Campus / News / Uncategorized / November 11, 2015

Knox releases 2014-2015 sexual assault data

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.



Aggregate Data:

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:

  • An investigation was completed for 8 cases.
    • 4 investigations resulted in a finding of responsibility for a violation of College policy; the subsequent sanctions were 2 suspensions of two or more terms, and 2 dismissals with no possibility of re-admission.
    • 4 investigations found that the preponderance of the evidence did not support a conclusion that the responding party violated College policy.
  • In 5 cases, the reports were anonymous and the information provided was insufficient to permit a full investigation at this time.
  • In 8 cases, the reporting party requested confidentiality and/or that no further action be taken. In accordance with OCR guidance, the College determined that these requests could be honored.

For the 2 incidents that occurred in a prior year:

  • The responding party accepted responsibility and was delivered a sanction of dismissal in 2014-15 with no possibility of re-admission.

In addition the College received:

  • 4 reports of stalking resulting in investigation; resolution is pending in those cases.
  • 1 report of sexual exploitation, resulting in an investigation. The preponderance of the evidence did not support a conclusion that the responding party violated College policy.
  • 2 reports of dating violence.
    • 1 case, in which the responding party, who was not a Knox student, was banned from campus as an interim/protective measure.
    • 1 case in which an investigation found that the preponderance of the evidence did not support a conclusion that the responding party violated College policy.


Kate Mishkin
Kate Mishkin is a senior majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. She started working for TKS as a freshman and subsequently served as managing editor, co-news editor and co-mosaic editor. Kate is the recipient of four awards from the Illinois College Press Association for news and feature stories and one award from the Associated Collegiate Press. She won the Theodore Hazen Kimble Prize in 2015 and 2014 and the Ida M. Tarbell Prize in Investigate Journalism in 2014. She has interned at FILTER Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WGIL radio and the Virginian-Pilot.

Twitter: @KateMishkin

Tags:  sexual assault title ix

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