An article published today in The Nation revealed a disdainful message which a Title IX compliance officer accidentally sent to a student activist instead of to the officer’s colleague.
The student was one of a group of college Democrats working with administrators to make a flowchart which would clarify what rights and resources survivors of sexual assault were entitled to. According to the article:
After four months of negotiation, university administrators agreed to publish the flowchart online, but when they did, students found that the administration had cut crucial information, including which academic and living accommodations survivors were entitled to and what evidence would be admissible at university sexual misconduct hearings.
The student then emailed administrators to ask that, in the future, students be allowed to have direct contact with decision makers and be included in the final decision-making process. The Nation obtained the following email, sent by Virginia Ryan, a university Title IX compliance officer, to the student, instead of to her colleague Michael Dunn, Columbia’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Director of Investigations:
According to the Nation:
Ryan has not replied to requests for comment. In an email to the student afterwards, Ryan apologized, claiming that “the tone and content” of her message was not meant to convey “intent to ‘handle’ students.”
The Nation also published the student’s response to Ryan’s accidental message:
This incident adds a number of clashes between the administration and Columbia’s anti-rape movement, including the recent cancellation of the Bacchanal Fall Concert.