Six members of the University of Richmond community “were suspended, banned from campus, or permanently separated from the University" for sexual misconduct violations since 2013, according to data released by the university.
The Title IX reporting data was posted Monday on the student development website. The information was not emailed or sent to students or alumni.
The aggregate data provide information on the disposition of Tier I sexual misconduct reports for the past three academic years: 2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16.
Tier I sexual misconduct reports are those in which “the initial information provided indicates possible non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, dating/relationship violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation.” The university‘s definitions for these terms can be found in the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
In 34 cases, the respondent was a student, faculty or staff member at Richmond and the complainant pursued an investigation. The term respondent refers to “the person who is alleged to have violated the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.”
Eighteen of those investigations resulted in respondents being found responsible or admitting responsibly, and then being sanctioned. Six were suspended, banned or separated from the university, and the other 12 faced sanctions "commensurate with the offense for which they were found responsible," the report said.
“Those 12 did not include any charges of nonconsensual sexual intercourse," Maura Smith, Title IX coordinator and director of compliance, said. Smith oversees and maintains the sexual misconduct data.
Neither Smith nor Cynthia Price, director of media and communications at Richmond, would identify whether any of the other six sanctions were the result of rape. They also would not detail how sanctions were determined. The list of possible sanctions can be found here (page 36).
The university cannot go into specifics of certain groups of cases in order to protect “the privacy of the students involved,” Smith said.
As further explanation as to why the school would not go into greater detail, Price said, "Because our numbers are so small... We're required by FERPA."
According to the University registrar on FERPA, “The University may release Education Records without consent after the removal of all personally identifiable information and after the University makes a reasonable determination that a Student's identity is not personally identifiable in such records, whether through single or multiple disclosures, and taking into account other reasonably available information.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, “an institution may disclose the final results of a disciplinary proceeding” if it determines “the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense; and with respect to the allegation made against him or her, the student has committed a violation of the institution’s rules or policies.”
A total of 222 cases have been reported to Title IX during the past three academic years, and 124 of those were considered Tier 1.
Of the 124 cases classified as Tier 1, a complainant could not be identified in 14, so 110 cases continued past the first identification stage of the process. The term complainant refers to “the individual who is the subject of an act or incident of alleged sexual misconduct."
Smith named a variety of reasons a complainant may have been unidentifiable, whether it was because of “anonymous reports, reports from third parties, yik yak posts.”
Cases were dropped if a complainant “denied a third-party report,” “chose not to pursue an investigation” or if the respondent was not a member of the university community, and as such was not “subject to the University’s disciplinary process.”
The release of the data follows a series of high-profile discussions about rape and sexual assault at Richmond after two Westhampton College students published accounts condemning the administration's handling of their sexual assault cases.
In multiple meetings and forums since last Thursday, students and alumni have called for change within both the administration and student rape culture.
The Collegian conducted a survey in the spring of 2015 in which 42 percent of undergraduate female students participated. Of the undergraduate female respondents, 12.6 percent reported being sexually assaulted while at Richmond.
The university has been under federal investigation for a Title IX policy complaint since June of 2014. Since then, Cecilia Carreras, a Westhampton College student, has filed a complaint with the Department of Education over the handling of her Title IX case in 2015, Carreras said.
Contact news writer Claire Comey at firstname.lastname@example.org