UW tenured professor fired

Trigger warning: sexual harassment and vulgar/racist language included.

In an unprecedented turn of events, the UW fired microbiology professor Michael Katze after two investigations into his misuse of university funds and sexual harassment. He gained tenure at the UW in 2009, a time at which Katze already had numerous complaints against him on record.

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A team of four creates and maintains app for sexual assault issues

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Photo courtesy of Billy Sadik-Khan

It’s sexual assault awareness month, and a phone app that helps college students navigate issues around sexual assault is coming out of the woodworks.

“Reach Out,” created by Capptivation, lets anonymous users pick from one in 2,500 schools in the app’s data frame to delve into step-by-step guides, community and campus resources, and legalities and policies surrounding sexual assault.

“All the information’s out there but it’s spread all over the place,” said Reach Out data maintenance worker Billy Sadik-Khan.

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Bill would allow permanent protection orders for sexual assault victims

Advocates for sexual-assault victims note that repeated petitions for civil protection orders force them to relive the trauma. Legislation in Olympia would give judges the option of making the orders permanent.
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OLYMPIA — Victims of sexual assault could apply for permanent restraining orders instead of repeatedly returning to the courthouse to ask a judge for help, under legislation that is gaining wide approval in the Legislature.
Currently, sexual-assault protection orders have expiration dates of up to two years. They are the only protection orders that come with a time limit, unlike protection orders for domestic-violence victims, for instance.

Office for Civil Rights investigates UW for handling of sexual assault cases

The UW is one of over 100 colleges currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for the handling of sexual assault cases.

A press release distributed by the UW on June 15 said the university “fail[ed] to provide the student with a prompt and equitable grievance process after the student reported an incident of sexual violence,” in a particular case, breaking the rules set by Title IX of 1972.

Title IX primarily prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded program or activity. The principal objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal funds “to support sex discrimination in education programs and to provide individual citizens effective protection against those practices,” according to the Department of Justice.

In the OCR’s 53-page document, “Questions and Answers for Title IX and Sexual Violence,” sexual violence is defined as “physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent.”

A complaint to the OCR must be made within 180 days of the alleged assault, unless the OCR finds good reason for it to have taken longer. If the complainant uses an institutional grievance process, or chooses to file a report through their university, and then additionally files a complaint with the OCR, the latter must be filed within 60 days after the institutional grievance process is finished.

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