Knox College on list of 55 under investigation for sexual violence complaints

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Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois is one of 55 colleges and universities under investigation over handling of sexual violence complaints.

Federal investigators are checking to see whether the schools on the list illegally handled sexual violence and harassment complaints, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The investigations are conducted by the department’s Office for Civil Rights.

The investigations center on Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

“In the past, Department officials confirmed individual Title IX investigations at institutions, but today's list is the first comprehensive look at which campuses are under review” for possible violations concerning sexual violence, the Dept. of Education statement said.

“Schools that violate the law and refuse to address the problems identified by OCR can lose federal funding or be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for further action,” the department statement said.

As of May 1, 2014, 55 the OCR had open investigations underway regarding 55 colleges and universities. Knox College in Galesburg, and the University of Chicago, were among the institutions under investigation.

The Knox College investigation relates to a report of sexual misconduct that occurred during fall term 2013 according to The Knox Student campus newspaper.

"In anticipation of the investigation, Knox is launching a campus climate survey to understand how Knox students understand and respond to sexual violence," the paper reported.

OCR investigators were expected to visit the campus in mid-May.

These institutions were on the May 1 list:

Arizona State University

Butte-Glen Community College

Occidental College

University of California-Berkeley

University of Southern California

Regis University

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Colorado at Denver

University of Denver

University of Connecticut

Catholic University of America

Florida State University

Emory University

University of Hawaii at Manoa

University of Idaho

Knox College

University of Chicago

Indiana University-Bloomington

Vincennes University

Amherst College

Boston University

Emerson College

Harvard College

Harvard University—Law School

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Frostburg State University

Michigan State University

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Guilford College

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Minot State University

Dartmouth College

Princeton University

Cuny Hunter College

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Sarah Lawrence College

Suny at Binghamton

Denison University

Ohio State University

Wittenberg University

Oklahoma State University

Carnegie Mellon University

Franklin and Marshall College

Pennsylvania State University

Swarthmore College

Temple University

Vanderbilt University

Southern Methodist University

The University of Texas-Pan American

College of William and Mary

University of Virginia

Washington State University

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Bethany College

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine