Sexual Assault Complaints Up At KU | KCUR

Sexual Assault Complaints Up At KU

Jan 27, 2015

It may seem counterintuitive, but officials at the University of Kansas say they’re pleased they saw an increase in the number of discrimination complaints in 2014.

The office that handles allegations of discrimination received 169 complaints last year. In 2013, that number was 85.

Jane McQueeny, director of the KU Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, says most of the complaints are under the category of Title IX violations. That's the federal law regulating sexual harassment and violence on campuses.

About a third of the complaint were rape allegations.

McQueeney says more reports are a good thing for the campus.

"I think that means people feel comfortable coming forward," she says. "They know where to go."

KU is on a list of dozens of colleges and universities nationwide under investigation by the Department of Education for the way they handle sexual harassment and violence.

KU student activist Emma Halling agreed it was a good thing more people came forward.

"The university says it has a 'robust process' for investigating these reports," says Halling." This is the year we get to see how effective that process is." 

McQueeny says the Title IX cases almost exclusively involve women filing complaints about men and most were student-on-student cases.