The Education Amendments of 1972 aimed to fight discrimination in higher education. Here’s the text of Title IX, the ninth section of these amendments:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Since the passage of these amendments, various courts and school administrations around the country have interpreted Title IX as a protection against sexual harassment or assault.
The basis for this interpretation is that a culture of harassment and not taking accusations seriously creates a discriminatory environment for women, LBTQ students, and others who face this sort of treatment.
Any college or university that receives some sort of federal funding, which includes almost all major institutions, must abide by Title IX. This means, among other things, that schools have to provide consequences for those accused of sexual assault, or risk losing federal funding.