Betsy DeVos: Protecting the Accused in Campus Sexual Assault

Even before stepping on the Tufts campus, the class of 2021 had taken their first course on sexual assault: an online program meant to prepare the students for healthy and safe interactions on campus.

 

During Orientation week, the students once again sat down to learn about sexual conduct through the program Speak About It–a group of young people that use skits to demonstrate healthy sexual relationships.

 

For a third time, students attended an hour long OEO training to learn about the resources on campus for sexual assault and misconduct.

 

While many freshmen complained about the excess of lectures, not every school gives students the same amount opportunities to be educated on consent, sexual assault and the safe spaces on campuses to talk about these controversial and emotional topics.

 

Betsy DeVos, US Secretary of Education, has recently come down on the treatment of sexual misconduct on college campuses. Several weeks ago, at George Mason University, DeVos described her new goal to combat Campus Sexual Assault: a focus on not only the protection of the victim, but also the accused.

DeVos believes that schools have over stepped their boundaries in recent years, deciding cases on minimal evidence that often side with the victim. During her speech, DeVos described the mistreatment and injustices handed down to young men accused of rape.

 

While DeVos’ actual plans on how to execute her goal are still up in the air, the fear among students regarding sexual assault is as real as ever. A 2015 survey of students at 27 schools, by the Association of American Universities, found that one in four women had complained of sexual assault or sexual misconduct. 

 

Furthermore, Betsy DeVos’ credentials do not seem to merit her new control of the fate of sexual misconducts laws on college campuses. During her senate confirmation, the Secretary of Education explained that some schools may need guns to defend from grizzly bears, a concept deemed preposterous even by her public education allies.

But what do DeVos’s comments mean for college students now? Students should stay informed about sexual assault misconduct policies on their own campuses, and the resources at hand.

Whether or not DeVos decides to act on her comments, young men and women on campuses across the country will continue to fight for safety and protection from sexual assault in their own colleges and universities.

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/us/devos-campus-rape.html

 

https://i.makeagif.com/media/2-05-2017/Gn-UP3.gif

 

https://www.aau.edu/sites/default/files/%40%20Files/Climate%20Survey/AAU_Campus_Climate_Survey_12_14_15.pdf

 

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