CalArts students protest school’s handling of rape allegations
California Institute of the Arts students walked out of their classes Thursday afternoon to protest the school’s handling of rape allegations reported by one woman.
The students left their classes around 3 p.m., according to campus officials and students. It was unclear how many left, but the number was “substantial,” according to CalArts spokeswoman Margaret Crane.
Students then held a meeting to discuss the allegations. A female student said she had been assaulted by one of her peers and that school officials were insensitive during the investigation, according to media reports.
She also said her assailant was only suspended for one year after he was found responsible for the incident by CalArts administrators, media reports said.
The case was first reported by Al Jazeera.
The woman filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, which is investigating whether CalArts violated Title IX, which bans discrimination based on sex by schools receiving federal funds, according to documents posted online.
The complaints are part of a movement, led mostly by college students and recent graduates, to use existing federal laws as a way of holding campuses responsible for conducting thorough investigations of sexual violence accusations and providing safe environments.
Title IX and/or Clery Act complaints have been filed at Occidental College, USC and UC Berkeley, along with dozens of other campuses across the country.
The Clery Act requires schools receiving federal financial aid to report sexual assaults and other crimes.
CalArts administrators said in a statement that they could not discuss the case in detail because there is an ongoing investigation.
“We take matters of sexual misconduct like this very seriously and in this particular incident, we followed all institute protocols and procedures,” the statement said.
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