University of Colorado-Boulder
The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights announced last week that they would suspend investigations into complaints that universities and colleges mishandled cases of sexual assault and violated gender equality laws.
“OCR investigations are not an excepted activity and have been suspended until the shutdown ends,” Education Department spokesperson Cameron French told The Huffington Post. “Approximately 94 percent of department staff is on furlough as a result of the shutdown.”
There are a number of public and private universities with pending investigations, including the University of Colorado-Boulder, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Swathmore College, Occidental College and the University of Southern California.
Reviews of Harvard Law, Dartmouth and the University of Virginia have also been suspended.
The suspension of investigations and reviews does not mean they have been canceled, it simply means they will be suspended until the government re-opens.
The University of Colorado-Boulder is under investigation for their mishandling of incidents of sexual assault. Complainants allege that the university failed to notify students that a student accused of sexually assaulting another student was allowed to remain in campus a month after the incident occurred.
According to the Huffington Post, the student in question was even allowed to play and travel with the university’s sports team and even stayed in the same room with students who were unaware of the assault charges against him.
Students filed a federal complaint against the University of Colorado-Boulder alleging they violated the Clery Act, “a law which requires colleges and universities to track and publicize crimes committed on campus, and to issue timely safety alerts for ongoing threats,” the Huffington Post reported.
Colleges and Universities across the country have come under fire in the past couple of years with students at the various institutions accusing faculty of ignoring complaints of sexual harassment and assault. In many instances, the individuals accused of assaulting or harassing fellow students were not subjected to an investigation or adequately disciplined.
Since sexual harassment and assault on college and university campuses is an ongoing problem, faculty at these institutions should be more proactive in prevent these incidents from occurring. Instead, they appear to be willing to disregard or ignore complaints of harassment and assault.
The United States Student Association reports that about 13 percent of college women report being stalked during an academic year and one in five are sexually assaulted. More than half of the people who are assaulted or harassed on a college campus don’t report it.
The reasons people don’t report sexual harassment or assault varies, but the primary reason is because they don’t feel that their allegations will be taken seriously. If you have been sexually harassed on a college or university campus, a Boulder sexual harassment attorney can not only help you put an end to the harassment, but can also seek compensation on your behalf.