Dartmouth College students are beginning their summer term with a new system for handling sexual assaults.
Dartmouth is among 55 colleges and universities being investigated by the federal education department for how it handles sexual harassment and assault complaints. Administrators proposed overhauling the school's policy in March and — after months of public comment — the changes took effect last week.
Under the new system, a trained external expert will investigate allegations and determine responsibility for sexual assault. A single disciplinary system will apply to undergraduate and graduate students and organizations.
Sanctions also will be strengthened. Students would be automatically expelled if found responsible for assaults involving penetration accomplished by force, threat or restraint and in cases of assault involving penetration and motivated by bias.