4.6.16 | Harlan Levy
The President portrays colleges and universities as centers of sexual assault where men routinely escape responsibility for their actions. Twenty eight Harvard Law School professors decry campus adjudications “stacked” against young men. No wonder college age women and men (and their parents) look at this aspect of college life with trepidation.
Two powerful themes contend. On the one hand, victims of sexual assault present a civil rights issue: the right of young women to have their claims taken seriously and redressed. On the other, young men face the potential for limited due process and unjust outcomes.
Just five years ago, campus sexual assault was a matter of state criminal law, assigned to criminal prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, and juries, in a system heavily stacked against the victims. Since then, states have begun to implement “Yes Means Yes” laws, while federal law has created a parallel universe where educational institutions must venture into the business of justice — and administer it pursuant to federal standards.