Three years ago, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched a comprehensive, independent investigation into Occidental’s handling of sexual assault cases.
On June 9, the OCR announced that it had closed its investigation and determined that Occidental did not violate Title IX, the federal gender equity law governing educational institutions. The OCR did find that three cases in 2012-13 took too long to resolve, but concluded that the case delays did not result in an inequitable response and did not create a hostile environment.
The OCR investigation “found a campus actively engaged in important work to satisfy Title IX responsibilities for all students," said Catherine E. Lhamon, the Department of Education’s assistant secretary for civil rights. “Where we had concerns, Occidental leaders committed to taking appropriate steps to ensure student safety. I am grateful for Occidental’s responsiveness during the course of the investigation, as well as its commitment to its students."
“The close of this investigation does not mean an end to our efforts to make Oxy safe for all of our students," Occidental President Jonathan Veitch said in a campus email.
“We have made significant progress in addressing the problem of sexual assault on campus, but there is much more that we need to do as a community to encourage survivors to come forward and to change campus culture to prevent sexual assault from occurring. Doing what’s required by the law doesn’t go far enough for Occidental. We want to continue to improve and do what’s best for our students and our community."