Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fraternities Fight Back Against Title IX Sexual Assault Adjudication

Some good and overdue news from Bloomberg in the form of a new initiative from a lobbying group serving college fraternities and sororities, called FratPAC, will pressure Congress to constrain campus sexual assault adjudication under Title IX (emboldening mine):
The Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee, or "FratPAC,'' and two other groups will ask Congress to block colleges from suspending all fraternities on a campus because of a serious incident at a single house. In addition, the Greek representatives want a rule against "any mandate'' for chapters to go co-ed.


"Campus judicial proceedings'' should be deferred "until completion of criminal adjudication (investigation and trial),'' according to an e-mail sent to students selected to lobby for fraternities.

Joelle Stangler, the University of Minnesota student body president, said the fraternity groups' efforts are "extremely problematic.''

"Adjudication on campuses is incredibly important for victims and survivors, to make sure they receive some sort of justice,'' said Stangler, who has worked with a Minnesota advocacy group for sexual-assault victims.
The very language, of course, makes plain that as per usual, the entire point of this exercise is the creation of a system whereby the man is convicted upon accusation.  Entirely unsurprisingly, both Salon and Feministing are immediately and vigorously opposed, using exactly the same "victim" and "survivor" language that presupposes its conclusions. Ashe Schow continues to do fine work on this subject with her rebuttal piece in the Washington Examiner:

What the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (note that it represents sororities as well) actually wants is for the American justice system, which has the training and expertise to investigate felonies like rape, to do its job before colleges and universities become caught up in political witch hunts.

FratPAC also wants universities to stop overreacting to accusations of sexual assault by suspending all Greek activity when an accusation comes from a single fraternity — like what happened at the University of Virginia following a now discredited gang-rape allegation.

...locking people up (or kicking them off campus) based solely on an accusation — without any other evidence — flies in the face of due process. What's more, to allow schools to adjudicate campus sexual assault doesn't do real justice for the accusers, either. The most a school can do is expel someone. That, to echo Gillibrand, leaves potential serial rapists wandering the streets, putting public safety at risk. A criminal court can actually take these dangerous people off the streets.
 That is the strongest point to be made here: the asymmetric and unjust nature of punishment. A real rapist merely gets expulsion but not prison time; a falsely accused man will end up with a label that would end his college career.

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