Sexual Assault & Title IX

Overview

Sexual Assault & Title IX

Stories about campus crime and safety always attract interest, but these issues also are often difficult to summarize simply. That’s especially true with sexual assault, a subject that has been highly visible in recent headlines. Prominent universities like Yale, the University of North Carolina and Notre Dame have been the subject of investigations by the Department of Education; the alleged involvement of football players in sexual assaults has intensified the spotlight on incidents at Vanderbilt University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Florida State University and the University of Montana.

Stories about campus crime and safety always attract interest, but these issues also are often difficult to summarize simply. That’s especially true with sexual assault, a subject that has been highly visible in recent headlines. Prominent universities like Yale, the University of North Carolina and Notre Dame have been the subject of investigations by the Department of Education; the alleged involvement of football players in sexual assaults has intensified the spotlight on incidents at Vanderbilt University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Florida State University and the University of Montana. To address these and other incidents, a seemingly re-energized movement of student activism has sprung up nationally, leading President Obama to announce in February 2014 a commission to investigate specifically issues that contribute to sexual assaults on campuses.

Universities, meanwhile, must contend with legal threats from all sides. The survivors of campus sexual assaults sometimes sue the colleges where they were studying. The universities also face lawsuits and increasingly aggressive investigations by the Obama administration under Title IX policies, the federal gender anti-discrimination law that governs how educational institutions must protect students from sexual assault. Additionally, colleges have been sued by accused assailants, who claim they were victims of the rush to judgment and that their own due-process rights were violated. There’s big money at stake: Title IX judgments (including those related to sexual assault), such as the multimillion-dollar verdicts in recent years against the University of Colorado and Fresno State, have been among the most expensive verdicts of any kind ever recorded against universities.

Sexual assault is arguably one of the few crimes for which college students are at greater risk than the general population. That said, journalists should be aware that estimates of prevalence vary widely. An often-cited 2007 survey estimated one in five women were victims of an attempted or completed sexual assault during college. Other studies have estimated that about 3 percent of college women were victims of rape at some point in their college career. Survey methodologies, definitions, and how questions are phrased can make substantial differences in reported results.

What further sets sexual assault apart from other campus crimes is a legal landscape that differs substantially. Generally, universities enjoy wide leeway to handle discipline as they see fit – within a campus judicial system, by referring out to local prosecutors or both. But when colleges learn of a possible sexual assault, they must adhere to detailed Title IX guidelines from the federal government that tell them precisely how to respond. The legal principle under this policy is that even a single episode of sexual assault can essentially create a hostile environment, depriving the victims of their civil right to an education.

Some of these instructions to colleges come from a 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Later, many of these guidelines were given stronger legal footing when the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized by Congress in 2013. For instance, colleges must train staff, and develop and publicize policies to support victims. They must remediate harm, for instance by providing counseling or ensuring a victim doesn’t encounter her assailant on campus. Compliance could include changing class assignments to minimize the number of times a victim might encounter his or her assailant.

Under Title IX policies, when universities receive an accusation, they must investigate it promptly through a campus-based process, regardless of whether local prosecutors proceed. Often in college towns, prosecutors are reluctant to get involved in incidents of sexual assault, particularly in “he said, she said” cases where there are no other witnesses. Universities must follow detailed requirements on how to conduct these judicial proceedings. For example, they can use informal mediation in cases of sexual harassment but not sexual assault.

The federal government enacted these policies to address concerns that incidents of rape on college campuses were being underreported and mishandled. But many of these requirements have been contentious, drawing criticism from civil liberties groups and the American Association of University Professors (Title IX also applies to university faculty and staff).  Some critics have said that the guidelines essentially require institutions to conduct these proceedings without giving the accused some of the same rights they would enjoy in a criminal trial. Most notably, the Dear Colleague letter directs colleges to use the standard of proof of “preponderance of evidence” – essentially, that the accused is more likely than not to be guilty. This standard is common in civil matters and campus disciplinary proceedings generally; remember, these aren’t criminal trials, so the same constitutional protections don’t apply. But critics argue these protections should indeed apply. They contend an accusation of sexual assault, even in a campus judicial system, can follow an accused victim for the rest of his or her life. They want stronger protections for students, faculty and staff who may have been falsely accused.

For students and administrators involved, and for journalists, these cases can be minefields. Journalists typically aren’t permitted to cover a campus disciplinary proceeding, and their reporting on individual cases often comes after the fact, using material when a student files a civil lawsuit or a complaint with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. If OCR investigates, some materials related to the investigation should be available from the Department of Education under the Freedom of Information Act. The department often releases and publicizes settlement agreements with universities. Technically, a college that violates Title IX could lose its access to federal funding, but in practice OCR investigations are almost always resolved with a settlement agreement in which the university agrees to create and enforce new policies.

In February 2014, President Obama announced the creation of a federal task force that would produce a proposals and recommendations on initiatives the administration could take to address issues of sexual assaults on college campuses. The commission issued its report in April 2014, announcing the plan for the creation of a website called NotAlone.gov that would connect sexual assualt survivors with support services. The task force also asked colleges to start surveying students about the campus climate.

Member Stories

February 9-16
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

For the San Antonio Express-News, Alia Malik speaks with families who still feel threatened by the shifting enforcement of immigration laws even after the San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a resolution to protect their identities.


 

EWA Radio

Betsy DeVos Is Secretary of Education. Now What?
EWA Radio: Episode 108

Betsy DeVos takes the oath of office.

Kimberly Hefling of Politico discusses the new U.S. secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, who was confirmed Tuesday after Vice President Mike Pence was called in to break a 50-50 tie in the Senate. What will be her top priorities moving forward? How aggressively will the new secretary push school choice, and how likely is President Trump’s $20 billion school choice plan to gain traction? Has DeVos lost political capital during the bruising confirmation process? Was she held to a higher standard than other nominees for President Trump’s cabinet? And how much power will the Republican mega-donor have to roll back the Obama administration’s education policies and initiatives? 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The Education Secretaries Betsy DeVos Would Follow

A Senate committee is slated to vote tomorrow on President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. secretary of education — philanthropist and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos. The Education Department is one of the newer federal departments, created during President Jimmy Carter’s administration and beginning its work in May of 1980.

Latest News

A University Sued Its Own Student Newspaper And Won

A Kentucky judge has denied a student newspaper’s request to get ahold of documents related to claims that a professor sexually assaulted and harassed graduate students in a high-profile case that tested a federal privacy law.

In August, the University of Kentucky sued the school’s independent student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel, after the state’s attorney general ruled that the university must release documents related to an investigation into the allegations against entomology professor James Harwood.

Member Stories

January 12-19
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

“While Trump spoke of his desire to reinvest in rural America, most of his education policy has had an urban focus,” Ben Felder writes for The Oklahoman in a story that’s part of a series leading up to the inauguration.

 

Kate Murphy of the Cincinnati Enquirer interviews the sexual assault survivor whose case launched a federal investigation of how the University of Cincinnati handles reports of sexual assault.

 

Latest News

At First, 55 Schools Faced Sexual Violence Investigations. Now The List Has Quadrupled

The Obama administration sent shock waves through higher education in 2014 when it released a list of 55 schools that faced civil rights investigations related to their handling of sexual violence reports.

The tally eventually quadrupled. On Wednesday afternoon, less than two days before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office, the Obama administration released its final list of pending sexual violence investigations.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

For Trump Pick DeVos, Confirmation Hearing Is a Bear

Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for billionaire school advocate Betsy DeVos — President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. secretary of education — was a doozy.

DeVos sought to present herself as ready to oversee the federal agency, but some of her remarks suggested a lack of familiarity with the federal laws governing the nation’s schools.

In her opening statement before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, DeVos said:

Latest News

Devos Pledges Not To Undo Public Education, Pushes Choice

In a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing, education secretary pick Betsy DeVos pledged that she would not seek to dismantle public schools amid questions by Democrats about her qualifications, political donations and long-time work advocating for charter schools and school choice.

DeVos said she would address “the needs of all parents and students” but that a one-size fits all model doesn’t work in education.

Latest News

Betsy DeVos’s Education Hearing Erupts Into Partisan Debate

At her confirmation hearing on Tuesday to be education secretary, Betsy DeVos vigorously defended her work steering taxpayer dollars from traditional public schools, arguing that it was time to move away from a “one size fits all” system and toward newer models for students from preschool to college.

The hearing quickly became a heated and partisan debate that reflected the nation’s political divide on how best to spend public money in education.

Latest News

Devos Dodges Toughest Questions About Public School Plans

Republican philanthropist Betsy DeVos pledged Tuesday that she would be “a strong advocate for great public schools,” if confirmed as Donald Trump’s Education secretary.

But when pressed by Democrats, she wouldn’t commit to keeping federal funding intact for traditional public schools.

Member Stories

January 6 – January 12

More districts and states are enacting rules to monitor school water safety. “The action is an acknowledgment that the largely voluntary testing system present in most of the country isn’t sufficient,” writes Stacy Teicher Khadaroo for The Christian Science Monitor.

Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle of Higher Education with an important insight into the likely education secretary under Trump: “Ms. DeVos shows her belief in developing civil society through the contributions of individual citizens rather than government.”

EWA Radio

Who Is Betsy DeVos?
EWA Radio: Episode 102

Veteran education reporters from the Detroit Free Press and The Washington Post discuss Betsy DeVos, the billionaire school choice advocate nominated by President-elect Donald Trump. David Jesse of the Detroit newspaper sheds light on DeVos’ Michigan track record on legislative causes, and what is known about her tactics and negotiating style. Plus, he explains how DeVos’ strong religious beliefs have influenced her policy agenda. Emma Brown of The Washington Post details why Trump’s proposal for $20 billion in school vouchers might be a tough sell, even to a Republican-controlled Congress. And she sheds light on the potential for the next administration to dismantle President Obama’s education initiatives, including scaling back the reach of the Office for Civil Rights at the Education Department.

EWA Radio

The Chronicle of Higher Education Turns 50
EWA Radio: Episode 101

Liz McMillen, the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, looks back at a half-century of milestone stories, memorable headlines, and key moments on the national higher education beat, many of which continue to echo today. Among them: equity and diversity, classroom technology, and free speech on campus. She discusses the Chronicle’s commitment to narrative journalism, lessons to be learned by looking back, and what’s ahead for the nation’s colleges and universities.

EWA Radio

Why A Trump Presidency Has Higher Ed on Edge
EWA Radio: Episode 98

Benjamin Wermund of Politico discusses the uncertainties ahead for the nation’s colleges and universities following the presidential election. While Donald Trump has offered few specifics on education policy, his surrogates suggest he will reverse course on many initiatives put in place under President Obama. That could have a significant impact on areas like Title IX enforcement, federal funding for research, and more. Higher education leaders are also facing a surge in reports of hate crimes and harassment on campuses that were already struggling with issues of free speech and diversity.

Seminar

Doing More With Higher Ed Data: From Policy to Newsrooms
Philadelphia • February 2–3, 2017

With colleges and universities under increased pressure to ensure that more students earn degrees without amassing mountains of debt, journalists are at the forefront in examining how these institutions  measure up. But there’s one major obstacle that both colleges and reporters share when it comes to making sense of how well these schools are meeting their goals: insufficient data.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Seven Higher Ed Stories Journalists Should Be Covering This Year

Inside Higher Ed Editor Scott Jaschik started his annual listing of higher education stories ripe for coverage this upcoming year by asking journalists to do better when choosing which news developments to cover.

In May, just before Jaschik’s presentation at the Education Writers Association’s conference in Boston, President Obama’s daughter Malia had recently committed to attending Harvard University and taking a “gap year.”

Key Coverage

‘You Took Away My Worth’: A Victim’s Powerful Message to Her Stanford Rapist

She’s known in local newspapers as 23-year-old “Emily Doe” — a pseudonym to protect her privacy amid an emotional court battle in which former Stanford University varsity swimmerBrock Allen Turner was found guilty for her sexual assault.

Prosecutors said that in January 2015, witnesses saw Turner sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on campus.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Is Your College on Feds’ List of Title IX Investigations? Here’s How to Find Out

A view of the University of Virginia, where a fraternity is suing Rolling Stone magazine for its now-retracted cover story about an alleged rape on campus. The continued fallout is putting fresh scrutiny on how institutions handle such allegations as well as the media's coverage of the issues. (Flickr/Phil Roeder)

For reporters covering colleges and universities, The Chronicle of Higher Education has put together a valuable new resource: an online tool for searching, and tracking, federal investigations into potential Title IX violations involving sexual assault allegations. 

There are currently close to 250 in the Chronicle’s database, with just under 20 percent of them listed as “resolved.” The average duration for an investigation is one year, two months. 

Seminar

Higher Ed 2016
September 16–17 • Tempe, Arizona

What new techniques and practices should higher education embrace to ensure that more students graduate? Join the Education Writers Association September 16–17 at Arizona State University to explore cutting-edge innovations that aim to address financial, academic, and social barriers. More on the seminar theme.

This annual seminar is one of the largest gatherings of journalists covering postsecondary education. Network with others covering this beat and step up your coverage for the upcoming academic year.

Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
Blog: Ed Beat

Black Students Criticize Racism Protests Organized by White Students

In the wake of the demonstrations at the University of Missouri that led to the resignation of the university’s president, student protests over racial inequality and campus climate have spread to colleges across the country. Though the demonstrations have included a broad range of minority groups and white students, they have predominantly been organized by black students. At a handful of institutions, however, white students have tried to lead the rallies, prompting accusations that these students are engaging in the same kind of behavior as those they are protesting.

Key Coverage

After Sexual Assault, Woman Says University Lawyers Accessed her Counseling Records

When University of Oregon senior Laura Hanson was sexually assaulted by a fellow student a couple of days after New Year’s 2013, she said she felt violated and later shunned by her friends and sorority sisters.

The university’s drawn-out investigation of the incident—which substantiated her allegation—only added to her trauma.

Seminar

69th EWA National Seminar

The Education Writers Association, the national professional organization for journalists who cover education, is thrilled to announce that its annual conference will take place from Sunday, May 1, through Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in the historic city of Boston.

Co-hosted by Boston University’s College of Communication and School of Education, EWA’s 69th National Seminar will examine a wide array of timely topics in education — from early childhood through career — while expanding and sharpening participants’ skills in reporting and storytelling.

Boston, Massachusetts
Blog: The Educated Reporter

Ten Higher Education Stories You Should Be Covering

Game Day at the University of Iowa. Focusing on how athletic programs influence a university's operations is a smart story for reporters, says Inside Higher Ed's editor Scott Jaschik. (Flickr/Phil Roeder)

Editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed Scott Jaschik’s panel “Top 10 Higher Ed Stories You Should Be Covering This Year” has attracted such a crowd every year that this year he began  his presentation  at EWA’s recent National Seminar in Chicago by noting that he’d been asked in the halls whether he’d be charting new territory. Although some stories remain fixtures on his must-cover list, there are new trends that education reporters should track, he told the roughly 80 attendees.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

March Madness, Renaming NCLB

Kristina Baskett competes on bars, University of Utah Women's Gymnastics. (Flickr/lemonjenny)

While we can’t do anything about your dismal bracket selections, EWA can help reporters with story ideas for covering “March Madness” and college sports. Catch a replay of our recent webinar, which highlighted some smart ideas, the latest research, and expert sources on the intersection of higher education and athletics. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

The 2015 Education Beat: Common Core, Testing, School Choice

Students at New York University work on a computer programming project. More interactive learning is expected to be a hot topic in the coming year on both the K-12 and higher education beats. (Flickr/Matylda Czarnecka)

There’s a busy year ahead on the schools beat – I talked to reporters, policy analysts and educators to put together a cheat sheet to a few of the stories you can expect to be on the front burner in the coming months: 

Revamping No Child Left Behind

EWA Radio

Covering the Higher-Ed Beat and Stories to Watch in 2015
EWA Radio, Episode 17, Part 1

A reporter who covers Ohio State University and a national higher-ed reporter discuss how their vantage points influence coverage. Does having a background in covering K-12 improve higher-ed reporting? Do national reporters benefit from living near flagship state universities? The guests also make predictions for stories to watch in 2015. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

From the Beat: Memorable Education Stories of 2014

Cadets celebrate graduation at West Point. A USA Today investigation of  congressional influence over the nomination process at elite military academies was one of the year's most memorable education stories. Flickr/U.S. Army (Creative Commons)

When you write a blog, the end of the year seems to require looking back and looking ahead. Today I’m going to tackle the former with a sampling of some of the year’s top stories from the K-12 and higher education beats. I’ll save the latter for early next week when the final sluggish clouds of 2014 have been swept away, and a bright new sky awaits us in 2015. (Yes, I’m an optimist.)

Multimedia

Campus Sexual Assaults: Understanding the Angles
2014 Higher Ed Seminar

Campus Sexual Assaults: Understanding the Angles

Since 2011, when the U.S. Department of Education made clear that schools’ failure to address incidents of sexual assault adequately could trigger Title IX penalties, this problem—which has long been a taboo topic in higher education—has become the flashpoint issue on campuses across the nation. Each new incident showcases conflicting perspectives, ranging from those of advocates who say colleges are failing victims to men who think the new policy guidelines are stacked against them. Some question whether institutions should even be involved or are these matters better left to police?

EWA Radio

Lessons From the Rolling Stone Debacle
EWA Radio, Episode 16

Earlier this month, Rolling Stone magazine published a story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, which resulted in outrage, shock, and a temporary suspension of all fraternities and sororities at the vaunted institution of higher education. But now, serious questions have been raised about freelance writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s reporting, as well as Rolling Stone’s decision to publish the story without stronger verification.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Follow-Up Friday: Get Up To Speed With EWA Webinars

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for EWA Summer School, our webinar series designed to help education reporters sharpen their skills, deepen their knowledge, and develop story ideas. If you missed out on the webinars the first time around, you can catch the replays:

Seminar

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Covering the College Student Experience
2014 Higher Ed Seminar

For many college students — whether fresh out of high school or adults returning to school — their most serious obstacles to a degree won’t be homework or tests, but rather the challenges of navigating student life. Colleges are now being forced to face the longstanding problems that have often led to students’ flailing and failing on their own. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Top 10 Higher Education Stories You Should Be Covering

Scott Jaschik addresses reporters at EWA's 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

For higher education reporters, Inside Higher Ed editor Scott Jaschik’s annual top-10 list of story ideas is a highlight of EWA’s National Seminar. This year at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Jaschik kicked off his roundup with  an issue that has affected many institutions around the country: sexual assault. The key to covering this story, he said, is not to imply that this is a new problem. Increased attention from the White House has challenged the ways that many colleges have addressed these incidents.

Key Coverage

Sexual Assault at Patrick Henry College, God’s Harvard

Researchers estimate that one in five American women is sexually assaulted in college, and Patrick Henry College’s unique campus culture has not insulated the school from sexual violence. In fact, it puts female students, like Claire Spear, in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?

Key Coverage

A Case in Costa Rica Illustrates the Complexities of Responding to Sexual Assault in Study Abroad

Unraveling the response to this incident, and where it seemed to go wrong and why, offers a glimpse into the complexity of responding to cases of sexual assault in study abroad, the competing legal frameworks that study abroad programs exist within, and the tensions that can result when the best interests of the institution and the student are arguably not one and the same.

Key Coverage

Stepping Up to Stop Sexual Assault

Bystander intervention is so easy to grasp, even by the most inexperienced college freshman, that the program may well be the best hope for reducing sexual assaults on campuses. Mostly it is common sense: If a drunk young man at a party is pawing a drunk young woman, then someone nearby (the bystander) needs to step in (intervene) and get one of them out of there. Of course, that can be tricky at times.

Organization

Victim Rights Law Center

A national organization that provides legal support for survivors of sexual assault and “promote a national movement committed to seeking justice for every rape and sexual assault victim.” The VRLC “has provided legal representation to over 3,000 rape and sexual assault victims to assist in stabilizing and rebuilding their lives following a traumatic, and potentially life-threatening, assault.”

Organization

International Association of Campus Law Enforcement

The IACLEA “was created by eleven college and university security directors who met in November of 1958 at Arizona State University to discuss job challenges and mutual problems, and to create a clearinghouse for information and issues shared by campus public safety directors across the country. Today, IACLEA membership represents more than 1,200 colleges and universities in 20 countries.”

Organization

The Clery Center for Security on Campus

A nonprofit organization that grew out the initiatives led Connie and Howard Clery after their daughter was raped and murdered in 1986 by a classmate on the campus of Lehigh University. Their advocacy to get colleges to release information about crime on campus led to the Clery Act, which mandates the report of such information.

Key Coverage

These Are the Colleges Accused of Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases (INFOGRAPHIC)

The Huffington Post tracked the colleges that are under investigation, face complaints or have received significant criticism for their handling of sexual violence on campus, and plotted them on an interactive map.

In fiscal year 2013, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights received 30 complaints against colleges and universities alleging failures in the way the schools handled cases of sexual violence. That was nearly double the previous year’s tally of 17.

Key Coverage

University of Missouri Officials Did Not Pursue Rape Case

The University of Missouri did not investigate or tell law enforcement officials about an alleged rape, possibly by one or more members of its football team, despite administrators finding out about the alleged 2010 incident more than a year ago, an “Outside the Lines” investigation has found. The alleged victim, a member of the swim team, committed suicide in 2011.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Higher Ed Beat: What Are the Top 10 Stories on College Campuses?

Higher Ed Beat: What Are the Top 10 Stories on College Campuses?

I’ll admit it – I look forward every fall when Scott Jaschik shares his “cheat sheet”of story ideas at EWA’s annual Higher Education Seminar.This year we met at Northeastern University, and Scott didn’t disappoint.We asked journalists who attended the seminar to contribute posts, and today’s guest blogger is Michael Vasquez of the Miami Herald.For more on higher education issues, including community colleges,

Key Coverage

Spotlight on Campus Responses to Rape Puts College Presidents in a Bind

As a growing movement of campus rape survivors pushes colleges to change how they handle sexual assault—often directing criticism at top administrators and filing extensive complaints with the Department of Education—presidents have struggled to find the right way to respond. Do they roll up their sleeves, cancel classes, and encourage all-out dialogue? Bring in a big-name consultant to try to fix the problem? List all the efforts that signal the institution’s commitment to handling this charged issue sensitively and fairly?

Multimedia

How I Did the Story: Title IX and Sexual Assault on Campus

How I Did the Story: Title IX and Sexual Assault on Campus

Justin Pope of the Associated Press talks about how he approached the timely and difficult topic of how universities are applying the Title IX gender discrimination law to sexual assault cases. Pope’s coverage won a special citation in Single-Topic News, Series or Feature in a Large Newsroom in EWA’s 2012 National Awards for Education Reporting.

Key Coverage

Another Legal Headache at Penn State: Title IX

Among the legal questions still swirling around Penn State, one has drawn little attention but could pose a threat to the university: Did the school’s handling of sex abuse allegations against assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky violate the federal Title IX gender discrimination law?

Key Coverage

For Colleges, Rape Cases a Legal Minefield

A closed- door encounter between two college acquaintances. Both have been drinking. One says she was raped; the other insists it was consensual. There are no other witnesses. It’s a common scenario in college sexual assault cases, and a potential nightmare to resolve. But under the 40-year-old federal gender equity law Title IX — and guidance handed down last year by the Obama administration on how to apply it — colleges can’t just turn such cases over to criminal prosecutors, who often won’t touch them anyway.

Key Coverage

On College Campuses, Title IX Transforms Response To Rape — But Not Without Critics

June marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the federal gender-equity law that has made headlines mostly on the sports pages. But over the last decade or so, through a series of court rulings and more recently controversial guidance published by Obama administration, Title IX has shifted onto a different patch of contentious terrain — sexual assault on college campuses. It is transforming how colleges must respond to allegations of sexual violence.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

When it Comes to Humor, Three College Campuses Aren’t Laughing

Here’s a tip for college journalists contemplating wading into the murky waters of satire: There pretty much isn’t anything funny about Hitler.

The gray zone between edgy humor and offensive language can be tough to navigate, even for experienced writers. In recent weeks, students from Boston University, the University of Missouri, and Rutgers University have found themselves under fire for satirical editions of their campus publications.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Campus Coverage Project: College Journos Gather at Arizona State

I’m in Phoenix for the next few days at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. EWA is helping out with IRE’s (Investigative Reporters and Editors) third annual Campus Coverage Project conference. Roughly 75 of the nation’s top college journalists were selected to spend four days learning the latest techniques and tips for writing investigative stories.

Report

The Campus Sexual Assault Study

This report surveyed 6,800 undergraduates at two large public universities and found “13.7% of undergraduate women had been victims of at least one completed sexual assault since entering college.”