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Statement by Alan K. Cubbage, Vice President for University Relations, About Northwestern University's Response to Student Title IX Complaint Filed in Court Last Week

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February 21, 2014

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Today, Northwestern University filed its answer to the student Title IX complaint filed in court last week. While Northwestern does not typically comment to the media on pending litigation, the University has noted that this complaint included substantial inaccuracies, which have been reported in the media and commented upon by the plaintiff’s counsel who filed the lawsuit.

Northwestern has notified the attorney for the student plaintiff about the inaccuracies, and the attorney has indicated that he will file an amended complaint and correct press statements.

In the meantime, Northwestern wishes to set the record straight and reaffirm its strong commitment to the health, safety and well-being of its students. Northwestern has established procedures for responding to such complaints -- and those procedures were adhered to in this incident.

As detailed specifically in Northwestern’s Answer filed in court today, Northwestern complied fully with its procedures, conducted a prompt and thorough investigation of all of the allegations made by the student to the University and took a number of corrective and remedial actions in this matter.

Northwestern treats the issue of compliance with Title IX and the recent Violence Against Women Act amendments with the utmost seriousness. The University has always prohibited sexual misconduct and has dedicated numerous resources to making this issue a top priority. Northwestern’s many recent achievements in this area include:

• Establishing the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education (CARE), which provides confidential counseling and advocacy for students who have experienced sexual violence;

• Launching a new Title IX website that provides detailed information on University policies, processes and resources to handle sexual misconduct;

• Forming a Title IX Coordinating Committee consisting of several University administrators who meet monthly to discuss and implement best practices in Title IX compliance;

• Forming the Campus Coalition on Sexual Violence, which includes many student representatives, to address sexual misconduct issues and prevention; and

• Publishing last month a new, comprehensive policy titled “Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Dating and Domestic Violence” that applies to all University faculty, staff and students.

Northwestern is strongly committed to the safety and security of all its students and personnel -- and to supporting those who come forward to report allegations of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct.

Topics: University