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May 16, 2014 11:12 AM EDT

Johns Hopkins Faces Clery Act Complaint for Allegedly Underreporting Campus Sexual Assault


Johns Hopkins University (JHU) may have been named by the White House to help make recommendations to prevent campus sexual assault, but has a federal Clery Act complaint filed against it.

According to the Huffington Post, the Obama administration said JHU, the University of Texas - Austin and the University of New Hampshire "lead by example" in the "Not Alone" report on campus sexual assault. The schools are set to conduct their own personalized studies to help draft recommendations that will be sent to schools around the nation.

The HP first reported earlier this month that JHU knew Baltimore police were investigating allegations of a gang rape at the school's Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity. The alleged incident took place in March 2013 but the school administration never warned the campus community about it. The Clery Act requires schools to warn its community about safety concerns, as well as to produce an annual transparency report of crimes committed on campus.

The school's PIKE chapter is under investigation from the school as well, but also because of a stabbing at a fraternity party. Three members spoke to the News-Letter, a JHU newspaper, under the condition of anonymity. One person, who went by Zane, said the JHU PIKE chapter was in danger of being kicked off campus.

"The University just said that they don't want to support us anymore, and I can tell it's more serious than social probation," Zane told the News-Letter. "Frats are always on social probation, I know that [Sigma Alpha Epsilon] and [Sigma Phi Epsilon] have had issues with that. This is a lot more serious."

The White House's choice to include JHU is now somewhat puzzling, especially since students have informally made Clery Act violations since 2011. Until It's Zero was launched to encourage anonymous rape survivors to tell their stories of their experiences at JHU. It was also designed to contradict the school's claim that it had no sex offenses from 2007 to 2009.

However, JHU's 2012 Clery Report shows eight forcible sex offenses while the previous two combined to find only one.

JHU spokesman Dennis O'Shea said he could not comment on the complaint, because such information is confidential. He did say the school takes sexual assault very seriously and is "committed to the safety and security of our students."

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