NW Case Raises Title IX Issues

The discussion here suggests that there are particular issues raised by the fact that the behaviour cited took place
off-campus. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go into much detail about the issues raised, or how the university could make a finding of such misconduct despite the behaviour being “outside its jurisdiction”. So I find the reporting on the legal issues very confusing.

The lawsuit says NU’s sexual harassment and prevention director emailed the university’s findings to the plaintiff on or about April 11, 2012: “In particular, Ms. Slavin found that Ludlow initiated kissing, French kissing, rubbing Plaintiff’s back, and sleeping with his arms on and around Plaintiff on the night of February 10-11, 2012.”

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, plus interest, attorney fees, punitive damages, costs associated with litigation, and any other relief the court deems appropriate.

The 2012 alleged incident occurred at a series of bars, art exhibitions and Ludlow’s apartment, according to the lawsuit, where the student, then under-aged, says she was forced to drink alcohol. She also says Ludlow acted inappropriately.

All the locations were off-campus and outside university jurisdiction, however.

Raphael said this case represents a national issue.

“This is a problem in many schools and universities in the country; this not just Northwestern,” Raphael said. Title IX “is trying to train schools to follow the complaints, but they move slowly … It’s a cultural issue; you see it in the Catholic Church, see it as closing of the doors, protecting itself, dragging its feet in terms of dealing with sexual assaulters.”

(Many thanks to Jackie Taylor both for supplying the link, and for noticing that I forgot to include it.)