USC Responds to Title IX Inquiry

July 22, 2013

USC statement from Jody Shipper, Title IX coordinator and executive director of the Office of Equity and Diversity:

“The university is strongly committed to upholding all aspects of Title IX. We have received a letter from the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education notifying us of a complaint by two USC students alleging Title IX violations. The opening of an investigation is an expected step in the process, and the OCR states that ‘opening the allegations for investigation in no way implies that OCR has made a determination with regard to their merits.’

“We look forward to working with OCR to address any concerns and review our protocols as needed. The university, working with the Women Students Assembly and other groups, updated our sexual assault reporting guidelines in 2011-12. More recently, and prior to the filing of this complaint, USC began an ongoing review of policies and procedures in light of updated federal guidelines. The university remains vigilant in addressing any issues promptly and fully as they arise.

“The university offers confidential resources for students including the Student Counseling Center and the Center for Women and Men. Information on sexual assault, the university’s procedures, and reporting guidelines also is available on the web at:

The following statement from the Division of Student Affairs was issued previously:

“The University of Southern California takes all reports of sexual violence extremely seriously and has many resources available to assist students who experience unwanted sexual contact. In all reported instances, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate disciplinary, as well as interim remedial, action. Previous investigations have resulted in a wide variety of sanctions, up to the dismissal of students from the university, including in cases where no criminal charges were filed.
“While the university remains committed to addressing student concerns and protecting the rights of all students, the university’s disciplinary process cannot and does not take the place of the judicial system. Any student victim of a crime has the option of reporting it to the Los Angeles Police Department.

“The university realizes that alleged crimes within personal relationships can be especially difficult to process, and we offer confidential resources, such as the Student Counseling Center and the Center for Women and Men, to help students deal with such issues.”