Universities Defying DeVos’ Order for Sex Assault Reform

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Books - notably KC Johnson’s ‘The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities’ – have been written about the inherent injustice toward the accused with respect to university-handled sexual assault allegations post-2011.

Nobody takes rape lightly, Hollywood A-listers aside.

But the seriousness of the alleged crime does not justify a process that removes the most basic aspects of due process from the accused. Universities are not equipped to handle allegations as serious as sexual assault. You would think that would be a point that we could all agree on. It’s in the interest of both the accuser and the accused to have law enforcement handle the issue. Their resources – rape kits, more thorough investigative techniques, and the punishments doled out by the courts – outpace those of university administrators by a long shot. The accuser, when being honest about their allegations, should want this resourceful and experienced combination of cops and courts to handle their cases. And, for the accused, it grants them the due process – namely the access to counsel – that everyone accused of such a crime, any crime for that matter, deserves as a fundamental right.

This debate stems from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights 2011 policy, adopted by most universities, and all that receive any form of Federal financial assistance. The Obama-era overreach knew no bounds, and served as an expansion of government tentacle-sinking that made FDR look like a libertarian. In most cases, I am cynical that government-mandated policies during the Obama years carried the same noble intentions that many of FDR’s did. But, even if a federal policy has a noble cause – in this case, preserving “students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination” – its means and processes must still be sound. And they must be fair.

Fairness is the last word that one would associate with the processes mandated by this overreaching policy. Numerous examples make it clear that universities are either willfully embracing an anti-male agenda, refusing to understand and implement the most basic aspects of due diligence and process, or irreparably incompetent. Surely, it’s some combination of all three.

The Rolling Stone UVA-rape hoax is only the archetype for how overzealous the media, and apparently the universities themselves, are to paint college campuses as a ‘Hunting Ground’ for horny, uncontrollable males seeking out the drunkest, weakest women and raping them in a systematic fashion. Perhaps they should have been focusing their funding and camera lenses upon Hollywood.

I can hear the talking points now:

“You’re minimizing rape!” 

“You’re casting aside the true victims of rape.”

Not true. What I am doing, and what everybody who truly cares about the victims of rape should be doing, is calling for a more logical, responsible approach to the issue. I am advocating for a better process for determining the validity of an allegation, and the assurance of an appropriate punishment should the accused be convicted.

And I am calling for an end to the unjust ruination of countless accused rapists, many of whom are truly innocent and many of whose guilt or innocence we will never know because of this broken campus adjudication system. The extent of the punishment doled out by most of these university rape-‘investigation’ boards are an insult to our intelligence, from both sides of the coin.

Mere expulsion for a true rapist is far too lenient. And for somebody falsely accused, it’s a black mark that will undoubtedly tarnish their name and potential to live a successful, happy life. The evidence of this double-sided break in the system is overwhelming.

To make the need for law enforcement-led sexual assault investigations even more clear, the broad details and specific examples of university-adjudicated sexual assault allegations gone completely awry abound. 

As of 2015, 94 complaints of mishandling of cases – including but not limited to sexual assault claims – were being investigated. This is the accuser side of the coin.

On the flipside, a Save Services report documents how, between 2012 and 2016, 122 lawsuits were filed by students accused, and in their opinion unjustly convicted, of sexual assault allegations. Allegations of mishandling include the unfair use of the preponderance of evidence standard of proof, the lack of notification of their legal rights, and the mere campus-level adjudication of felony-level sexual assaults.

As the Washington Examiner has explained, most of these schools settle these cases, to what precise cost is unclear. Whatever the cost, be sure that it is reflected in the already exorbitant student tuitions and fees that are causing life-decision altering levels of student debt already. Student debt has been likened to a financial ‘ball and chain’ for an entire generation.

And, to what end?

Why force unequipped, incapable university administrators to handle processes which should be – for the sake of both parties in any given case – left to law enforcement?

Only Barack can answer that one, and it is yet another example of why so many people saw, and continue to see, so many of his policies as malevolent in their ends.

Betsy DeVos saw that the 2011 policy for university-handled allegations put undue strain on the accuser, the accused, and the universities themselves. And, the Department of Education Secretary took the opportunity to lambast the failed policies during a speech in September, correctly stating that it had resulted in a “failed system” which constituted “kangaroo courts.”

Eventually, DeVos would rescind the 2011 Title IX guidelines put in place by the Obama administration. Yet, as of early October, many universities are refusing to give up their complete, unquestionable power to create colossal clusterfucks of what should be legitimately conducted investigations. You gotta love the academics!

DeVos didn’t even propose to completely remove university-level adjudication of alleged sexual assaults. She merely issued an ‘interim directive on how colleges and universities should more fairly adjudicate sexual assault,’ according to the Wall Street Journal. But, because Betsy DeVos has long been labeled the greatest threat public education has ever faced, and because she was appointed by Donald Trump, she is facing resistance from at least a dozen universities.

From Cal State-Northridge to St. Edwards University, administrators are dismissing DeVos’ ‘guidelines’ as ‘not law,' even though her guidelines carry the exact same power as the 2011 Obama guidelines. But hey, at least they are standing for a good cause. They are standing uniformly against radical, sexist proposals such as ‘directing universities to avoid gender bias, weigh evidence fairly, and afford the same rights and opportunities to the accuser and accused, among other basic equity provisions.’

God forbid the accused and the accuser would be granted the same rights. Or that, gasp! evidence would be weighed fairly.

Schools that are resisting, including the University of Oregon and the entire, bankrupt Cal-State system are claiming that they need not adhere to the new guidelines because they already follow the tenets of fairness. Naturally, each has faced rulings from federal judges siding with those accusing the schools robbed them of due process and acted without sufficient evidence.

For those still adhering to the tenets and narratives of the left – tenets of rampant misogyny, sexism, and patriarchy – it has never been facts that inform their statements or actions. At least, not for several years.

Facts fall to the wayside when the alternative is proliferating division, hate, baseless unfairness, and resistance to all things common sense, and especially all things Trump. Unfortunately, this has meant, and will continue to mean, accusers, the accused, and the student body as a whole paying great prices for an incompetent, obstinate mass of agenda-driven, power-hungry administrators more concerned with their personal and party narratives than fairness or justice.

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