RELATED LINKS-Disclosure Subject to Federal Scrutiny April 29, 2003-GU Disclosure Guidelines Affect Students, Families Dec. 6, 2002

Last week, a representative from the DOE told Dieringer’s mother that the results of the investigation into Georgetown’s disclosure policy will be released within the next month.

In April the DOE sent a letter to University President John J. DeGioia outlining a possible violation of Clery Act, a federal law which requires universities to publish on-campus crime statistics. The suit also addresses the fact that Georgetown uses the Family Educational Rights and Policy Act as justification for its disclosure policy, despite the fact that the Foley Amendment allows for disclosure in sex offense crimes.

“I’m just holding my breath waiting to hear if the DOE has found Georgetown in violation,” said Dieringer.

According to Dieringer, thus far the university has not released any information about its response to the April 18 letter sent from John Loreng, the DOE’s case team leader.

“We are cooperating with the Department of Education, which still has this matter under consideration. It’s not appropriate for me to comment in more detail than that right now, as the matter is still pending,” Todd Olson, interim vice president for student affairs, said.

S. Daniel Carter, vice president of Security on Campus, Inc., does not expect a response from the administration.

“They will respond to the DOE, but we don’t expect them to respond to us. We’ve contended and explained in detail why their policies don’t conform to the Clery Act, and we find their policies to be illegal,” Carter said.

The confidentiality of the lawsuit has made it difficult for Advocates for Improved Response Methods to Sexual Assault, which was founded to change the disclosure policy. The student organization rose out of last year’s discussion of Georgetown’s policy during Take Back the Night week, said TBTN organizer Liz Trautman (SFS ’05).

AFIRMS has tabled the topic around which it organized and is focusing on specific assault policies, as opposed to disclosure.

“We are now in the process of researching the sexual assault policies of schools which have been commended for implementing particularly comprehensive sexual assault policies. We hope that this will provide us with a model which Georgetown can use to improve its own sexual assault response methods” Lauren Rosapep (SFS ’05), AFIRMS board member, said. “[The administration] has made it clear on several occasions that they believe they are within the law on the disclosure policy. Because our fundamental concern is the safety of all

Georgetown students, we have decided to redirect AFIRMS efforts toward ensuring that we achieve substantial improvements in the current sexual assault policy.”

One of AFIRMS’ main goals is to have all sexual assault sanctions from category B violations to category C.

Category C violations, the most severe, can result in expulsion from the university. These crimes include physical or sexual assault, drug policy violations or theft of more than $500.

“It doesn’t mean we’re not going to look at disclosure in the future, there are just a lot of things we can improve first, and disclosure is the most difficult to change,” Rosapep said.

“These things take time. That’s one of the most frustrating things about bureaucracy and the Department of Education is bureaucracy,” Carter said.

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