Society

Dept. of Education Launches Third Sexual Assault Investigation in to UNC-Chapel Hill

| by Sylvan Lane
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The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is already the subject of two federal investigations regarding sexual assault on campus. Now the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is launching a third—one focused on alleged retaliation against Landen Gambill, a sophomore who filed a complaint against the university for inappropriately handling her claim that an ex-boyfriend sexually assaulted her.

In January, Gambill and four other female students filed federal complaints against the university for “'violating' assault survivors' rights under the Campus Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights, the Clery Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and equal opportunity mandates under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” according to The Huffington Post.

In March, Gambill filed an additional complaint after a student-run honor court charged her with a violation of the school’s honor code for creating an “intimidating” environment for her attacker, who she never publically named. The charge was eventually dropped, but Gambill claims that the violation was retaliation for speaking up and reporting her assault.

This third investigation will also look into “[w]hether the university retaliated against Gambill when it assigned the male student “to a dormitory in close proximity to (Gambill’s) dormitory after he was found to have sexually harassed (Gambill) and subjected to a no-contact order,” according to the News & Observer based in Raleigh.

The two investigations initiated earlier, “include complaints that UNC-Chapel Hill allegedly created a hostile climate for sexual assault survivors, failed to properly adjudicate rape at the school and that officials allegedly underreported sexual misconduct on campus,” according to The Huffington Post.

Sources: The Huffington Post, News & Observer