As it left office last year, Obama’s administration made one final move in its crusade against campus due process: it requested a massive increase-$30.7 million, or 28.7 percent-in funding for OCR. To translate: OCR head Catherine Lhamon wanted to hire nearly 200 permanent employees, who would work under a true believer (Harvard’s ex-Title IX coordinator), because she had decided OCR would investigate not merely the complaints it received but thousands of other cases, even though no accuser had filed a Title IX complaint about any of these individual cases. On this matter, as on virtually all OCR-related matters during the Obama years, no sign of congressional oversight existed. It would be difficult to imagine a more wasteful use of federal funds.
mindingthecampus.org By KC Johnson
Title IX, DoED OCR
Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights related to Title IX
The ACTL has issued a watershed White Paper that highlights how the current system of campus rape tribunals shortchanges both victims and accused students, thereby undermining the goal of curbing campus rape. The White Paper makes recommendations regarding the need for procedural due process; impartial investigations; the rights to counsel, access evidence, and notice of allegations; cross-examination; and the inadequacy of the preponderance of evidence standard. “Under the current system everyone loses: accused students are deprived of fundamental fairness, complainants’ experiences are unintentionally eroded and undermined, and colleges and universities are trapped between the two.”
thefire.org By Alex Morey
For nearly six years now, a federal mandate has manhandled American colleges. The Department of Education’s 2011 guidance on campus sexual misconduct reinterpreted a gender parity law—Title IX of the Higher Education Act—to police colleges’ responses to reported sexual assaults. The federal government, joined by virtually all colleges and universities, has mounted a systematic attack on bedrock American principles including the presumption of innocence, access to exculpatory evidence, the right to cross-examine one’s accuser, and due process. Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson trace the ideological and political roots of this harmful policy shift to a cultural interest in reparations to the second sex.
weeklystandard.com By Alice B. Lloyd
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
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