By Angel Adegbesan
Details about sexual misconduct complaints on college campuses statewide are being publicized for the first time since the state enacted the “Enough is Enough” law more than three years ago in July 2015.
In mid-October the New York Post published an article citing 1,762 complaints made at 223 schools statewide in the first five months of this year, with 101 arising from 20 CUNY campuses.
York College acknowledged three complaints and the only expulsion as a sanction from a CUNY school during that time period. One took place on campus and the others off campus. The Post article cited statistics that were released by the state’s Education Department in August.
NYU had the highest number of complaints in the city, followed by Columbia with 43. There were ten complaints made at John Jay College, where four professors remain suspended and under investigation over numerous allegations of misconduct.
The state report includes information on whether incidents were reported to the authorities, if students requested “no contact” orders against alleged perpetrators and the outcomes of any school investigations.
The “Enough is Enough” law requires all colleges and universities to report the number of sexual assault, stalking, domestic or dating violence complaints made to their Title IX offices. Title IX is part of sweeping federal legislation dealing with sex discrimination on college campuses.
Recently Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed narrowing the obligations of schools when it comes to their obligations when it comes to responding to sexual misconduct. The 60-day public comment period for those proposals ends in January 2019.
New York State law requires colleges to take numerous steps to protect students against sexual violence, including providing them with training on how to prevent it.
Alicia Franqui, York’s Title IX coordinator whose office handles sexual harassment complaints, said that although the law was put in place in 2015, instruments were not put in place to compute and aggregate data until 2018.
In January 2018 an audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli chastised the education department for failing to meet reporting deadlines laid out in the 2015 law.