BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, has launched an investigation into how the University at Buffalo handled a recent sexual assault allegation on campus.
School officials said “the university takes its responsibilities to the issue of sexual assaults on campus very seriously. Nothing is more important than the safety and welfare of our students.”
The OCR said a college’s appearance on the list does not indicate the institution is violating the law.
Local experts told News 4, we’re seeing more OCR investigations in New York state.
“With the heightened attention around sexual assaults on college campuses, you’re going to see a lot more OCR investigations arising and that’s really a student’s opportunity to say, something with this process did not go well, did not go right,” said Robyn Wiktorski-Reynolds, Crisis Services.
Although more OCR investigations are prevalent, that doesn’t mean sexual assaults are on the rise.
“I wouldn’t say they’re on the rise, I think we’re talking about it more. We clearly know this has been happening for a long time,” said Wiktorski-Reynolds.
Under federal law, students reporting sexual assaults and students accused of sexual assault have the right to file a discrimination complaint with the OCR. UB said it provides students with the information to do so.
The university says they have pledged their full cooperation during the OCR review.