College students accused of sexual assault found themselves in what were essentially kangaroo courts (“Betsy De Vos Reverses Obama-era Policy on Campus Sexual Assault Investigations,” The New York Times, Nov. 17). But that is about to change – and not a moment too soon.
Defendants will soon have due process rights, including most importantly the right to cross-examine their accusers. I never understood why administrators did not refer such cases to off-campus police. I say that because the lives of many men have been ruined under the old system. I’m not implying that all accused students are innocent. On the contrary. But they deserve the right to defend themselves when the stakes are so high.
If colleges and universities insist on trying sexual assault cases on campus, then it’s incumbent on them to adhere to the rules of criminal law. I’m glad that some sense of fairness may finally come to higher education. My main concern is that schools can still use a “preponderance of evidence” rather than “clear and convincing evidence” as the standard.
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