August 6, 2015

ASHE SCHOW: Huffington Post smears fraternities, laments bills pushing for campus due process.

The media backlash against a pair of campus sexual assault bills that would protect due process rights for accused students continues with the Huffington Post’s Tyler Kingkade.

Kingkade uses his article to smear fraternities as pushing “bills to limit college rape investigation,” the implication being that they don’t want crimes investigated. The article’s subhead reads: “In some circumstances, colleges would be forbidden from expelling a student for sexual assault.”

Those “circumstances” include not punishing a student based on the quasi-legal system set up by Title IX and the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter. Under those policies, due process rights are thrown out the window and the colleges are incentivized to find students responsible on the flimsiest of evidence — sometimes solely on the word of the accuser.

Sexual assault, as Kingkade acknowledges, is a crime, but currently schools and advocates are treating it as a disciplinary matter no different than cheating or plagiarism. The North-American Interfraternity Conference and the National Panhellenic Conference (Kingkade conveniently leaves sororities out of the headline) are supporting bills that make sure crimes are handled by the criminal justice system. . . .

Avoiding the legal system in favor of campus kangaroo courts and star chambers doesn’t help accusers. An accused student can at most be expelled, free to prey on non-students or even the accuser if she steps foot off campus. But going through the legal system can get a rapist off the streets. If sexual assault is a violent crime, shouldn’t we want violent felons off the street?

That’s precisely what the fraternity and sorority groups want, according to Kevin O’Neill, a lobbyist for the groups.

“Our position has always been that if you commit a crime of violence against a student, we think the first stop should be the police station, not the dean’s office,” O’Neill told the Washington Examiner.

It’s not about protecting students. It’s about demonizing men as a group, while empowering campus bureaucrats.

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