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Five More Colleges Under Investigation for Sexual Assaults

University of Oregon students and staff protest on the steps of Johnson Hall on the UO campus in Eugene, Ore. Thursday May 8, 2014 against sexual violence in the wake of allegations of rape brought against three UO basketball players by a fellow student.(AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Chris Pietsch)
University of Oregon students and staff protest on the steps of Johnson Hall on the UO campus in Eugene, Ore. against sexual violence in the wake of allegations of rape brought against three UO basketball players by a fellow student. AP

Five more higher education institutions are under investigation by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights into whether the schools mishandled sexual assaults on campus and violated the gender equity law Title IX, the Huffington Post reports.

Earlier this month, the federal agency released a list of 55 colleges and universities -- including six in Massachusetts -- currently undergoing sexual assault investigations.

The department has now launched Title IX investigations at the University of Alaska system, the University of Delaware, Elmira College in New York, the University of Akron in Ohio, and Cisco Junior College in Texas, increasing the number of probes to 60, according to the Huffington Post.

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The department did not elaborate on whether the five new inquiries are proactive investigations or come in response to specific complaints.

The prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses is difficult to know because of the low levels of reporting, TIME reports. Harvard University, which is one of the schools under investigation, had 152 reports of sexual assault from 2006 to 2012, placing it among the ten schools with the highest cumulative reports, according to TIME. Last week, MIT—which is not currently being investigated by the US Department of Education—outlined several initiatives the university is implementing to address the issue of sexual assaults and misconduct on its campus, Boston.com previously reported. MIT’s announcement of a detailed plan to prevent harassments came a few months after a former student wrote a public account of being raped at the university.

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