23 Columbia Students File Landmark Sexual Assault Complaint


Columbia Campus

Peter Jacobs/Business Insider

Columbia University and Barnard College students filed several federal complaints Thursday morning, alleging that the university administration violated multiple national policies concerning sexual assault, The Columbia Daily Spectator reports.


The 23 students who filed the complaints allege that the university violated Title IX, Title II, and the Clery Act. Title IX protects students from gender-based discrimination, including sexual assault and harassment, and Title II protects them from discrimination on the basis of disability.

The Clery Act is a federal law requiring colleges to report any crime on-campus or in the surrounding area.

The Spectator has a large list of the numerous alleged violations:

The allegations in the 100-page complaint included that the University treats survivors and alleged perpetrators unequally, perpetrators are allowed to remain on campus, students are discouraged from reporting sexual assault, LGBTQ students face discrimination in counseling, advising, adjudication, and Greek life, students do not receive accommodations based on mental health disabilities, and that sanctions for perpetrators are too lenient.


While there has been a noticeable trend towards more Title IX lawsuits on college campuses recently, Jezebel notes that it is uncommon for students to simultaneously file complaints about Title II and the Clery Act.

"In doing this, Columbia students are holding their administration accountable not only for its deeply inadequate response to sexual assaults, but also for its utter inability to provide appropriate accommodations for those students who suffer mental health trauma in the aftermath of sexual violence," according to Jezebel.

Read more about the students' complaint at The Columbia Daily Spectator >>