Possible sexual harassment cases during the past academic year nearly quadrupled at Harvard College from the amount filed in the 2013-14 school year, according to a report in the Harvard Crimson.
Over 120 cases reached Title IX coordinators at the university, but only five students ended up filing an official complaint with Harvard's Office of Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution.
Most of the students that made disclosures decided to settle on interval routes such as "course work extensions or leaves of absence," the Crimson said.
The Title IX Office released additional statistics on potential sexual assault reports in their first annual report on Tuesday, the Crimson wrote. This report was sent to a range of faculty and student leaders in an email Tuesday night in order to educate people associated with Harvard. According to a 2015 University-wide survey, 71 percent of respondents were not aware or slightly aware of the process of reporting a sexual assault incident.
Out of all of the schools at Harvard, the College had more students disclose information about their potential sexual assault issues to their Title IX coordinators.
“You look at what’s happening with the disclosures to the Title IX coordinators — that’s the larger universe. What we see in terms of formal complaints is really more like the tip of the iceberg," Mia Karvonides, Harvard’s first central Title IX Officer, told the Crimson.
The ODR had almost a 60 percent increase in sexual assault complaints from the 2014-15 academic year to the 2015-16 academic year, with a total of 41 by the end of the last academic year. Of these 41 complaints received, around half of them did not go on to a full investigation because some complaints had unofficial resolutions and some had "administrative closure".
“At the end of the day with sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, the fact that it is historically underreported — this has got to be our priority is to look for indicators that people are feeling more comfortable coming forward and availing themselves with support," Karvonides said.
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