Arizona State University is currently under federal investigation for enabling sexual violence and rape on campus and violating Title IX. The investigation has been ongoing since 2012, and ASU has been required to take interim measures during the investigation to prevent future violations.
The School’s Response:
Although the investigation began in 2012, the administration did not take meaningful steps to prevent and respond to sexual violence* until it appeared publicly on a list of colleges and universities under federal investigation in July 2014. In response to this suddenly public revelation, President Michael Crow formed a task force to address ASU’s rape problem in August 2014, a full two and a half years after the federal government opened its investigation, and five years after ASU settled a major Title IX lawsuit.
Kamala Green, the Title IX Coordinator who mishandled sexual violence complaints against Barrett professors, was replaced by Jodi Preudhomme, who previously served on ASU’s legal team defending ASU against rape victims in at least three Title IX lawsuits.
ASU continues to place the responsibility to prevent rape on victims, rather than potential perpetrators through the promotion of self-defense classes, and sexual violence “Crime Prevention Tips” (p. 37 of ASU’s 2015 Security Report).
Students are still reaching out to SDASA when they encounter hostility from the ASU administration after reporting sexual violence. While we are glad to assist both undergraduate and graduate students encountering a hostile educational environment, we hope for a day when we are no longer necessary.
Barrett, Honors College:
Since our petition and federal complaint, several Barrett professors have been removed from campus, ASU strengthened its policy to protect students from abusive relationships with professors, and the Phoenix New Times dedicated its first 2015 cover story to exposing Barrett’s rape culture.
Barrett professors and ASU administrators participated in retaliatory legal action to silence Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault. Despite an internal investigation by ASU confirming SDASA’s claims about Barrett professors sexually abusing students, Barrett faculty, led by Professor Jacquelyn Scott Lynch, attempted to smear SDASA’s founder and damage SDASA’s credibility. The federal government’s investigation of Barrett (including sexual harassment complaints against Dr. Lynch) is ongoing.
The Barrett administrators who allowed rape culture to persist for the past decade are still in power.
ASU Police Department Corruption:
Former ASUPD officers filed a lawsuit in February of 2016 saying they were forced to falsely report crime statistics to make ASU seem safer than it really is. ASUPD said only 29 sexual assaults happened on campus last year, but we know that the actual number of students who are raped at ASU is in the triple digits. It is ASU’s federal responsibility under the Clery Act to accurately and honestly report campus sex crime statistics.
If you’re interested in joining Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault, send us an email at SunDevilsASA@gmail.com, or send us a message on Facebook. All of our members are vetted, and email/FB communication is confidential.
*SDASA uses “sexual violence” as an umbrella term to encompass both physical and emotional abuse related to sexual harassment and rape.