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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Title IX At Knox: A Brief History

Title+IX+At+Knox%3A+A+Brief+History

In 2014 alone, Knox College ranked fourth in the nation for reports of rape on campus. According to the Annual Security Report, there were 10 cases per 1,000 students. The Annual Security report is mandated by the U.S. Department of Education for the strengthening of campus safety. 

In the first article of this series, we briefly covered some notable Title IX history at Knox College and reviewed the processes for resolving intimate violence under Title IX. While recent events on campus have revived the conversation about sexual assault on campus, the question of how prevalent assault is remains.

A Brief History

Knox College has a history of various issues with Title IX and sexual assault, beginning in 2008 and continuing throughthe present year.

In the spring of 2008, Students Against Sexism in Society submitted a paper titled “Grievances and Demands in Regards to Sexual assault on Campus” to the college administration. The paper lists a number of demands that the submitting members felt would improve safety and awareness of sexual assault.

One member, Megan Gamble ‘08, wrote her senior research project on the Grievance Procedures (GP) at Knox and her proposed amendments to the grievance process.

The grievance procedures, which were not fully revised until 2015, involved a grievance panel to investigate allegations of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. This grievance panel used a trial-like process to evaluate such cases.

“A few years ago [SASS] formed a subcommittee to reevaluate the GP and determine what we thought needed to be changed about to processes,” Gamble said in the history section of the paper. “Our group felt the same way that I feel now—the GP needs to change.”

Despite this, the grievance panel process remained through the 2012-2013 academic year.

In the 2013-2014 academic year, students spoke out continually about sexual assault and the Title IX process.

In November 2013, at the end of the fall term, five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault were reported to Knox.

Two of the reported sexual assaults occurred before the start of the 2013-2014 academic year, when they were reported. The earliest reportedly occurred in November of 2010, and the attempted sexual assault occurred in October 2012.

In April of 2014, president of the college at the time, Teresa Amott, emailed the campus to notify students that the U.S Dept. of Education Office of Civil Rights had opened an investigation into Knox College in response to an allegation of sexual discrimination regarding a complaint of sexual misconduct in the fall of 2013.

In May of 2015 the student whose complaint was being investigated was quoted under a pseudonym in a TKS article. In the article, she said she was hurt more by the grievance process than her accuser, in which the school neglected to follow up and receive her statement after she came forward, and instead wrote up a statement for her that she found incomplete.

Knox was among 55 other colleges being investigated for Title IX violations at the time.

Several years later, in 2020, the @anontestimonies Instagram account, which has since been removed, spread the stories of survivors of sexual assault at Knox, and resulted in a lengthy controversy surrounding the fraternity Sigma Chi.

The fraternity, despite recommendations from several working groups of students to disband, has since recruited new members in the 2023 formal recruitment cycle.

Controversy arose again in 2023 after a Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) party, titled “Delusions”, featured a wall of YikYaks, many of which referenced the accusations of sexual assault against several TKE members.

In response, students staged a protest, which interrupted the monthly faculty meeting for students to voice their concerns and opposition to the lack of response from administration.

According to the most recent Annual Security Report, which reviews 2019 through 2021, there were 4 reported cases of rape in 2019, 4 in 2020, and 1 in 2021. Of these reported offenses, only some occurred in student housing: all 4 in 2019, 2 in 2020, but none in 2021.

In 2019, almost one in four undergraduate women experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct at 33 major universities. Although Knox has a smaller student population than those universities, it is no exception to these statistics.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, you can reach out for assistance. Knox College Counseling Services is available at 309-341-7492. If you feel that you have been mistreated during your Title IX process, students are allowed to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.

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About the Contributor
Jenna Schweikert
Jenna Schweikert, EIC-In-Training
Jenna Schweikert '25 (she/they) is a journalism and political science double major. They are the Editor-In-Chief In-Training for The Knox Student. In her free time, she enjoys dancing in her room to Taylor Swift records. You can most often find Jenna writing in the Gizmo or attending Terp rehearsals in CFA. Awards: Illinois College Press Association 2024
  • 3rd Place Column
Theodore Hazen Kimbale Memorial Award in Journalism - Feature article, 2022

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