Within three weeks of two alleged sexual assaults on campus, the University’s seventh biannual Report of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct, released Thursday afternoon, showed little change in the prevalence of sexual misconduct in the second half of 2014.
According to the report, which details all complaints brought to the attention of University officials between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2014, 62 new complaints were filed in the six-month period. In the previous reporting period, from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014, that number was 64.
Of the 62 complaints — five of which were arbitrated in a formal University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct proceeding and 15 of which were handled by the Yale Police Department, among a handful of potential venues — one resulted in an expulsion. Another resulted in suspension. Meanwhile, 13 cases are pending and six cases are still being investigated by the Yale Police Department.
While the total number of complaints did not significantly change between the two reporting periods, the number of reported sexual assaults dropped from 29 in the first half of the year to 13.
However, the report noted it is difficult to infer trends from the data.
“It remains challenging to identify meaningful statistical trends from the information in the reports,” the report read. “The reports capture information only about complaints that have been brought forward; without additional information about unreported incidents of sexual misconduct on our campus, it is challenging to draw conclusions about patterns and trends.”
The most recent report indicates that 41 reports of sexual misconduct were handled by the Title IX coordinator. According to UWC procedures, if the complainant decides against pursuing their complaint through the UWC, the case is then handled informally by the Title IX coordinator. In these instances, complainants work with University Title IX Coordinator Stephanie Spangler to decide upon the best resolution between the complainant and respondent, including but not limited to no-contact orders.
Spangler explained that Title IX Coordinators provide many services, including conducting investigations, filing formal complaints, pursuing resolutions and arranging for no-contact orders.
Some complaints that appear identical in the report ultimately receive different punishments. For example, in one case of non-consensual intercourse, a student was expelled, while in a different case, the respondent was placed on probation. Because the report aims to protect students’ privacy, cases that are in fact very different may fall under the umbrella designation of sexual assault.
In one case, the UWC found that a respondent was violating a no-contact order, for which he was given a written reprimand, a second restriction from contacting the complainant and a referral for training on sexual consent.
However, Spangler said while no-contact orders are issued frequently, the reports contain very few complaints of these orders being violated.
Eight of 10 students interviewed said they had not read the report carefully. However, students interviewed were divided on whether the University is sufficiently transparent in its handling of cases of sexual misconduct.
While Sarah Armstrong ’18 said she appreciates how transparent Yale is in disseminating information like this, other students disagreed.
“There needs to be more transparency so that we know how the University is handling this,” Michael Aguero-Sanclair ’18 said. “[There should be] more transparency on the side of how to file a [complaint], and knowing what the University sees and how they go through the process of deliberating a case.”
Correction: Feb. 6
A previous version of this story attributed unauthorized comments to Melanie Boyd, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. She has been removed from the article. The News regrets publishing incomplete and misleading information.