First annual Northwestern sexual misconduct report released

Reporter: Kaitlyn Budrow

Exactly 179 students filed sexual misconduct complaints last year according to a report released by Northwestern in December.

This report is the first of its kind, numerically breaking down reported cases of sexual misconduct as part of the University’s effort to increase transparency.

“I think it’s a really important accountability step for the University,” said Amanda Odasz, Community Outreach Chair for Student Health and Assault Peer Educators.  “It’s a way for them to put their money where their mouth is and go beyond just saying they support survivors to actually providing direct evidence.”

Of all reports filed against students last year, 32 percent of complainants chose not to proceed with formal or informal resolution.  A total of 17 student cases were formally resolved last year.  Of those 17 cases, exactly seven resulted in expulsion while three cases found respondents not responsible.  Of the remaining cases, six respondents were put on disciplinary probation and one was suspended.

Northwestern Title IX coordinator Joan Slavin said in an email to NNN, “It is my hope that sharing the data will raise awareness about how reports of sexual misconduct are handled at Northwestern and continue to build trust in our complaint resolution process.”

While student activists are pleased with these new efforts, some say the University could be doing more to combat sexual misconduct.

“There’s always going to be room for the improvement,” said Dan Loizzo, President of Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault.  “Until every single student doesn’t have to face their perpetrator in a class, in a dorm, not enough is being done.”

Read the full report here.