Swarthmore and Occidental Colleges have joined the list of elite institutions accused of mistreating victims of sexual assault and harassment, and activists say they are preparing similar accusations against other well-known colleges, reports the New York Times. Complaints filed against Occidental with the federal Department of Education allege violations the Title IX federal civil rights law and the Clery Act, which requires full public reporting of campus crime. They seek investigations by the Department of Education. Students filed a Clery Act complaint against Swarthmore and said they were preparing a Title IX action.
The complaints were not made public, but the authors described claims that colleges are not tough enough on sexual harassment and sexual assault, suppress the reporting of cases and treat victims callously. In the past two years, such claims made about Amherst, the University of North Carolina, Wesleyan, Yale, and others have led to a mix of lawsuits, federal complaints, investigations by the department, internal inquiries by the colleges, and revisions of their policies. At a news conference in Los Angeles, organizers of the Occidental complaints said they include accounts from 37 current and former students, including a few men, about being victimized there.