In a major speech assailing the deprivation of due process protections under the Obama administration, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will vow to rein in the federal guidance compelling colleges to adjudicate sexual assault disputes between students.
reason.com By Robby Soave
In a 2012 resolution agreement with the OCR, Yale became the nation’s only university required to document all sexual assault allegations on campus. The university “uses a more expansive definition of sexual assault” and “assigns complaints to general categories such as ‘sexual assault’ that encompass broad ranges of behavior.” Only 3.7 percent (1 of 27) of Yale accusers who say they were sexually assaulted reported that offense to the police. All others went to the Title IX office. Title IX tribunals function as de facto substitutes for law enforcement and only heighten the importance of their failure to provide fair procedures.
mindingthecampus.org By KC Johnson
Four members of the Harvard Law School faculty have called on the U.S. Department of Education to revise the Obama Administration’s policies enforcing Title IX in matters of sexual harassment and sexual assault on college and university campuses. “Now is the time to build in respect for fairness and due process, academic freedom, and sexual autonomy.”
law.harvard.edu Scholars: Janet Halley, Jeannie Suk Gersen, Elizabeth Bartholet, and Nancy Gertner
“It feels like your entire world is crashing down around you.”
“It strips you of your future.”
“I attempted suicide.”
That’s how Jonathon Andrews, a former Hanover College student, describes the impact of being falsely accused of sexual assault in late November 2015. Andrews, 23, is fighting back as an advocate for the falsely accused. Perhaps now, more than ever, Andrews and others have Washington behind them in the person of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
cincinnati.com By Kate Murphy
Students in University System of Georgia institutions are getting more due-process protections in campus sexual-assault proceedings, following recent legislative attempts to protect the wrongly accused. In cases that could result in suspension or expulsion, colleges will have to notify the university system itself. Accused students will get written notice of the complaint and allegations and the right to remain silent “without an adverse inference resulting,” among other safeguards. Because “due process is the standard now,” Rep. Earl Ehrhart is convinced that “false allegations won’t have a place to survive.”
thecollegefix.com By Jorin Burkhart
This month, thousands of college students are heading back to school, but we wonder how many will be destroyed by biased Title IX sexual misconduct hearings. Accused college students are denied fundamental due process rights such as witnesses appearing on their behalf, the introduction of exculpatory evidence, and the ability to question or cross examine the accuser’s account. Equally troubling is that, with young lives hanging in the balance, attorneys are often barred from participating in university Title IX hearings. We need the Dept. of ED to issue regulations that give students access to consistent, clear, and transparent processes that provide fair and equal treatment to both parties and ensure impartiality in the investigation.
washingtonexaminer.com By C.D. Mock
The Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Fordham University-Rose Hill has reportedly been placed under investigation. Mr. Rodgers upset RAs by showing videos depicting the views of the political right and left on campus rape. Rodgers played the trailer for “The Hunting Ground” as an example of the left-wing perspective, juxtaposed with a video from conservative educational platform PragerU. Rodgers allegedly brought female students to tears by presenting the political debate over campus sexual assault. For the act of sharing two different viewpoints Mr. Rodgers is facing a Title IX investigation.
freebeacon.com By Rachel Frommera
A Title IX investigation resulted in Matt Boermeester’s dismissal from the football team and left Zoe Katz fearful—of the school, not her boyfriend…Zoe Katz, a 22-year-old college student, waited six months to go public with her side of the scandal that’s darkened her senior year at the University of Southern California. She waited not because she fears retribution from an abusive partner, as her school’s Title IX office reportedly insists. But, by her own account, because she was (and remains) afraid of recrimination from the Title IX office that investigated and suspended her boyfriend, a member of the football team, for “abusing” her—an allegation she firmly denies. “I want to be very clear that I have never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated by Matt,” she wrote in a two-page statement
weeklystandard.com By Alice B. Lloyd
The Claremont Independent uncovered a March court order that found Sandra Vasquez (New Dean and Title IX Coordinator at Pitzer College) hid “material evidence” from a male falsely accused of “relationship violence” when she was associate dean of students and director of judicial affairs at the University of California-Santa Barbara. The Independent said it also learned the Dept. of ED is investigating Vasquez’s alleged discrimination against the “low-income, minority student” as potential Title IX and Title VI violations. Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle’s order against UCSB makes Vasquez and other officials who handled the “John Doe” case sound almost like cartoon villains.
thecollegefix.com By Greg Piper
Most people think of Title IX in relation to women’s access to college sports, but in fact it mandates gender equity in all aspects of higher education. Under Obama’s DoE’s Office of Civil Rights, instructions were issued to all Universities (public and private) to agressively pursue sexual harassment/assault allegations under Title IX. Schools were given vague guidelines about how to proceed, and faced pricey compliance reviews if they showed insufficient vigor in ferreting out misconduct. But many Title IX cases have nothing to do with assault or sexual harassment. I learned this first hand when I unexpectedly faced a complaint last year.
quillette.com By Nicholas Wolfinger