Attorney alleges that more students have reached out about problems with Title IX

The+Women%27s+U+and+AAUW+student+organizations+have+hung+posters+in+support+of+sexual+assault+survivors.+Photos+by+Concordiensis.
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Attorney alleges that more students have reached out about problems with Title IX

The Women's U and AAUW student organizations have hung posters in support of sexual assault survivors. Photos by Concordiensis.

The Women's U and AAUW student organizations have hung posters in support of sexual assault survivors. Photos by Concordiensis.

The Women's U and AAUW student organizations have hung posters in support of sexual assault survivors. Photos by Concordiensis.

The Women's U and AAUW student organizations have hung posters in support of sexual assault survivors. Photos by Concordiensis.

Alex Appel, Editor in Chief

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March 6th Update: This story has been updated to include a comment from the College about this story

Four women, who are all students or former students of Union College, have reached out about alleged Title IX misconduct at Union College to Andrew Miltenberg, Esq.. Miltenberg is one of the attorneys handling the Title IX complaint against the school that was filed on Friday, March 1, 2019 concerning a rape investigation that was allegedly mishandled. These four women all spoke to him within five days of the complaint being publicized.

“It’s a small school and it’s rare that you have universities or schools that have this significant of a problem that there are so many people coming forward in this short period of a time,” stated Miltenberg, emphasizing how he rarely sees this much of a reaction, even at larger universities.

Miltenberg is known for taking cases up against schools over their Title IX processes. The New York Times estimated that he has represented around 150 students, the vast majority of whom were men either accused of or found guilty of rape by their colleges and universities.

Miltenberg claimed that usually after a case becomes publicized, one or two people reach out to him and share their experiences. “It’s really surprising in such a short period of time to have people call with relevant and similar information,” Miltenberg said.

He went on to say that this was not a response he was looking for. He claimed to have sent a copy of the complaint to the school weeks before filing it formally in hopes of resolving the case without publicity. He plans to meet with the other women to see if there is potential for future litigation.

Since the news of the complaint spread, there has been a widespread reaction on campus. The Women’s Union and the Union College Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) began hanging up posters across the campus over the weekend showing solidarity with the case’s Plaintiff who referred to in the formal complaint as “Jane Doe.”

On Sunday, March 3, President David Harris sent out an email to the College that read: “Over the past several days, you may have learned about a Title IX lawsuit filed against Union College on March 1. I hope you will appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me, or others who work for the College, to comment on the substance of an ongoing legal matter, or any active or completed student conduct investigation. What I can say is that I remain as committed as ever to working with the dedicated staff, faculty, and students of Union College to achieve the goals articulated in my October 2 community message.”

Harris wrote in his October 2, 2018 community address: “Over the past year, there has been heightened national debate about sexual assault and harassment. I want to be clear that as President of Union College, my position is unequivocal. First, we must do all we can to prevent harassment and assault of all types. Second, we must acknowledge that bringing a claim of assault or harassment requires tremendous courage. Evidence shows that people rarely make claims that they know are false. Third, we must investigate all claims fully and take actions if allegations are substantiated. I have been working with colleagues to understand the progress we have made in this area in recent years, and to identify what more we must do. Being brothers and sisters at Union requires nothing less.”

In response to this story, college spokeman Phil Wajda said “We are committed to promoting a safe, respectful and welcoming environment for all members of our campus community. We take seriously our responsibility to do all that we can to prevent harassment and assault of all types. This includes providing all students, faculty and staff with  educational programming and training to aid in the recognition and understanding of what constitutes inappropriate or unwelcome behavior. We encourage students to report any and all sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office. The College’s guidelines and reporting procedures are outlined in our student handbook and cataloged on our website.It is and always has been our policy to investigate all claims fully and take appropriate and timely action, providing full and compassionate support to all students. We’re confident that our Title IX team is responsive to allegations of sexual misconduct and administers our policies effectively. In addition, students can report any misconduct to faculty, coaches, administrators, Resident Directors and Resident Advisers. All are mandated by law to share reports with the Title IX Office.”

This is a developing story. Check back to Concordiensis.com for updates.