Harvard University’s new sexual assault policy comes with a team of investigators who will review reports of sexual harassment on campus.
While no umbrella policy previously existed, Harvard announced Wednesday that all of its 13 schools and other units should comply with the the new procedures — effective this academic year. The change comes two months after Harvard's undergraduate college and law school were named two of 55 schools under a federal Title IX investigation.
The policy outlines a uniform procedure for a trained team to examine sexual and gender-based harassment complaints and determine how to address them. The team also must adopt a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which means they treat the complaint as more likely true than false.
"This new, progressive policy — alongside the new, centralized procedures for investigating reports — will significantly enhance Harvard’s ability to address these incidents when they occur," University President Drew Faust said in the release.
In April, Faust created a task force to recommend how to decrease sexual misconduct and better aid those who have experienced it. Last March, the university hired its first Title IX officer.
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— Natalie Daher