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University President Drew G. Faust called for a legislative replacement for an imperiled program protecting undocumented young people in a televised interview Friday.
Speaking on CBS This Morning, Faust described a time early in her presidency when a group of undocumented students came to meet with her. She said the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program gave them a “measure of relief” from fear and uncertainty.
"I do hope there will be an act that will protect these students, but in the meantime they're now cast back into tremendous uncertainty and anxiety,” Faust said, citing the DREAM Act as one piece of legislation that would “solve this problem.”
Last week, Faust denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to repeal DACA in six months as “cruel” in an email to Harvard affiliates, and outraged students and faculty have protested the move. Thirty-one professors from Harvard and area universities were arrested Thursday in a planned act of civil disobedience against the decision.
Faust also fielded questions about Title IX and campus sexual assault. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced last week that the Department of Education would review Title IX guidelines that previously led Harvard and other schools to alter their policies, a move that concerned anti-sexual assault activists at Harvard.
Calling Harvard’s sexual assault and harassment policy “really robust,” Faust said, “Sexual assault is an issue that we’ve attended to very carefully, especially in recent years, because we’ve realized the dimensions of the problem on our campus.”
A 2015 campus sexual conduct climate survey found that 31 percent of senior undergraduate females in the College had experienced some form of sexual assault in their time at Harvard, findings Faust at the time called “deeply disturbing.”
“A lot of individuals were not even seeking help. We want people to seek help, at a minimum, if they feel they have experienced this,” Faust said on CBS. “We need a policy that supports that, and also is a policy that operates in a just way.”x
In 2014, the Law School was found to be in violation of Title IX after a Department of Education review found it had “failed to comply with Title IX's requirements for prompt and equitable response” in two student cases. The College is currently under investigation for its handling of sexual assault cases.
—Staff writer Leah S. Yared can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LeahYared.
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