Two University of Southern California students criticized campus officials on Monday for their response to sexual assault victims, which is now being investigated by the U.S. Education Department for the third time regarding the issue.
“Students who go to receive counseling are promised services they never receive,” Tucker Reed told KNBC-TV. “They’re not informed of their rights, they’re not treated with the same respect and they’re not provided the same material as the students accused of raping them.”
Reed and fellow student Ariella Mostov said in a press conference they and members of their new campus organization, Student Coalition Against Rape (SCAR), filed a complaint with the department containing reports from more than 100 students who said the university stifled their accounts of being raped on campus. Both women also said they are appealing decisions by campus authorities.
“I was really victimized by student counseling and all the resources here,” Ariella Mostov said to KNBC, explaining that university police refused to investigate her case, while school officials both misrepresented her testimony to police and refused to let her transfer out of a class she shared with her assailant.
“It was five weeks into the semester, and they could not change it,” Mostov said she was told.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the government has also opened similar investigations at Occidental College, Dartmouth University, Swarthmore College and the University of California-Berkeley, looking to see if the schools were complying with Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in education. According to Buzzfeed, this marks the third investigation against USC centering on its handling of sexual assault reports.
A spokesperson for USC referred KNTV to a prior statement by the university’s Division of Student Affairs, which read, “USC takes all reports of sexual violence extremely seriously and had many resources available to assist students who experience unwanted sexual contact. In all reported cases, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate disciplinary, as well as interim remedial, action.”
Watch KNBC’s report on Mostov and Reed’s public statement against USC, aired Monday, below.
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