Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Jody Jahn

Second Advisor

Cindy White

Third Advisor

Joanne Belknap

Abstract

College rape is a nationwide epidemic, and has gained publicity in the past decade. Many young women are filing Title IX complaints against their Universities through the Office for Civil Rights under the Department of Education to combat the way that their assault or rape was mishandled through disciplinary processes. This thesis looks at one specific Title IX complaint filed at University of Colorado Boulder, and follows the reporting process starting at the rape itself all the way till after a legal settlement occurred between the student and the university. The account and experience is analyzed in depth using explanation of specific instances of discursive closure, a way of closing the discourse or conversation around sexual assault and harassment. Using an autoethnographic method, the account is told from a first person narrative. Through analysis of the experience, we learn that the process of reporting an assault to a University is lined with many instances of discursive closure and minimal instances of discursive opening.

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