University releases second sexual misconduct report

Forty-nine cases of sexual harassment, assault or other misconduct were brought to Yale officials between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year, according to the University’s second semiannual report compiling sexual misconduct complaints.

The report documents complaints filed by all students, staff and faculty, and contains the first instance of expulsion due to sexual misconduct disclosed under the University’s recently introduced reporting system. The punishment was issued by the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC), and appeared to be the first instance in which any student had been expelled from the University since at least 1998, according to annual reports of the Executive Committee archived online.

According to the report, released by University Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler in a campuswide email Tuesday, the complaint that led to expulsion was filed on behalf of a female Yale College student and alleged that a male undergraduate with whom she had been in a relationship “had committed acts of intimate partner violence.” The UWC found sufficient evidence to support the allegations and decided to expel the male student because of his “prior history of similar conduct.”

Spangler said Wednesday she does not know if a student had ever been expelled due to sexual misconduct before last semester. Yale College Dean Mary Miller could not be reached for contact Wednesday.

“The goal is to be fair and consistent given the complexities of the case,” Spangler said about Yale’s grievance procedures. “It’s not a formulaic process.”

Spangler said administrators continue working to “clarify and communicate” the University’s sexual misconduct policies. With a year of complaints now documented, Spangler said that administrators are in the process of reviewing the procedures to see if anything needs to be changed.

The expulsion case was one of seven formal complaints filed with the UWC. Such complaints set in motion a full investigation led by an external fact-finder.

Three of the formal complaints led to students’ receiving at least a two-semester suspension or probation. One graduate or professional student who was issued a four-semester suspension and barred from campus for “acts of intimidation, coercion and intimate partner violence” against a female student also had two other formal complaints filed against him. Neither of those was accepted under the committee’s jurisdiction because he had withdrawn from the University by the time they were filed.

Another formal complaint adjudicated by the UWC was filed by two undergraduates who claimed a male student had subjected them to “actions of a sexual nature that were physically and verbally threatening.” He now faces a five-term probation and a ban on consuming alcohol on campus and from being on campus if intoxicated.

The UWC also saw eight informal complaints, which do not include full investigations but instead aim for a resolution acceptable to both sides. They most often led to administrators counseling the respondent on “appropriate conduct,” while sometimes also restricting the respondent from contacting the complainant.

Twenty-nine complaints filed with one of the University’s fifteen Title IX coordinators were included in the report. These informal complaints contained a wide-range of allegations, including non-consensual sex, stalking, unwanted advances, physical abuse, and inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature. Respondents to the complaints were counseled on appropriate action, issued written disciplinary warnings, and given additional training on professional workplace conduct, among other actions.

The Title IX coordinators were not always able to substantiate the allegations, and a number of complainants chose not to pursue further action after being informed of their options for informal or formal resolution.

According to the University’s first semiannual report, which was released in February, 52 cases of sexual misconduct were brought to officials between July 1 and Dec. 31 of 2011. Five of those complaints were updated in the most recent report.

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