The US Department of Education (ED) has announced that it is investigating alleged campus safety law violations at Louisiana State University. The federal investigation comes after a recent USA Today probe into the university’s alleged failure to properly handle sexual harassment complaints.
Several complaints that reached ED highlight a “pattern of conduct” at the university which violates the Clery Act — a 1990 consumer protection law aimed “to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics.”
“Our analysis of the complaints and media accounts raise serious concerns about LSU’s compliance and the effects that any violations may have on victims of crime and the accuracy and completeness of the University’s crime statistics and other campus safety information,” the bureau wrote.
The department is now requesting access to a range of records such as incident reports, sexual harassment complaints, crime statistics, arrest logs, and disciplinary action referrals.
USA Today Investigation
Anger towards the school erupted last August when USA Today revealed that two rape allegations against Derrius Guice, a former LSU running back, went relatively unnoticed.
Another investigation also showed that the LSU athletic department and Title IX office supposedly ignored sexual abuse complaints and refused victim requests for protection. This sparked outrage within the community and demands that school officials who were involved be removed from their posts.
LSU spokesperson Ernie Ballard responded to the ED probe stating, “Campus safety and the wellbeing of those at LSU is always our priority, and following Clery guidelines for reporting and notifying the campus community is an important part of crime prevention that we take extremely seriously.”
But Samantha Brennan, a former LSU student who filed a complaint against Guice, doesn’t believe the statement was sincere.
“If that was a thing they took seriously I feel like I should have known about it when I reported my incident in 2016 to the police, Sharon Lewis, to the school, anybody,” said Brennan.