Harvard’s Title IX offices are responding to a sexually explicit document produced by the 2012 men’s soccer team, supplementing a separate review by the University’s Office of the General Counsel that ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the men’s soccer season.
Last week, The Crimson reported that the 2012 men’s soccer team produced a “scouting report” that ranked new members of the women’s soccer team based on their perceived sexual appeal and physical appearance. Earlier this week, University President Drew G. Faust said she had instructed OGC—Harvard's legal arm— to “review” the report. That review uncovered documents similar to the 2012 “report,” which included explicit comments about having sex with the women. They continued after 2012, including in 2016.
Apart from the OGC review, University Title IX Officer Mia Karvonides is working with the College’s Title IX office to respond to the “scouting report.”
“I have been in communication with Emily Miller, one of the College Title IX Coordinators, about this information learned about the ‘scouting report’ and we are providing support to Emily as we normally do when she receives disclosures and she is looking for input and guidance,” Karvonides wrote in an email.
In an interview Thursday, Faust differentiated between the Title IX office’s legal role and the OGC review, which focused on the culture among the athletes.
“I think it’s important to support our Title IX capacities, and that Title IX has a clear, legally mandated role. I wanted to make sure that they could execute on what their assignments are,” Faust said. “But I also thought there were broader questions that might not be legal in nature so much as questions of culture, value, expectations of athletes. Questions that might be specific to our understanding of student responsibility beyond simply what is legally mandated by Title IX.”
Harvard’s Title IX policy defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” The University policy and procedures also mandates that administrators respond to instances of sexual harassment that it knows, or reasonably should have known, about.
The federal government continues to investigate the College’s compliance with Title IX in a case opened in 2014.—Staff writer Andrew M. Duehren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @aduehren.