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Howard Students Protest Handling of Sex Assault Cases

March 24, 2016

More than 100 students gathered on Howard University's campus Tuesday to protest the university's handling of cases of sexual assault. The demonstrations began after a student posted on Twitter that the university mishandled her sexual assault complaint earlier this year. Other students began criticizing the university and sharing similar stories, using the hashtag #TakeBackTheNightHU.

"Recent tweets have been posted regarding the alleged sexual assault of a Howard University student by another Howard student," the university said in a statement Tuesday. "The university administration took immediate action as soon as we learned of this matter. While we are not able to discuss the specifics of any ongoing investigation, we are and have been actively investigating all reports that have been made to us. These cases cannot be adjudicated through social media without compromising the integrity of the investigation."

The demonstrators on Tuesday gathered near the residence hall where the alleged assault occurred and chanted, "No means no." They also released a list of demands that called for "a thorough investigation of conduct of all reported assaults" on Howard's campus and for background checks of "all Howard University residence life employees."

On Wednesday, the university announced it would begin conducting background checks on all student employees, effective immediately.

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Jake New

Jake New, Reporter, covers student life and athletics for Inside Higher Ed. He joined the publication in June 2014 after writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education and covering education technology for eCampus News. For his work at the Chronicle covering legal disputes between academic publishers and critical librarians, he was awarded the David W. Miller Award for Young Journalists. His work has also appeared in the Bloomington Herald-Times, Indianapolis Monthly, Slate, PBS, Times Higher Education and the Australian. Jake studied journalism at Indiana University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Indiana Daily Student.

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