The University saw a record 88 complaints of sexual misconduct between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2016, according to Yale’s latest semi-annual Report of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct, released Tuesday.
That figure surpasses the previous high — 78 complaints between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2015 — since the University began publishing the reports in 2011.
Of the 88 complaints, 30 fall under sexual assault and 44 are sexual harassment allegations. The three other categories of sexual misconduct listed in the report — intimate partner violence, stalking and other — make up the rest.
Title IX coordinators addressed 69 complaints, the Yale Police Department 14 complaints and the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct five complaints. The Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center can also hear complaints, but it keeps all of its information confidential, so the report does not include grievances brought to SHARE’s attention. Complainants often engage with a combination of these venues, the report shows.
According to the new report, one Yale College student was suspended and one faculty member resigned following UWC procedures. The UWC also found sufficient evidence to expel a Yale College student and suspend a graduate or professional school student, in updates on two previous complaints.
Since Jan. 1, seven complaints of sexual assault and eight of sexual harassment were not further pursued by complainants, who worked with Title IX coordinators to make that decision. 10 other potential complainants — eight of sexual assault and two of sexual harassment — did not engage with Title IX coordinators, who contacted them after receiving information from a third party.
With this report, the University has reached the five-year mark of compiling and releasing semi-annual reports on complaints of sexual misconduct. Additionally, the UWC — the only entity that can take formal disciplinary action on Yale grounds — turned five years-old this July. University Title IX Coordinator Stephanie Spangler wrote that the University has decided to share aggregate five-year statistics in the latest report.
A total of 623 complaints of sexual misconduct were brought forward to the University between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2016. These include 316 complaints of sexual harassment and 156 complaints of sexual assault.
“While the number of complaints reported to university officials over the past five years far exceeds reporting levels in any prior five-year period, we know from both national statistics and our own participation in the 2015 [Association of American Universities] Sexual Climate Survey that this number represents only a fraction of the instances of sexual misconduct at Yale,” Spangler wrote.
The results of the AAU survey were released almost a year ago, but what University President Peter Salovey had called “extremely disturbing” figures continue to impact campus discussions today. With the newly released five-year data, Spangler said the University is redoubling its efforts to remove barriers to reporting and to improve the overall campus sexual climate.
Moving forward, Spangler told the News that she feels optimistic.
“I am very grateful for the high and growing level of community engagement as we seek to identify and reduce barriers to reporting and to expand our initiatives to prevent sexual misconduct at Yale,” she said.
In the previous semi-annual report, which was released in February, Spangler’s office sought to clarify the role of Title IX coordinators, who cannot hold formal disciplinary hearings but can assist complainants in other ways. Title IX coordinators can help impose no-contact restrictions, and they act more like counselors to complainants, taking action or dropping the case in accordance with the complainants’ wishes.
These responses fall into three categories: those incidents where coordinators took action on behalf of complainants, those where coordinators worked with complainants who decided to take no further action, and those where coordinators reached out to potential complainants based on information from third parties, such as freshman counselors and residential college administrators who have an obligation to report. The latest report presented statistics for the last two categories in an effort to document complaints that were dropped, although complainants always have the option to pursue action in the future.