Crime

Feds Press New Rules on College Investigation of Sexual Assault

Colleges accused of trying to hide complaints

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Education Department officials laid out expectations Thursday for how state university systems should handle allegations of sexual violence on their campuses, a topic that has been percolating in the last few years as more federal complaints are being filed against universities.

The guidance, the latest federal response to the issue in recent years, comes via a voluntary resolution through which the 29-campus State University of New York system has agreed to correct a number of problems involving sexual violence that were identified during a three-year review.

The resolution sets new policy for the SUNY system, which has 219,000 students. It also has the potential to influence other institutions as they gear up for a federal law, set to take effect in March, that requires colleges to do more to prevent sexual violence on campus and to protect victims' rights.