Sexual assault gained attention on the campus when the Education Department added the university to a list of institutions facing a federal inquiry for potential Title IX violations over their handling of sexual-violence cases.
A local television station reported that an unnamed female student had accused the administration of mishandling its investigation into her alleged rape, and of violating the campus-safety law known as the Clery Act. The university said at the time that it was cooperating with the department's Office for Civil Rights and said that it had worked over time to revise its policies, but did not discuss details of the case, citing federal privacy laws.
In April 2015, the university's student newspaper published the results of a survey it had conducted that measured students' experiences and attitudes about sexual assault. The full survey results are available here.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, and taken steps to improve its policies and its climate.
A state task force in Virginia issued several recommendations in the spring of 2015, including to require public and private colleges to create sexual-assault-response teams, to conduct climate surveys at public colleges every two years, and to develop a state grant program to support research on gender-based-violence prevention. The state legislature also passed two laws, one requiring campus police officers to immediately notify local law-enforcement authorities after opening an investigation into felony sexual assault, and another requiring college employees to report any sexual assault disclosed to them to the campus Title IX coordinator.
Two alleged victims of sexual assault have spoken publicly about what they see as an inadequate response by the institution. One said she had filed a federal complaint against Richmond.