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Colleges and universities that receive federal funding are legally required to respond to all sexual assault complaints on their campuses. Numerous laws and guidance documents address the specific obligations of higher education institutions in their responses to complaints; however, many colleges and universities have failed to meet these obligations. This Note examines the requirements colleges and universities must comply with when responding to sexual assault complaints. It then highlights three high-profile mishandlings of sexual assault cases by colleges and universities and analyzes the benefits and drawbacks of allowing campus disciplinary committees to independently respond to sexual assaults. This Note then suggests that law enforcement should be integrated into the campus response procedures, specifies particular procedural changes that are necessary in campus disciplinary proceedings, and suggests alternative penalties to ensure institution compliance. Finally, this Note addresses proposed legislation aimed at improving the response of institutions to sexual assault on college and university campuses.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
8 Sep 2022
664 kB



  • Subject
    • Administrative Law

    • Criminal Law

    • Education Law

    • Gender

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

  • Volume
    • 36

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Pagination
    • 59

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022