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EMU releases external review of Title IX procedures related to assault cases

Eastern Michigan University
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EMU PresidentJames Smith said the university is committed to transparency, and that the report by Cozen O’Connor’s Institutional Response Groupwas released in its entirety.

The report examines EMU’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct against three former students that occurred between 2015 and 2019. The three men are facing criminal charges.

The students were members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, which has since been banned by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office from having parties or having alcohol at any of their properties for 10 years. The restrictions also include a limit on the number of guests who may visit the fraternity’s facilities.

A key criticism in the report was that recordkeeping by the university’s Title IX office was flawed. It found that Melody Werner, who is no longer with EMU, did not keep adequate case records or meeting notes with alleged victims.

However, the review did not find that EMU had evidence of other reports of misconduct until criminal complaints were filed.

The university is in mediation with two dozen current and former students who claim they were not supported after they reported sexual assaults, and assert their cases were covered up.

Smith denied all allegations of a coverup today.

“There is no question that campus sexual assault is a serious challenge in our nation, and one that must unite us in a powerful commitment going forward,” Smith said. “Collectively, we must confront sexual assault and support survivors who bravely come forward to tell of their past victimization by other students.”

Smith said the Title IX office has added two staff members and plans to add a third. He also says new software will help track cases in the future.

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