Friday, April 8, 2011

Yale, Harvard--What Wendy Murphy says about Title IX

more on mandatory rporting and title ix HERE
You can read more from lawyer Wendy Murphy HERE or HERE or  HERE or read about her HERE.
for today, here is a bit of her upcoming column at the Patriot Ledger who published her columns.
By Wendy J. Murphy  for The Patriot Ledger April 9, 2011
It's Sexual Assault Awareness Month and for the first time since President Obama took office, I'm celebrating his administration for FINALLY doing something about violence against women. After a whole lot of nothing for three years, Vice President Biden went to the University of New Hampshire last week to announce a new "advisory" under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual assault, in education. The advisory is meant to compel university officials to do a better job responding to sex crimes on campus – an important concern given that one in five students is victimized while in college....
But Yale isn't the only school with problems. The new advisory directly addresses concerns raised in other OCR investigations (filed by me) now underway against other schools, including Harvard Law School, Hofstra and the University of Virginia (U.Va.). Harvard Law School and U.Va. are in trouble for requiring sexual assault victims to prove their allegations by "clear and convincing evidence" (about 80% proof) rather than the less rigorous, "preponderance of evidence" standard (about 51% proof). The new advisory makes it crystal clear that both schools have been violating women’s civil rights by applying the illegal higher standard.

...Harvard Law School will no doubt change its policies before OCR completes its investigation, after which, OCR will issue a ruling praising Harvard for complying with Title IX. This is how OCR works. It's not that the agency prefers carrots to sticks, it's that the investigation IS the stick that whacks schools into compliance - which is why schools HATE to be investigated and why they do all sorts of things to discourage victims from even knowing about their rights under Title IX. But that's going to stop now, too, because while Title IX has long been considered a sports equity rule, the new advisory mandates that students be informed in writing that the law also applies to sexual assault.

...Here are a few additional points about Title IX – made clear in the new advisory:

1. A single act of sexual assault is enough to constitute actionable "sexual harassment" under Title IX.

2. Schools must provide redress for sexual assault and sexual harassment even if the behavior occurs off-campus or in cyber-space - so long as the EFFECTS are felt ON campus.

3. The rights accorded accused students must also be given to victims. A school's disciplinary system is NOT akin to a criminal prosecution. The victim and the accused stand on equal footing and are entitled to equal rights at every stage of the process.

It’s been a long time coming but Title IX has finally obtained its rightful seat at the anti-discrimination table - and our president - who I said didn’t have it in him to do the right thing on this issue - proved me wrong.


  1. As I continue reading what the women at Yale have gone through, I can pretty much replace my name and two professors' names and have the same story. Knowing that my female classmates went through the same discrimination, sexual harassment, stalking and retaliation, I filed my Title IX complaint a month after the Yale case.

    Now, having a 3.8 GPA, all the courses to transfer to a different school back home, the Admissions Director literally stopped processing my application the afternoon she decided to call down to my former university's registrar's office. (The Director already had my official transcript, which qualified me to be admitted.) This violated my FERPA request, and also appears to have given the Director of Admission the belief that she can refuse to process my admissions application after hearsay of my former university's employee who was, quite literally at the time, under a week-long investigation for allowing a sexually harassing, stalking and hostile environment against me to continue. I wrote the Admissions Director two weeks ago, followed up with a phone call, but she refuses to respond, and won't accept or deny my application. It is now too late for me to attend, even if she should respond.

    I believe female students need to keep in mind they will most likely be retaliated against to the extent they lose their careers.

    I was told this week that the university in my complaint has since farmed out legal work throughout my former state to attorneys who would customarily represent plaintiffs. One attorney had even discussed the issue at great length with me last year, and declined; he know represents the university.

    I want women to come forward to file Title IX, but just wanted to pass on to put things in place before you do -- get a private attorney to represent you, get accepted into a different college -- all before you file your complaint. Many of us have lost our careers because of filing Title IX.

    Women should be allowed to learn, especially in the science and engineering disciplines without being sexually harassed, assaulted, stalked (and murdered - Ms. Le at Yale) if we do not leave. We are getting the A's and understanding the material to be there in the science and engineering disciplines. This needs to stop.

    I applaud Mattel for unveiling the new Barbie to be a "Computer Engineer". I just hope she doesn't attend my former university.

    Can we, as a group, contact our legislators, senators and congressmen/women that women need to be allowed to learn? And that universities must not tolerate the discrimination and sexual harassment/assault?

    When I see these same universities accepting millions, if not billions of dollars from corporations like Boeing and Ameren to "bring more women into engineering and science", it is sickening. I cannot help but wonder if my former university is using this money for legal defense in my case.

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