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June 7, 2014

Elmira, BU students react to Title IX probe

(Continued)

Like Hayes, several other Elmira students said they’ve never heard of anything like that happening on campus and do not feel unsafe there. 

The DOE will not disclose any case-specific facts or details about the institutions under investigation, according to the release. It did, however, reveal that the list includes investigations opened because of complaints received by OCR and those initiated by OCR as a result of compliance reviews.

According to the most recent statistics from the Department of Education, Elmira College reported four instances of forcible sex offenses in on-campus student housing facilities from the years 2010 through 2012. Two occurred in 2012.

On May 28, Elmira College issued an online statement regarding the list. 

“Elmira College is fully cooperating with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights with regard to this inquiry,” the release said. “Because of the ongoing investigation, the College will have no further comment on the inquiry itself.”

The college said the health and well-being of its community members are its highest priorities.

“Sexual offenses have no place in our community and will not be tolerated,” the statement said.

Casey Markham, of Norwich, said she felt the DOE’s release created more questions than answers and was vague, as was Elmira’s response.

“I’m going to keep reading up on it, though,” Markham, a 2014 Elmira graduate, said. “I’d like to know what really happened.”

Binghamton University reported five such instances to the DOE in 2010, six in 2011 and two in 2012. The college recently released a statement saying it cannot comment on the charges at this time but is cooperating with investigations.

Erin Filupeit, of Arkville, will be a junior at Elmira College next year. She was surprised to hear about the list after college administrators emailed students and assured them they were working on the issue, she said.

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