From “preponderance of evidence” to “clear-and-convincing”—and the assault victim suffers.

I’ve arrived at that age (and not recently either) where many of my former students already have granddaughters in college; others have daughters there. Since I’m still coaching a girls tennis team I guess technically I have “students” today who will enter college next fall or shortly thereafter. And I have a niece who just began her freshman year.

None of these facts makes me an expert, but I feel as though I have a stake in this (we all should!), and that stake makes it more difficult to ignore Betsy DeVos’s campaign to make the reporting of campus sexual assaults more onerous, as if the act itself were not traumatic enough. On Friday DeVos officially rescinded the Obama administration’s guidance on dealing with the issue. I wrote about this earlier in the month and won’t go into more detail now.

I talked above about daughters and granddaughters, but yesterday’s Times opinion piece by Jamil Smith lays everything out clearly for men as well. In brief Smith points out that many college males can’t even define rape, and that a formalized instruction on campus may offer a better solution than more lax enforcement. Read it.

We all know that Betsy DeVos is just another hack bent on removing Obama-era regulations, part of the Trump desire to remove his predecessor from our collective memory. Of course he’s too vacuous to realize he’s doing the opposite, and that dilettantes like DeVos are helping. But when Trump is forgotten, the traumatized victims of campus assaults—the ones whose reporting DeVos has made more difficult—will still be suffering.

One Reply to “From “preponderance of evidence” to “clear-and-convincing”—and the assault victim suffers.”

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