Harvard’s Title IX Office will split into two distinct offices—one for investigations and one for training and resources—in an administrative restructuring.
At an institution with a long history of decentralization, swift and coordinated action does not come easily—even on the “the serious problem of sexual assault.”
“We’re gonna be pushing for a lot of demands that we’ve been quite vocal about in the past,” Amelia Y. Goldberg ’19, a member of the group, said.
For students, faculty, or staff who filed complaints about conduct that occurred before September 2014, when the new policy went into effect, the investigative office uses the previous, school-level policies to define sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Harvard’s central office for investigating cases of sexual harassment has heard 34 cases since it opened in September 2014 and started a pipeline program to hire more investigators amid increased demand.
Undergraduate student activists are arguing that a document released to clarify Harvard’s sexual harassment policies is inaccessible to students.
A newly-released Frequently Asked Questions document clarifies that students accused of violating Harvard’s sexual harassment policy may turn to attorneys as their personal advisers.
Of the 25 to 30 cases the Ofice for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution has heard since fall 2014, between 10 and 15 are still open; more than half of the open cases were filed in the last two months.
The survey is a Harvard-specific version of an Association of American Universities poll being conducted at 28 schools across the country to gather data on sexual conduct.
The federal government published guidance on Friday that could strengthen the role of Title IX coordinators at many schools, including Harvard.
Harvard has not yet fully staffed the centralized office that is in charge of investigating reports of sexual harassment, more than nine months after administrators announced its creation.
After moving to break from Harvard's University-wide Title IX procedures, Harvard Law School has received comment from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on its own set of procedures.
The working group that crafted Harvard’s newly centralized sexual harassment policy and accompanying procedures did not anticipate that individual schools would deviate from those procedures to the extent Harvard Law School may, according to University Title IX Officer Mia Karvonides.
If the Law School’s new procedures are implemented, the University’s approach to investigating sexual harassment complaints against students will no longer be consistent across all of its schools.