Sexual assault gained attention on the campus in the fall of 2013 when seven current and former students filed a federal Title IX complaint against the university, alleging that it had failed to protect them from sexual assault and had responded to their reports with “deliberate indifference.”
Four of the complainants also filed a federal lawsuit against the university, accusing it of violating their civil rights by inadequately responding to their reports of sexual assault. The lawsuit, which a fifth plaintiff later joined, sought damages for emotional distress and asked the court to order the university to revise its policies. The plaintiffs, all women, have spoken publicly about their experiences.
Students have protested the institution’s handling of sexual assault, including the response of its president, Susan Herbst, to the Title IX complaint. Allegations that the university was indifferent to reports of sexual assault, she said, were “astonishingly misguided and demonstrably untrue.”
In April 2014, the Connecticut State Senate unanimously approved legislation that requires colleges to immediately supply victims of sexual assault with written statements of their rights and to make annual reports to the state’s General Assembly.
UConn was one of the initial 55 colleges under investigation in this wave of federal enforcement as announced by the Education Department in May 2014.
In July 2014, the university said it would pay nearly $1.3 million to settle the lawsuit. Most of that sum, $900,000, went to one plaintiff who said she had been kicked off the women’s hockey team after reporting that she was raped by a men's hockey player. The university did not admit any wrongdoing and maintained that it “categorically denies” the allegations, but it outlined several new steps to respond to campus sexual assault. As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs agreed to withdraw their federal Title IX complaint. However, as that complaint also included three other students who were not part of the lawsuit, the investigation continued.
In April 2016, the university released the results of a climate survey on sexual violence. About 5 percent of students who responded said they had been sexually assaulted while in college, and another 2.6 percent said they suspected that they had been assaulted but were not certain. The university told the Hartford Courant that the rate in its survey may be lower than what has been recorded in others because the group that conducted it tried to poll a more representative sample of people.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault; collected resources online; hired a new assistant dean of students for victim support services; formed a Title IX investigations team, special-victims unit in the campus police department, community resource team, and bystander-intervention task force; and continued to modify its policies and procedures.
STORRS — Eighty-two percent of students who responded anonymously to a climate survey on sexual violence conducted last fall at UConn said they feel safe, but one in 10 female students on the Storrs campus report having been sexually assaulted whi...
UConn, along with many other universities, will increase services offered to victims of sexual assault on campus in the wake of many sexual assault settlements and news reports that one in five women are sexually assaulted on college campuses.
UConn expelled seven students last year who were charged with sexual assault and received 85 complaints of sexual assault, some dating back several years, according to a report filed with the legislature.
Reports of sexual assault climbed last year on many Connecticut college campuses, an increase that college officials and experts attributed to heightened awareness and expanded educational programs that make it easier for victims to come forward.
The University of Connecticut announced on Friday that it would pay nearly $1.3-million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by five current and former female undergraduates who said that it had mishandled their complaints of sexual assault.
When seven current and former students at the University of Connecticut filed a federal complaint last month alleging that the university had failed to protect them from sexual assault, the response from the president there was brusque.
HARTFORD -- Three current students and one recent graduate filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the University of Connecticut, alleging that the university violated their rights by not providing them with adequate protection and assistance after...