DeVos wages war on campus sexual assault policy

Mackenzie Clarke , Managing Editor

What is being repealed and why are people upset?

In 2011 the Obama Administration proposed a plan on how to carry out sexual assault investigations and allegations on college campuses. A lower standard of evidence was introduced, meaning that universities had the option of using a “preponderance of the evidence”-essentially, a lower standard of proof needed in deciding whether a student is guilty of sexual assault. It was intended to hold schools to a higher caliber of integrity and force fair trials, and, indirectly, further protect victims. Prior to the implementation of these ruling guidelines, many schools were continuously accused of mishandling sexual assault cases.

So what is the Trump Administration and why is it important?

Amidst some bipartisan resistance to the severity of the “preponderance” ruling, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos took a strong stance on protecting students “wrongly accused” of campus sexual crimes. She made it clear that the harsh disciplinary actions, sometimes including expulsion, could devastate the life of a student who had been “failed by the system”—in other words, unfairly found guilty. On Sept. 22, DeVos announced reforms to the Obama Administration’s campus sexual assault policies. Under these changes, DeVos hopes to better protect the rights of those accused of sexual crimes on college campuses. Additionally, her plans also include eliminating the requirement that campus investigations be completed in 60 days. By lengthening the statue of limitations, she hopes to eliminate hasty decisions which could be detrimental to the accused.