Please consider this a public records request mirroring the request made by Paula Lavigne of ESPN in 2018, except with the timeframe updated to cover only complaints made from January 1, 2014 to the present (her request covered January 1, 2012 to present, which at the time was in 2018). Here is a copy of her request:
A copy of any reports on Title IX sexual violence complaints that would include a total number of complaints filed from Jan. 1, 2012. If it helps for clarification, we are looking for any reports the Title IX office puts out at the end of the calendar or academic year that tally the volume of complaints, dispositions, etc., from which we can derive a total number of complaints filed within that time.
A copy of any reports on Title IX sexual violence complaints that would include a total number of complaints filed from Jan. 1, 2012, that involved student athletes as respondents, where student athlete is defined as someone on the roster within that academic year of team of an NCAA sport. Again, if the Title IX office compiles such a report – and breaks out the number of reports involving student athletes as respondent – we would like a copy of that report.
If you do not have records responsive to the above, we would request the following:
A copy of each Title IX sexual violence complaint filed since Jan. 1, 2012 in which at least one of the respondents is a student athlete. We understand and accept that you might need to redact a significant portion, if not almost all, of the record. But that should not preclude handing over a copy of the document itself, even if it’s just a bunch of blacked out lines. State laws usually preclude withholding an entire record if portions of that record can be redacted. We are most interested in the number of complaints and the date on which they were filed, so even if you give us six pages of mostly blacked out text, that still has value for our research. We just ask that it’s clear which pages belong to which complaint.
Our goal is to determine the percentage of Title IX sexual violence complaints that involve student athletes as respondents. There is great interest in this information and we feel it’s valuable research. While state records laws cover the release of actual records and not ‘information’ or the creation of a new document, if it is easier for you to provide the total number of Title IX sexual violence complaints filed by year and the corresponding number of cases involving student athletes as respondents, we would take that instead and withdraw our request.
What we are requesting in no way runs afoul of federal or state student privacy laws because we concede to the redaction of all student identifying information. And the category of student athlete is so broad that it in no way identifies any one particular student. If there are any particular caveats to your document retention or categorization of ‘sexual violence complaint’ that you think would be a problem for our research or for doing an apples-to-apples comparison of other schools, please let us know. We will note each university’s response to our request as part of our reporting.