Using Title IX and the Model of Public Housing to Prevent Housing Discrimination Against Survivors of Sexual Assaults on College Campuses

Cleary, Shannon

I will therefore argue in this Note that Title IX compliance must include procedures for guaranteed safe housing after an assault. Because so few students do file complaints with their universities, I will argue that these procedures should be available regardless of police involvement or whether a student files a formal complaint. In Part I, I will explain how sexual assaults fit within the Title IX framework of discrimination. In Part II, I will provide a brief history of how Title IX has been used in response to campus sexual assaults in the lead up to the current wave of complaints. I will also give an overview of the OCR guidelines regarding how colleges and universities should handle reports of sexual assaults within their campus communities and what the role of housing has been in complaints thus far. In Part III, I will analyze a campus survey conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to show how current reporting mechanisms are underutilized for a variety of reasons, including the inability of survivors to label their experiences. In Part IV, I will examine how public housing attempts to ensure the safety of residents who are survivors of domestic violence. Lastly, in Part V, I will show how public housing policies can be adapted to fit within a university system, guiding how and when universities can move students accused of assault and ways to move complainants that are not stigmatizing or isolating. Such policies could limit discrimination against survivors who seek safer housing that does not impair their access to education and will give universities more guidance on how to comply with Title IX.



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Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

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January 23, 2017