Alexandra Brodsky, a fellow at the National Women’s Law Center, said when a survivor does not want to pursue a formal disciplinary complaint, a college should respect that decision. Buffalo State officials, however, appeared to discourage the student from making a complaint at all, she said.
Even if the student had been well informed about the discipline process and made a decision not to report, Brodsky said, details about college officials’ handling of accommodations requested by the student were troubling. “In our conversations about Title IX and sexual assault, including those conversations that this department has led, we are so focused on discipline,” Brodsky said. “But for many survivors, accommodations like classroom changes and excused absences will make the difference between them staying in school and dropping out or falling behind.”