12
September
2017

(Rough Draft) DeVos Plans to Rewrite Campus Sexual Assault Regulations0

On Thursday August 31, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced her plans to review and rewrite Title IX campus sexual assault guidelines issued by former president Barack Obama in 2011. DeVos hasn’t said what what the Trump administration would replace them with.

Stephanie Saul and Dana Goldstein from The New York Times state that DeVos, “Believed that in an effort to protect victims, the previous administration had gone too far and forced colleges to adopt procedures that sometimes deprived accused students of their rights.”

Although DeVos stated her goals, she did not say what changes she would implement. The changes would rollback on the obligations that fall under Title IX which was implemented by the Obama administration to combat sexual assault and harassment on campus.

In her speech, DeVos acknowledged the fact that the Obama administration shed light on the issue. However, she stated that her administration plans to look for a more successful way to deal with sexual assault on campuses.

DeVos has met with both those who oppose the current policy and those who support it. Out of that comes her goal to consider the needs of students accused of sexual assault or harassment in addition to school administrators and survivors.

Emily Singer on Mic states that DeVos, “said current guidelines hurt both accusers and the accused.”

In the NY Times It is said that DeVos’ speech focused heavily on the accused who as she said were “denied due process.” Because the 2011 Title IX guidelines lowered the bar set for the standard of proof used in sexual assault cases on campus.

According to Tess Owen in Vice News those who have been falsely accused feel like their schools have let them down resulting in over 100 lawsuits since 2011 compared to 15 in the years prior. However, false reports only account for 2 to 10 percent of sexual assault reports.

In comparison Singer states that one in five women experience sexual assault while in college, and 90% of victims never report it. Critics of the rollback of the Obama guidance fear that it could have a major impact on the willingness of survivors to report sexual assault.

Singer found that sexual assault advocates were upset with DeVos’ speech, and that some groups would “pressure college and universities to continue adhering to the 2011 guidelines.”

https://mic.com/articles/184297/sexual-assault-survivor-groups-and-advocates-pan-betsy-devos-plan-for-title-ix#.2PCVxuiVr

https://news.vice.com/story/betsy-devos-wants-to-roll-back-protections-for-campus-rape-survivors

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/us/devos-campus-rape.html?_r=0

 

       



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