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The Scarlet & Black

Dissenting Voices Responds to Grinnell Administration

Editor’s Note: The S&B is re-publishing this letter from Dissenting Voices, a student-run advocacy group at Grinnell, about the publication of Tyler Kingkade’s Huffington Post article (Link: concerning how administrators at Grinnell College handled three sexual assault cases and the administration’s request for an OCR review of those cases. (Link to the article: We are publishing these statements in their entirety due to the complex, sensitive nature of this issue.

March 2, 2015

Dear Grinnell Community,

 This afternoon, President Kington sent a letter to the campus community preemptively responding to an upcoming Huffington Post article that will discuss Grinnell’s handling of several Title IX cases. In this letter, the President states that the College has contacted the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and requested that they investigate the College’s management of three cases mentioned in the article. Dissenting Voices would like to offer some more context to situate the College’s claims.

Two weeks ago on February 19, a group of six complainants from Grinnell filed a federal Title IX complaint against the college. Despite Grinnell’s unprecedented attempt to preemptively control the framing of this issue, we want to clarify that a group of Grinnell students, faculty, two statewide coalitions against sexual assault, and Faculty Against Rape have already asked the Department of Education to review Grinnell’s practices, so the Administration’s request is redundant. It is simply a way of providing cover to the institution after years of betraying survivors.

 This decision to file a Title IX complaint was not easy, nor was it quick. It came after nearly three years of struggling with Grinnell administrators to provide stronger sanctions for rapists, and to provide support for survivors suffering from the trauma of sexual violence. Instead, most Grinnell students found responsible for sexual assault end up back on campus, some in the same classes as their survivors. This causes lingering trauma for survivors, many of whom have left Grinnell because of it. While Grinnell administrators have made some excellent policy changes in recent weeks, these changes do not address the core problems brought up in the Title IX complaint.

We invite any student survivors who have felt betrayed by the College’s Title IX policies to add their narratives to our growing complaint. If you would like to share your experiences, please contact Rebecca Stout from Iowa CASA ( We are confident that this upcoming federal investigation will catalyze positive changes for student survivors. Our goal is to ensure that current and future Grinnell students will not experience the same violations of their rights under Title IX. Thank you.

 Dissenting Voices

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