Campus Sexual Misconduct Codes, Con't

Glenn Ricketts

As I observed briefly here last week, the US Dept. of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced a mandatory new standard under which most campus judiciary bodies will be expected to examine charges of sexual misconduct. Under OCR's new rule, investigators must now base their findings of innocence or guilt on a much lower burden of proof, which requires only that a "preponderance of evidence" against the accused will be sufficient to convict him, as opposed to the much higher threshold which had been in place previously. In today's Chronicle of Higher Education, our long-time friend Christina Hoff Sommers dissects the same issue here at greater length.

It's not edifying reading. As I noted, even before OCR's new regulations were imposed in April, sexual misconduct procedures had often been arbitrary and heavily stacked against the accused, the great majority of them men. Under the new, vastly easier standard of proof, what had often been a kangaroo court process on some campuses now appears empowered to mimic the Star Chamber.

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