Xavier University is under federal investigation for possibly violating the civil rights of student Kalyn Burgio, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The university's handling of two sexual assault cases might have violated the federal Title IX law, according to comments from Education Department's Office of Civil Rights representatives to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Burgio contends Dean of Students Luther Smith negotiated on behalf of her accuser, violating university policy and her civil rights. The alleged rapist Sean Marron was expelled twice for violations stemming from unwanted or forced sexual contact.
Ohioans shared their thoughts about campus safety and student civil rights via email, instant messaging and Twitter.
* "A college or university is not a separate entity where laws do not apply. University hearings are a joke and should not be permitted in cases where a crime may have been committed. The intimidation tactics by Dean Smith against at least one rape victim are deplorable. It is in the university's best interests to keep crime and sexual assault statistics low. Parents and students should be fully informed of crimes committed on campus. The university should not be allowed to police itself and then sit in judgment of those who pay their salaries via tuition." -- Austin Weaver, retired law enforcement officer, Cincinnati.
* "My daughter is graduating high school next year and had Xavier on her list of prospective schools. It will now be removed. Sexual assault can occur on any campus, but after reading the story in the Enquirer and realizing the attempts to cover up sexual assault crimes and essentially pushing the needs of victims aside or maintain a good reputation, I would not allow my daughter to go there." -- Robin Hanna, psychologist, Columbus.
* "I had no idea that a college could try students for real crimes. Just because a crime was committed on a campus, that does not mean the local police should not be called. The university hearings are not carried out by trained legal professionals and cannot order jail time. An expulsion for rape? Seriously? Women should be able to feel safe on campus and have their peers who cross the line punished to the fullest extent of the law." -- Stella Morgan, grandma homemaker, Logan.
* "I didn't realize that Title IX applied to anything but sports equity. The law actually states that women be free from discrimination based upon their sex. That is a bit vague in parameter, but if the law can be used to bring justice to a rape victim, then it is a good thing." -- Rashawna Eastman, Ohio State University graduate student, Columbus.
* "A bunch of old guys on the hearing board must have decided that the poor guy didn't need to have his future ruined because a girl wore a short skirt an enticed him. Disgusting. Anything above the level of noise complaints and plagiarism should be decided by a real judge or jury in a local courtroom. Colleges should not be involved beyond the initial incident report. They have a fiscal interest in making violent crimes stay hidden from parents and their checkbooks." -- Kevin Allen, small business owner, Newark.