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MU's Title IX Office Logs 13 Reports of Possible Drugged Drinks Involving Students

MU’s Office for Civil Rights and Title IX has logged 13 reports of students possibly having their drinks drugged, almost all of them reported in the past month, according to information released this week.

The information, which was released after an MU student requested it under the Missouri Sunshine Law, provides the most specific information to date about how big of an issue drugging and sexual assault has become at the university and in the surrounding community.

Two bars and six fraternities were listed among the locations in the document. The Missourian is not naming the bars or fraternities at this time because the information was not confirmed by the Title IX office and some of the reports were second-hand.

Managers at several bars downtown and the Interfraternity Council did not return calls Wednesday requesting comment.

One of the incidents was filed in June, and the others were reported between Aug. 25 and Sept. 20, according to the Title IX document.

Title IX investigators were unable to pursue a formal investigation with a majority of the reports for various reasons, according to notes on the documents explaining each case’s status.

A complainant was only interested in filing a formal complaint in one report.

Christian Basi, MU spokesperson, stated that the information contained in the document concerning the locations, the report summary and the incident dates, was not confirmed factual information.

The open records request was made by MU student Eli Hoff, who reported the results on one of his social media accounts.

The report listed each complainant, incident date, report date, location, summary and case status. Some information was redacted to protect personal information under federal education privacy laws.

When the Title IX office receives a complaint, investigators review the information and follow up with the complainant. If the complainant responds and is interested in pursuing a complaint, a formal investigation can take place.

If investigators do not hear back from the complainant, the investigation does not proceed.

“It is very valuable for individuals to report and to respond to our Title IX investigators so that we can continue reviewing the cases,” Basi said.

On Sept. 17, MU Police released an email to students warning that they have received “multiple reports from individuals suspecting that drinks may have been drugged at various locations throughout Columbia.”

On Tuesday evening, about 500 students gathered at Traditions Plaza to show support for survivors of sexual assault and to demand action and transparency from the university to keep students safe.

In the 2019-2020 school year, the most recent year with data available, the Title IX office logged 11 reports of the use of “predatory drugs/alcohol,” according to an annual report from the office. That school year was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, when the campus was essentially shut down in March.

The last full year for which information is available, the 2018-2019 school year, there were 14 reports involving “predatory drugs/alcohol.”

Residents who have any information about drug-facilitated sexual assault or want to make a report can contact the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX at 573-882-3880 or through email at civilrights-titleix@missouri.edu, or fill out an online incident report.

To file a police report, contact MU Police at 573-882-7201.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.