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Title IX

The Trump administration announced Friday it's rolling back some of the Obama-era guidance on how colleges handle sexual assault investigations.

The Trump administration announced on Thursday it is rolling back Obama-era guidelines mandating how colleges handle sexual assault and rape investigations. Survivors and colleges are grappling with what that means on campus.

The U.S. Department of Education has found Harvard Law School mishandled cases of sexual assault. The Department says the Law School did not appropriately respond to at least two student complaints. In one of those cases, the Law School took over a year to make its final decision.

Rolling Stone acknowledged Friday serious discrepancies in a story published last month about a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at the University of Virginia. Editors had said they decided to honor Jackie's request not to contact the man she claimed coordinated her attack for fear of retaliation. In a letter to their readers, they admitted that was a mistake.

Nearly 90 colleges and universities are now under formal investigation for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases on campus. Many aspects of the reporting process - and what happens afterward - are now under review, including whose responsibility it is to report cases of sexual assault. Many colleges put resident assistants, who live in dorms, squarely in the middle of the issue.

Harvard will implement its first university-wide sexual assault policy this fall. As part of the policy, a team of trained civil rights investigators, working out of a new centralized office, will review all sexual assault cases at each of the university's thirteen schools. Previously, academic administrators had been the ones to investigate those reports.

Tufts University has settled its dispute with the U.S. Education Department over its compliance with federal sexual assault policy. The disagreement touched off a national debate about sexual abuse investigations on college campuses.

Friday's settlement comes just over a week after the Department said Tufts had mishandled sexual violence and harassment complaints, and the university withdrew its agreement to comply with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination on college campuses.

For the first time, the US Department of Education released a full list of colleges and universities facing sexual abuse investigations and six Massachusetts colleges are on the list.

The schools include Amherst, Boston University, Emerson, Harvard College, Harvard Law School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All are under investigation for the mishandling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.

As sexual assault victims on college campuses begin to speak out, many are asking: what's the solution?  

This week on The Takeaway, California Representative Jackie Speier talked about one creative proposal that she hopes will help hold colleges accountable for how they handle sexual assault on their campuses. 

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