May 30, 2014
MORE MEN ARE SUING OVER SEXIST CAMPUS POLICIES: Duke, Grossly Unfair Again, Is Back in Court.
To defend its actions, Duke sent to court Dean Sue Wasiolek, a figure who had a somewhat checkered record in the lacrosse case. Wasiolek lacked the almost casual disregard for due process of one of her superiors, Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta, or the personal cravenness of Duke president Richard Brodhead. On the other hand, she urged the lacrosse captains not to tell their parents about the incident, advice that helped explain why they didn’t seek attorneys for several days.
Independent reporter John Tucker covered the hearing, and it seemed as if Wasiolek’s testimony didn’t go very well for the school. She admitted that Duke had never placed the presumption of expulsion in its published student handbook—but suggested this didn’t matter. “It is an understood practice. … We didn’t feel the need to make it public.” How something that’s not public can be an understood as standard must remain a mystery.
And she appeared to concede that Duke doesn’t take seriously Title IX’s promise of not discriminating on the basis of gender. Noting Duke’s finding that a rape occurs when a panel concludes based on 50.01 percent probability that a student had reached an incapacitating level of intoxication that rendered the student unable to give consent to sex, McLeod’s lawyer asked Wasiolek what happened if both students were drunk. In that case, presumably, “they have raped each other and are subject to expulsion.” Not so, stated Wasiolek: “Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex.” How this policy can be reconciled with Title IX must remain a mystery.
I got a press release from legal entrepreneur John Banzhaf on this yesterday, which suggests to me that the Title IX lawsuits are on the way.