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Kept in the Dark? – Inside Higher Ed

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With rules around Title IX in flux, a George Washington University student has filed a different kind of complaint against the institution, alleging it violated another federal law designed to protect survivors.

A George Washington University student has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, accusing the institution of violating the federal law that protects sexual assault survivors and requires colleges and universities to share information about sex-related crimes reported on their campuses.

The Washington-based law firm Fierberg National Law Group filed the complaint on behalf of Gillian Chandler in March. George Washington officials deemed a former student responsible for raping Chandler after she attended an off-campus party in 2015, blacked out and woke up as she was being sexually assaulted. Chandler said she believed she was drugged.

The complaint comes at a time when many of the federal rules around campus sexual assault are in flux. In 2017, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pulled back Obama-era policies around how colleges should investigate sexual violence. DeVos instead proposed regulations relating to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal anti-sex-discrimination law, that pundits said were far more lenient on those accused of rape. The proposed new Title IX rules, which were released last year, were met with scorn by survivor advocates and recently went through a public comment period — the department has not yet approved them.

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