Yale University Under Investigation for 'Hostile Sexual Environment'

Students allege life at Yale University is "hostile" for women.

ByABC News
April 1, 2011, 1:26 PM

April 1, 2011 — -- Yale University is under federal investigation after a complaint filed by several of its Ivy League students alleges that the school fails to curb what they call a "hostile sexual environment."

Hannah Zeavin, one of the 16 students who are complainants in the case, told ABC News that she has felt uncomfortable during her three years at the New Haven, Conn., university.

"Yale is obviously a prestigious and excellent academic institution that I feel honored to be part of every single day," said Zeavin, who will graduate in 2012 with a major in American Studies. "I am constantly astounded both positively and negatively by my peers."

"But I feel like because I have had to deal with certain sexual misconduct from my peers that I don't have equal access," she said. "I can't sleep well anymore and when I walk around Yale campus at night I'm scared."

Zeavin said she joined with classmates and alumni and filed a Title IX suit against Yale on March 15, alerting the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights of the university's "inadequate response to a long trend of public sexual harassment" on campus.

In a written statement provided to ABC News by the U.S. Department of Education, the agency confirmed that they would launch an investigation into the allegations against the university.

The statement said that the 26-page complaint formulated by the students alleges that a "sexually hostile environment exists on campus at Yale University."

"The complaint also alleges that the University has been on notice regarding the alleged incidents of harassment and has not responded promptly or effectively, and that this has resulted in the denial of equal opportunity to education for numerous University students," read the statement.

In an email message to ABC News, Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said that the school has not yet received the complaint, but has been contacted by the Office of Civil Rights.