The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened new investigations into alleged sexual violence at University of Notre Dame and University of Chicago. The investigations, both opened in February, are two of 208 active Title IX cases the agency is looking into at colleges and universities.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Notre Dame and University of Chicago are two of the 167 schools currently being investigated for alleged violations of Title IX, the federal law mandating gender equality in education.

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Notre Dame hasn’t released any information about the new case, opened February 19, but a spokesperson told the South Bend Tribune, “The accused student in this matter is no longer enrolled at the university as of the spring semester of 2015, nearly a year before we learned of the OCR charge.”

University of Chicago also didn’t release any information about the new investigation, opened February 3. The university has also been under investigation since 2013 in a separate complaint filed by Olivia Ortiz, who, as Jezebel reported, alleged she was assaulted by her then-boyfriend. The Dean involved in the mediation process, she said, treated the assault as if it was “a dispute between two students,” prompting the school to revamp its practices. Since then, UChicago has seen students call out rapists on campus and face anonymous retaliation from their peers for it. Last month, a professor resigned after several students said he sexually harassed them.

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Notre Dame, meanwhile, was previously investigated by the OCR in 2010, after the suicide of Lizzy Seeberg, who died by suicide ten days after she said she was sexually assaulted by a member of the football team. Notre Dame reached a settlement with the OCR in 2011 where they agreed to give students better information about how to file a sexual assault complaint, what to expect after one was filed, and to “initiate and conclude its Title IX sexual harassment and violence investigations within 60 calendar days of receipt of a complaint, except in extraordinary circumstances.”


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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University of Chicago. Image via Luiz Gadelha Jr.Flickr