The students and former students announced Monday they had filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Education Department's office of civil rights, the Hartford Courant reported. They are represented by Gloria Allred, a lawyer known for championing women's rights.
"They are simply tired of seeing women being raped and sexually assaulted at the university while the administration shows deliberate indifference, and they have joined the ranks of women at many universities across the country that have chosen to fight back," Allred said.
Kylie Angell, a recent graduate, said she was told that a student who assaulted her in a university dorm would be expelled and banned from campus. Two weeks later, she spotted him in a cafeteria.
"I was eating in a dining hall when the perpetrator sat down next to me and threateningly grazed my elbow in an obvious act of defiance," Angell said. "I was then met by heckling from his friend, who shouted at me that the perpetrator 'was back.' "
The university could lose federal funding if the women's complaint is upheld. Stephanie Reitz, a spokeswoman, said she could not discuss specific cases but said the university takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously.
"We are confident at this point that these cases were handled thoroughly, swiftly, and appropriately," she said.