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Feds Investigate Sex Assault Claims At Yale University

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- The federal government is investigating complaints by Yale University students that the Ivy League school has a sexually hostile environment.

They also allege the university failed to adequately respond to incidents of sexual harassment.

Allegations have emerged that cast a shadow behind Yale's venerable walls, reports CBS 2's Rob Morrison.

In a shaky video, Yale fraternity brothers chant sexually-charged slurs like "No means yes" and pose with a sign reading: "We love Yale sluts."

The images are just part of what has become a federal investigation into whether Yale has a hostile sexual environment.

"What we're saying is that Yale, in its failure to respond to both public and private instances of sexual harrassment and sexual assault, has said to the campus 'this is OK'," said plaintiff Alexandra Brodsky.

That belief pushed Brodsky, Hannah Zeavin, and 14 other men and women at Yale to file a complaint, charging the university has repeatedly failed to take action on harassment and sex crimes, including rape.

Author and Yale graduate Naomi Wolfe spoke out Monday on The Early Show.

"The grievance procedure is not transparent. You can't find out in any given year what's been reported, how many rapes, how many allegations of sexual assault, what kinds of crimes," she said.

The school refuted the charges, adding in a statement that "Yale does not and will not tolerate sexual harassment."

If the charges are true, the school risks losing more than $500 million in federal funds for violating Title 9, the federal mandate which bars any school from discriminating based on gender.

"I don't think misogyny is funny. I don't think bigotry is funny. I think hateful speech can have a huge impact," said Zeavin.

Yale was an all-male university until 1968.

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