Attorney Gloria Allred said that some of the complaints allege a hostile environment for women and others charge colleges with violating the federal Clery Act, which requires accurate reporting of campus crimes.
Women "will no longer accept the status quo where rapes and sexual assaults are swept under the rug and condoned by college administrators," Allred said in a statement released by her office. The complaints were filed with the federal Office of Civil Rights.
A second-year UC student at Allred's morning news conference said the school took seven months to investigate her assault complaint and she ultimately was informed that her assailant, who she said admitted the attack, was found to have violated the campus code of conduct.
"I finally received two three-sentence emails, one of which only said that the case had been resolved through the early resolution process," the woman said in a prepared statement. She said neither message revealed whether disciplinary action had been taken. She is not being named because she is a sexual assault victim.
She said the 10-count complaint against UC filed under the Clery Act accuses it of discouraging victims from reporting assaults to the police or taking part in campus disciplinary processes and failing to update victims on the outcomes of their cases.
A UC spokeswoman said the administration had not yet reviewed the complaint and comment would be premature.
"However, UC Berkeley takes sexual assault very seriously and we are constantly working to strengthen our efforts to prevent such acts from occurring and to thoroughly report and investigate such matters when they arise," said Janet Gilmore, the spokeswoman.
Representatives for Dartmouth, Swarthmore and USC also said they hadn't seen the complaint and could not comment on the specifics. Complaints were filed earlier against Occidental College in Southern California and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In early April, UC Berkeley's student Senate passed a bill expressing no confidence in UC Berkeley's handling of sexual assault cases.
The bill, according to a Daily Californian story, states that policies of campus bodies such as the Center for Student Conduct and the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination undermine the rights of sexual assault victims.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.