At the beginning of this month, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released a list of 55 American colleges and universities under investigation for grossly mishandling sexual assault investigations. On Wednesday, the OCR announced that it's opened investigations at five more institutions of higher learning — bringing the number to 60.
According to the Huffington Post, the schools newly under investigation include the University of Alaska system, the University of Delaware, Elmira College in New York, the University of Akron in Ohio and Cisco Junior College in Texas. As of now, there's no information on whether the five new probes are in response to specific complaints or whether they're proactive investigations. However, we do know that two University of Akron students filed a complaint against the school for discouraging them from reporting and insinuating that one survivor was a "liar," as the Huffington Post reported in February; furthermore, the University of Akron was also recently accused of plagiarizing its sexual assault policies from other schools.
Of course, these 60 schools are barely even the tip of the iceberg — campus rape is a ubiquitous, systemic issue that occurs nationwide and has traditionally existed on an institutional level with impunity. It's reassuring to see such increased focus on preventing and prosecuting sexual violence on college campuses; unfortunately, though, I strongly doubt the steady stream of schools coming under investigation will stop any time soon.