Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2014

Washburn president says Topeka campus is safe

July 10, 2014

— An alleged sexual assault involving two students is the reason Washburn University was added to a national list of colleges and universities under federal investigation for their response to complaints about sexual crimes, university President Jerry Farley says.

Farley said university police investigated the case and sent the findings the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office. The student who was accused in the case was punished for violating student codes.

Farley said sexual assault is rare at Washburn University, which is the only higher education institution on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights list of 66 post-secondary institutions with current Title IX sexual violence investigations.

“We have a very safe campus,” he said.

The university has a month to provide the federal agency with documents concerning Washburn’s procedures and how the university responded to the reported assault. The victim of the alleged assault filed a complaint against the school in April, and the Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation July 1, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1jgdog9 ).

Farley said privacy regulations prevented him from revealing the genders of those involved in the case, whether they are still enrolled at Washburn and the form of punishment.

Being included on the federal list does not mean Washburn has done something wrong, Farley said Wednesday.

“When the word ‘investigate’ is used, it is such a powerful word,” he said. Farley also said he’s confident the university is doing what it needs to do to respond to sexual violence allegations.

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