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When Kate Dieringer learned that the fellow student whom she had accused of raping her in her first month at Georgetown University would be suspended from the college for a year rather than expelled, she was outraged. Yet she couldn't: In order to learn the results of the young man's campus disciplinary hearings in the spring of 2002, she had signed a form promising not to share them with anyone, except for her parents and one close adviser.
Disclosure: Sexual Assault: Sarah Graham Miller, communications director for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), will be online to discuss rescinding confidentiality agreements in sexual assault cases. Such confidentiality pledges have been standard on many college campuses, and administrators have generally argued that they are necessary to maintain the federally mandated privacy shrouding most student records.
But in response to a complaint filed by Dieringer, the U. Department of Education told Georgetown this week that its policy violates a federal campus crime law.
Information about an earlier arson fire in Minger’s residence hall was not disclosed to students and their parents.