23 cases were reported to Title IX in the 2014-2015 academic year–a jump from the 20 cases reported last year, according to data released annually by Title IX Coordinator Kim Schrader.
But of these, an investigation was completed for eight cases–nearly a third of the reports brought to the College.
Of those eight, four investigations found the respondent in violation of college policy; the other half did not find the respondent responsible.
This data is consistent with data released in the 2013-2014 academic year–half of the nine cases brought to the Grievance Panel resulted in a finding that the respondent was guilty.
There could be a number of reasons why a case is not pursued by an investigator. Some cases may have been reported through a silent witness report or anonymous disclosure and lack the information to be reviewed by an investigator. Schrader mentioned that a reporting party sometimes requests confidentiality.
“For many victim-survivors, this is an important choice,” Schrader said in an email.
But to senior Rachael Morrissey, who has been working to reform Title IX policy at Knox, that statistic is way too low.
“Why does Knox College … have a 50 percent rate of finding people responsible? It’s like flipping a coin. It really aggravates me,” she said.
She and other students have been meeting weekly with administration to reform Title IX policy at Knox.
Of the 23 reported cases, an appeals panel met in four cases. Of those four, two cases upheld the original decision, and the other two “remanded the case” to the investigator for reconsideration.
To Morrissey, the appeals process is still a troubling aspect of the Title IX procedures on campus.
“If they saw enough problems with the Grievance Panel to abolish it, why is there still a panel, which is made up from a pool of the same people that the Grievance Panel was made up of?” she said. “It just seems like the same panel under a different name.”
None of these investigations from the 2015-2016 academic year were completed under the now-defunct Grievance Panel, Schrader said. Knox officially made the transition to a single investigator model last May following recommendations from the Office of Civil Rights.
That may be a reason for the increase in reports.
“We eliminated grievance panels, perhaps making the choice to pursue investigation and resolution less traumatic for victim-survivors,” Schrader said.
Morrissey also speculated mandatory reporting may be a reason for some of the increased reports.
“If more students were not forced to report, then I predict that the number of cases reported would drop, but the number of cases pursued would increase,” she said.
Title IX data is given to The Knox Student at the end of every academic year to print. According to Morrissey, releasing the data adds to transparency on campus.
“I think releasing the data shows what they’re doing and how effective they are,” she said.
Title IX Sexual Assault Cases Resolved in Academic Year 2014-15
In academic year 2014-15, the College resolved 23 reports of student-on-student sexual assaults: 21 of those were for incidents occurring during that academic year; 2 were for incidents that occurred in a prior year but resulted in a sanction delivered in 2014-15.
Of the 21 reported incidents that occurred in 2014-15:
For the 2 incidents that occurred in a prior year:
In addition the College received: