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Harvard Law School Yet to Complete Title IX Investigation from 2010 Complaint

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Harvard continues to face questions about how the college handles sexual assault cases as the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights investigates a complaint filed against the Law School in 2010, according to The Harvard Crimson.

The complaint was filed by New England School of Law professor Wendy Murphy. Another complaint was filed last week by the undergraduate activist group known as Our Harvard Can Do Better.

The complaints list grievances with the disciplinary system used by the college and the accommodations process for victims of sexual assault.

A task force was created for the University by President Drew G. Faust. If the school is found in violation during the investigation, it could lose federal funds.

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Murphy claimed in the lawsuit that the school handles instances of sexual assault in manners that are not “prompt and efficient.”

In a written statement, Robb London said that the complaint is still pending. London is a spokesman for the law school.

“Separately, HLS has participated in a University-wide review of Harvard’s Title IX policies and procedures,” London wrote. “The review is nearing completion.”

Bernice R. Sandler worked in conjunction with Congress back in 1970 to pass Title IX. She now works as the senior scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute.

“Sometimes [the Department of Education is] slow, sometimes they’re very busy…and sometimes schools use delaying tactics,” Sandler said. “Four years is a little long.”

“[Elite colleges] are more visible for what they’re doing and not doing,” Sandler said.

Murphy expressed her frustration with the fact that her case has not been resolved by Harvard Law.

“Harvard says they have zero tolerance for violence against women. Then why do they refuse to apply the preponderance standard of proof?” Murphy said. “The effect of such a rule is tantamount to declaring the word of a woman less valuable, less credible and less worthy than the word of her attacker.”

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