The Obama administration has reportedly bolstered the case of two women suing Kansas State University over sex assaults at school-sanctioned fraternity houses. The case used a Supreme Court decision and federal documents to prove some responsibilities of colleges extend beyond campus grounds.
In court filings, the Departments of Justice and Education have let Kansas State know it was "incorrect" in telling coeds Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer their claims of assault couldn't be investigated because the frat houses were off-campus, the New York Times has reported.
, however, it's not the first time the feds have reminded colleges their responsibility extends beyond their property line.
Slate notes the law governing the issue is Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at any educational institution that receives federal funds — and that rape and sex assault count as discrimination under that law since a 1992 Supreme Court ruling.
The Obama administration sent a letter reminding schools
across the nation about that aspect in 2011 and in 2014, the Department of Education reinforced the message
, Slate reports.
According to Slate, in the Kansas State case, Weckhorst and Farmer are suing to force the university to investigate their claims, as well as for monetary damages, and the government's involvement — and background documents — are keeping the case alive.
"This probably won't be the last time that the government files this set of court papers, but perhaps schools will finally absorb the message that even if a frat house is off campus, that doesn't make it out of bounds," Salon writes.
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