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Brandeis latest school under scrutiny by feds

September 5, 2014

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Brandeis University is the latest college to come under scrutiny by the U.S. Education Department for its handling of sexual assault complaints.

The Waltham university is the 10th school in Massachusetts and one of more than 75 nationwide facing such an inquiry.

The federal investigation is focused on a student’s allegation that the school wrongly and unfairly found him responsible for sexual misconduct this past spring and subsequently disciplined him, The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/1nA3q6c ) reported.

Brandeis spokesman Bill Schaller would not comment directly about the investigation, or the complaint that prompted it, but said the school has taken several initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual assault.

Brandeis opened a rape crisis center, hired a psychological counselor who specializes in trauma and sexual violence, and relocated its office of sexual assault services and prevention to a more central location on campus, he said. The university has also conducted bystander-intervention training for students and created an informational website and distributed resource guides to students, faculty, and staff to increase awareness of sexual assault services and prevention efforts.

In May, the Education Department identified 55 campuses under investigation for possibly violating rules governing the handling of sexual violence and harassment cases, including six in Massachusetts: Amherst College, Boston University, Emerson College, Harvard College, Harvard Law School; and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The list has since grown to more than 75 colleges, including Berklee College of Music, Hampshire College, UMass Dartmouth, and now Brandeis in Massachusetts.


Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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