Mercer under investigation for possible violations of Title IX

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Mercer under investigation for possible violations of Title IX

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Nick Wooten and Meagan Hurley

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Mercer University is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for possible violations of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in education.

The university allegedly mishandled reports of sexual harassment and stalking, according to the advocacy group End Rape on Campus.

In an email to WMAZ, a Department of Education spokesperson said the Mercer case involved “sexual harassment, grievance procedures and retaliation.”

End Rape on Campus (EROC) said in a release that it assisted in filing the Title IX complaint on May 22 that led to the investigation.

The EROC complaint also alleges that Mercer failed “to provide adequate resources, including mental health and academic resources to survivors of violence” as well as “information about the school’s policy and procedures,” according to its website.

The individual who filed the complaint received notice on Aug. 5 that the department would investigate the university, according to the EROC’s release.

Mercer spokesman Kyle Sears said the university was notified of the complaint in August and has responded to the Department of Education.

“The only Office for Civil Rights complaint that the University is aware of is an alleged stalking case involving two former graduate students who lived off campus. The University received notification of this complaint on August 5, 2016, and has provided a response to the complaint,” Sears said in a statement to The Cluster.

The Cluster has reached out to the EROC and the Office for Civil Rights for comment.

Please return to The Cluster for more updates.

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