Sexual assault gained attention on the campus when the college took the surprising step in March 2015 of asking the Office for Civil Rights to investigate its handling of three cases of alleged sexual assaults. It did so just before The Huffington Post published an article detailing those cases, and the women's allegations that the university failed to handle their complaints fairly. The office declined the college's request because a group of students had filed a federal complaint against the college in February, The Huffington Post reported. The office opened an investigation of Grinnell in July 2015.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault and collected resources online.