Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson
31. Critical Interventions: Addressing the Reality of LGBTQ Sexual Violence in Higher Education
Addressing the Reality of LGBTQ Sexual Violence in Higher Education
Sara Carrigan Wooten
On April 4, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden announced the release of a nineteen-page, “Dear colleague” letter by the current administration, which outlined revisions to previous Title IX mandates for all education institutions in the US that receive federal funding (Ali, 2011). The revisions were aimed at making the procedures for handling alleged incidents of sexual violence clearer for all parties involved, but specifically targeted administration and leadership on their professional responsibilities in responding to and investigating such complaints. While the release of the letter had been planned for months, it coincided with a March 31 press release announcing that the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) was investigating Yale University for Title IX violations regarding sexual harassment and violence against women on campus (Gassó, 2011).
Details of the investigation shocked the nation, given the university’s prestige and alleged indifference to the complaints of its students. In all, sixteen complainants cited numerous incidents ranging from public harassment of women to inadequate investigation of rape and sexual assault. The complainants alleged that these types of incidents had been occurring for years, absent meaningful sanction or condemnation from university leadership. The flashpoint for the complaint was the Yale chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity ordering their pledges to chant, “No means yes, yes means anal!” A 2008 incident involving members of the Yale chapter...
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