This month, theÂ U.S. Department of Educationâs Office for Civil RightsÂ released aÂ list of colleges being investigated for possible Title IX violationsÂ concerning how they handled complaints of sexual violence and harassment. Most of us are familiar with Title IXâs provisions for equal opportunities for women within college athletics, but the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program that receives federal funding, also has requirements for the handling of incidents of sexual violence. The list released this month is â as the Department of Education puts it â âthe first comprehensive look at which campuses are under review.â Among those campuses are at least two Texas schools âÂ Southern Methodist UniversityÂ andÂ The University of Texas Pan-American.
On this edition of Houston Matters, we examine universitiesâ responsibilities in handling sexual assault claims, how officials proceed with such investigations, what resources are available for Houston-area students, and the general attitude towards sexual assault on college campuses. We welcome your questions for representatives ofÂ Sam Houston State UniversityÂ and theÂ University of Houston, and theÂ Houston Area Women’s Center.