At last, a bit of good news from higher education. A federal judge upheld the new grievance procedures for handling sexual-assault complaints on college campuses (“DeVos’s Sexual-Assault Rule Prevails,” The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 13).
What is now required is that both accuser and accused receive the same notice of allegations, can cross-examine witnesses and have the right to appeal. Formerly, accusers had the upper hand because due process was absent. As a result, campuses were the scene of kangaroo courts.
Nevertheless, I continue to believe that sexual-assault complaints should be handled by off-campus police who have been far better trained to investigate such matters. When the reputations and lives of young people are on the line, the stakes are too high for anything less.
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2 Replies to “Sexual-assault rule on campuses passes muster”
Agree — it’s counterproductive to require colleges to undertake investigative, prosecutorial and judicial functions, particularly regarding sexual assault allegations that are among the most difficult to fairly and reliably resolve. A college’s relationship with its students is not that of a govt with its citizens but rather that of a merchant with its customers, a restaurant with its diners, an entertainment venue with its patrons, and a landlord with its tenants. We — society — do not require or even expect merchants, restaurants, concert arenas, or landlords to investigate, prosecute or adjudicate sexual assault allegation occurring on their property. At most, we expect them to report the allegations to the police. Same should apply to colleges.
Labor Lawyer: The only good thing to come out of the latest ruling is that accusers and accused on a more even playing field than before. But colleges are not the proper venue. Complaints should be filed with the police who possess far better training and objectivity.