The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Lafayette settles months-long Department of Education investigation

The+investigation+was+a+result+of+a+complaint+made+against+the+college+to+the+Office+for+Civil+Rights+last+year.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Center+for+American+Progress%29
The investigation was a result of a complaint made against the college to the Office for Civil Rights last year. (Photo courtesy of Center for American Progress)

The college has committed to a resolution plan including policy revisions and campus-wide discrimination prevention training following a Title VI investigation by the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, according to a campus-wide email sent by College President Nicole Hurd on Thursday.

“The College has worked closely in partnership with the OCR on its investigation,” Hurd wrote, referring to the Office of Civil Rights.

After entering a voluntary process with the Office of Civil Rights to resolve the complaint in May, the college has now agreed to a three-part resolution, according to the email from Hurd.

As a part of the resolution instated by the Department of Education, the college will submit policy revisions regarding Title VI prohibitions against discrimination to the OCR. The policy changes will go into effect within 30 days of approval.

The college will also be required to provide training to all employees and staff responsible for investigating discrimination complaints and provide campus-wide Title VI discrimination prevention training. Both of these must be implemented by Dec. 17, 2024.

A review of all complaints received by the college in the 2023-2024 academic year will occur as well to make a “determination as to whether the conduct alleged in those complaints created a hostile environment.” All related information will be provided to the Department of Education.

The resolution does not indicate “liability, non-compliance, or wrongdoing by the College,” according to Hurd’s email.

“We take these matters most seriously and, consistent with our close partnership with OCR during its investigation, will follow through fully on these obligations,” Hurd wrote.

Hurd and college spokesman Scott Morse could not be reached for comment.

The investigation was opened last November under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, following an official complaint alleging an incident of antisemitism on campus. The complaint described letters posted around campus “calling for the death of all Jewish people and the elimination and destruction of the State of Israel” on Oct. 25 and members of pro-Palestine student group Pards 4 Palestine asking students if they were Jewish and “harassing” them on Oct. 27. 

The complainant sought to identify the students involved and “remove the threats to make Jewish student feel safe in campus” as remediation of the alleged events, according to the complaint.

The complainant also listed the following as a desired remedy: “Make the student involved in the threats undergo sensitive training, and have this punishment placed on their formal transcript.”

It is unclear if the Department of Education investigation is officially closed.

This is a developing story.

Andreas Pelekis ’26 contributed reporting.

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