Today at noon, members of the UO Coalition to End Sexual Violence will protest the University of Oregon’s response to the recent sexual assault allegations involving four students on the Eugene campus.
This week, a Eugene police report was published that named three basketball players who allegedly raped and forced a female to perform oral sex back in March. The Lane County District Attorney’s Office dropped the investigation because of “insufficient evidence.”
The Register-Guard reports that because a complaint was filed about the university’s handling of the incident, federal law requires that the school now lead its own investigation:
“UO officials say that, because of federal student confidentiality rules, they cannot discuss anything about — or even the existence of — any investigation regarding the basketball players.”
“I’m puzzled and deeply concerned,” UO Psychology Professor Jennifer Freyd told Think Out Loud Wednesday. “My understanding of the federal legislation is that universities are absolutely required to initiate their own investigation when they receive a report of this nature. And they’re not allowed to wait for weeks and weeks, no matter if there’s a criminal case.”
Freyd was involved with the White House task force that created university guidelines for cases of sexual assault — she was in Washington, D.C., last week for a public unveiling of the guidelines.
The Obama administration also announced that it would be reviewing how 55 universities and colleges handled sexual assault allegations. No Oregon institution was on the list. Washington State University and University of Idaho will be investigated.