If you have friends or family back on campus this fall, you can rest easy knowing that one particular practice is over. One that helps rapists and turns fundamental notions of due process and liberty on its head. Betsy DeVos announced in a recent fiery speech that as Secretary of Education, she would stop the Obama administration practice of demanding colleges act as judge, jury, and executioner of young men on campus. She accused the Obama administration of “weaponizing” the office of civil rights and then proceeded to justify her claim.
It’s the failure of the system that turns a survivor into a victim
“Good intentions alone are not enough.” That powerful sentence started DeVos off on discussing how ruinous the Obama rules are for students, to the point of death. These consequences include both survivors of sexual assaults who receive no justice, and those accused, then railroaded by kangaroo courts. DeVos detailed a long list of cases of colleges and universities victimizing their own students as they try to be an instant and fully formed judicial system with no training or experience.
She told her university that another student sexually assaulted her in her dorm room. In turn, her university told her she would have to prosecute the case herself. Without any legal training whatsoever, she had to prepare an opening statement, fix exhibits and find witnesses.
That was at Stony Brook University, where Sarah Tubbs was victimized by administrators when she went for help.
The couple was described as ‘playfully roughhousing,’ but a witness thought otherwise, and the incident was reported to the university’s Title IX coordinator. The young woman repeatedly assured campus officials she had not been abused nor had any misconduct occurred. But because of the failed system, university administrators told her they knew better. They dismissed the young man, her boyfriend, from the football team and expelled him from school. ‘When I told the truth,’ the young woman said, ‘I was stereotyped and was told I must be a ‘battered’ woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled.”
USC did that to Zoe Katz and Matt Boermeester.
The Era of Rule by Letter is Over
What’s behind all this? An April 4, 2011, letter from the Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education. It demanded schools become miniature star chambers, acting on mere rumors and innuendo of any possible infringement. Adding that letter to the pervasive anti-male sentiment held by so many in academia was like pouring gas on a fire.
University administrators themselves were, as DeVos relays, “terrified” by the office and their arbitrary and merciless standards of enforcement. University officials refused to even call it for
guidance on simple questions over how to proceed, lest they then find themselves in the crosshairs of an unfounded yet consequential investigation. DeVos proclaimed: “The era of rule by letter is over.”
It’s that insistence on ruling by decree that infected so much of the Obama administration at work here. One school official was asked point blank by an Obama official “Why do you care about the rights of the accused? “ This is from the Office of Civil Rights! DeVos called these practices an “unraveling of justice” “shameful,” and “anathema to the system of self-governance to which our founders pledged their lives.”
You can see here in this thorough compilation by Reason magazine all of the many crazy examples of administrators behaving monstrously towards students in the guise of Title 9 justice that Devos mentions in her speech. I encourage you to watch the speech itself. Here it is, a testament to President Trump’s greatest achievements so far for those who care about liberty; his nominations: