Sexual assault gained attention on the campus in 2014, when news outlets reported on a restructuring at the university that resulted in the closure of an advocacy center for sexual-assault victims. At the time of the controversy, a Syracuse official stated that the campus's counseling center would serve as "the primary point of access for students seeking services related to sexual violence." That designation was important, she explained, because the counseling center was the place on campus that could offer "completely confidential and privileged services under federal guidelines and state law."
In February 2016, the university endorsed a U.S. Senate bill, known as the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, that sought to put more pressure on colleges to respond to reported sexual violence.
The university has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, and strengthened its education, training, and prevention efforts, through the work of a task force on sexual and relationship violence. The university is also conducting a climate survey.
This 10-page document includes two letters of notification (one to the college and the other to the complainant) informing both that an investigation is being opened following the complaint and requesting data from the college.
These files include correspondence about a second complaint against the university, which was later withdrawn. The Office for Civil Rights said it would investigate the issues in the withdrawn complaint in the course of this investigation.