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Columbia is under investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for violations of Title IX and Title II, a spokesperson for the department confirmed on Monday.

Updated: Jan. 12, 6:57 p.m.

Columbia is under investigation by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights for violations of Title IX and Title II, a spokesperson for the department confirmed for Spectator on Monday.

According to the spokesperson, Columbia is under two investigations for violating Title II, which prohibits discrimination in educational institutions on the basis of ability, and one for violating Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. The investigations into Columbia opened Jan. 8.

Barnard, which was reported to be under investigation last week, is being investigated separately for Title IX violations.

"OCR has always considered Columbia and Barnard to be separate institutions and handled cases accordingly," a spokesperson for the education department said in a statement to Spectator. 

Last April, 23 Barnard and Columbia students filed a federal complaint against the University alleging violations of Title IX, Title II, and the Clery Act.

Columbia and Barnard join 93 other universities across the country that are also under investigation by the DOE. Barnard is the only women's college on the list, a spokesperson confirmed for Spectator last week.

"We are committed to complying with Title IX and have no higher priority than protecting the safety and well-being of all who are part of our university community, and we will fully cooperate with OCR's inquiry," the University said in a statement sent to Spectator. "In light of recent guidance from the White House and OCR and new federal regulations, we have updated our policies, strengthened our procedures, and enhanced our team of professionals dedicated to preventing and responding to sexual assault and other forms of gender-based misconduct. Major additional measures are planned, including a sexual violence prevention initiative involving students, faculty, and gender-violence experts that will be announced shortly. In keeping with University policy, we cannot comment further on the OCR investigation."

Check back for updates.

Elizabeth Sedran contributed reporting.

teo.armus@columbiaspectator.com  |  @teoarmus

sexual assault Title IX Title II
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