Occidental College Settles with Student Rape SurvivorsS

Occidental College will pay the price for repeatedly mishandling sexual assault allegations: senior officials agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to the the 50 current and former students and faculty members who, with the help of Gloria Allred, filed a federal Title IX complaint in April.

Students and alumni alleged that the liberal arts college “fostered a hostile learning environment through decisions designed to bury the true numbers of sexual assaults on campus" (via the L.A. Times). When they asked for help, they felt “betrayed by campus administrators, and re-victimized.”

Occidental spokesman Jim Tranquada said in a statement that the school can't comment "except to say that this matter has been resolved. It is a confidential matter and we intend to honor the confidentiality and privacy of those involved." Allred echoed that statement: “It is a confidential matter, and we intend to honor the confidentiality and privacy of those that are involved.”

So has anything changed? According to the L.A. Times, yes:

Over the summer the college adopted a new interim sexual misconduct policy and recently hired an advocate for abuse survivors, Tranquada said. The college has also created a 24-hour telephone hotline and expanded preventive education programs for all students.

"The college continues to move ahead with its efforts to address this important issue and make Occidental a national leader in dealing with sexual misconduct," Tranquada said.

[L.A. Times]

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