Three Minnesota football players have been cleared of sexual harassment allegations in the final round of appeals at the school and will be allowed to return to spring practice. “These couple of months have been nothing short of a nightmare for me and I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me and shown nothing but love,” Winfield posted on Twitter. “Today I have officially been cleared and I am excited to tear up the field for my brothers and my gopher fans.”
reviewjournal.com By Jon Krawczynski
Title IX, DoED OCR
Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights related to Title IX
William Blackstone declared, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.” In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education took a different position. They decreed that Title IX sex tribunals should embrace a weaker “preponderance of the evidence” standard. So how high a risk of false conviction do the innocent face under the OCR’s Title IX guidance standards? UCLA Professor John Villasenor set out to answer that in a study that uses probability theory to model false Title IX convictions under the preponderance of the evidence standard. What he found should take all fair-minded Americans aback.
reason.com By Ronald Bailey
Over the last few years, we have become all but immune to what, under any other circumstances, would be a fantastic claim—that one in five female undergraduates will be victims of sexual assault. This rate would translate to several hundreds of thousands of violent crime victims (with almost all of the incidents unnoticed) annually, and implies that about the same percentage of female college students are sexually assaulted as women in the Congo where rape was used as a war crime in the nation’s civil war…Even within this environment of pie-in-the-sky statistics, a recent survey from Duke stands out.
mindingthecampus By KC Johnson
Tufts Community Union Senate voted down Student’s Advocating for Students resolution “Requesting Fair and Protective Title IX Procedures.” Twenty-five student Senators voted against fair and protective Title IX procedures, and no Senators voted in favor of these procedures. The hearing prior to the final vote was a shocking yet accurate display of Tufts University’s egregious campus culture…Senators directly defended allowing victims of sexual misconduct to determine Title IX sexual misconduct cases- violating Tufts’ obligation to provide impartial Title IX proceedings.
sa4s.org By Students Advocating for Students
Georgia colleges tread where prosecutors won’t, but some claim secret tribunals are unfair to the accused. A three-month AJC investigation into the secretive world of campus tribunals found that Georgia’s largest universities are pursuing cases that prosecutors won’t touch. But the newspaper also found that campus justice comes with steep trade-offs. Procedures vary widely and are often poorly understood by both the accused and the accuser. Students, and sometimes their parents, expect the strict rules of a court of law, but instead encounter a looser system where cross-examining witnesses is sharply curtailed and the burden of proof is far lower. Several students claim the proceedings in place are deeply flawed and violated their rights to due process.
investigations.myajc By Shannon McCaffrey and Janel Davis
Office for Civil Rights held open focus groups at Cornell during which members of the public could discuss the campus climate surrounding sexual assault and harassment. A Cornell parent, reported that a lawyer cautioned her against sending her son to Cornell based on the University’s reputation for treating students accused of sexual assault unfairly. When the OCR attorneys asked for specifics on how the University might treat accused students unfairly, attendees quickly responded with a list of grievances: respondents have no ability to examine or confront accusers or to question witnesses or be represented by an attorney, and they, like complainants, are unaware of the investigation’s timeline.
cornellsun By Drew Musto
The Obama administration twice rewrote federal rules governing how allegations must be handled at colleges. In particular, since 2011, when DoED reinterpreted Title IX to require that sexual assault cases be judged by a “preponderance of the evidence” -a lower burden of proof than is used in criminal cases -more than 100 accused students have sued their schools. In most of these recent cases the colleges have lost, as they should have. Colleges are at best incapable of adjudicating allegedly criminal conduct, and at worst hopelessly biased. The vast majority of schools we studied now use procedures that stack the deck against accused students. Recent cases can be divided into two groups. In the first are colleges that considerably broadened the definition of sexual assault. The second group includes schools that violated their procedures, which were unfair to begin with.
latimes.com By KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor
No matter who Trump nominates, the key task for the next OCR head to do is to reverse its intrusion into campus discipline procedures for students accused of sexual assault. The toxic effects of that intrusion are the subject of a recent book by Johnson and Taylor. In The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities, the authors give a detailed account of the damage wrought by OCR’s “guidance” to colleges. One of the most startling points the authors make is that the use of OCR methods actually undermines an important element of the justice system—Miranda rights. That is because OCR encourages schools to share evidence they’ve obtained without the presence of an attorney with the police, who can then use it if they press charges. “The major effect of this policy,” write the authors, is “an end-run around the accused’s constitutional right not to be subjected to custodial questioning by police without lawyers.”
jamesgmartin.center By George Leef
Since 2012, Yale must document all sexual assault allegations on campus. Yale deputy provost Stephanie Spangler prepared this years report and it provides a peak into the deeply unhealthy atmosphere regarding the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault complaints. Her report portrays a campus in the midst of a terrifying wave of violent crime- or more likely in the midst of a moral panic. Spangler is giddly that there were 81 reports of some type of sexual harassment at Yale in the last six months of 2016…Her report has many insights. One is that a disturbing pattern is emerging where the Title IX coordinators and not the accusers are filing sexual assault complaints against Yale undergraduate students.
mindingthecampus By KC Johnson