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  #101  
Old 12-31-2019, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post

Your broad answer will harm real people in real classes. Maybe you didn't think it through. Maybe you don't care. But your "best practice" will harm people. "Broad theoretical question" is no excuse here. No additional information required other than knowing how real schools work.
You will find in life that there are situations where no matter what course if action you take someone is harmed or inconvenienced. Your insistence that separating the students necessitates one person dropping belies a myopic outlook preventing you from considering other options. And at least one other poster gave an alternative way for a student to complete the course without attending class, so I assume you read that and promptly ignored it.

There are no blanket answers in situations like this. You can have some general guidelines but at the end of the day you make a decision on a case by case basis.
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  #102  
Old 12-31-2019, 02:18 PM
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I don’t believe university administrators are law enforcement. The police and judicial system are. Why not have the alleged victim take the complaint to the police?
The university has people who are responsible for making sure their rules are followed. It’s the same reason HR might investigate a fight or inappropriate touching where you work.
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  #103  
Old 12-31-2019, 02:41 PM
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The university has people who are responsible for making sure their rules are followed. It’s the same reason HR might investigate a fight or inappropriate touching where you work.
"Don't Rape" may be a rule, but it also a LAW. The college can enforce their rules all they want, But they shouldn't get to decide whether broken laws, especially laws involving violence, are kept from those who are sworn to enforce those laws.
  #104  
Old 12-31-2019, 03:39 PM
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This delays graduation a year. Thus, harm.

Lab times can be moved; that's why I didn't pick a lab. This class isn't recorded. Even if it were, this isn't some state school monster lecture hall; it's an interactive class. And even if it were a uniderectional lecture, there are reasons people pay more for in-person over remote classes. And even if those were equivalent, this chemistry program involves a relatively strict sequence of classes. So we're not talking about just one class being disrupted.

You bet there are other options. Maybe there aren't. Maybe this actually is the best one. But we should understand the actual costs instead of dismissing them or, as others have done, blaming them on the OP.
it only delays graduation if it's their final year. Otherwise it's just rearranging the schedule. A good quality recording gadget costs about $100. Every class can be recorded if there's a compelling reason to do so, like preventing someone from graduating on time. There are other ways of interacting. And there are other classes.

And this:
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Originally Posted by Odesio View Post
You will find in life that there are situations where no matter what course if action you take someone is harmed or inconvenienced. Your insistence that separating the students necessitates one person dropping belies a myopic outlook preventing you from considering other options. And at least one other poster gave an alternative way for a student to complete the course without attending class, so I assume you read that and promptly ignored it.

There are no blanket answers in situations like this. You can have some general guidelines but at the end of the day you make a decision on a case by case basis.

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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
If you have data on how common it is to automatically remove an accused from class with an accuser with no evidence beyond the accusation, let's see them.
Nope. I have a single anecdote from years ago in which a man lost his job based on an accusation with no other evidence. Perhaps that's incredibly rare. It was at Columbia University, if that's relevant.

My brother also had a promotion delayed by a year due to an accusation with no other evidence. In fact, after they completed the investigation they promoted him, and shortly thereafter the accuser was fired for a pattern of lying (of which that accusation was just one case.) But yeah, he was harmed

Sometimes there's no perfect answer.
  #105  
Old 12-31-2019, 03:58 PM
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The scenario that a student would want the university but not the police to act on a complaint of sexual assault really IS an absurd hypothetical ...
Hmm. Take your assessment or the assessment of the experts on rape and assault (cited earlier). Such a hard choice.


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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
"Don't Rape" may be a rule, but it also a LAW. The college can enforce their rules all they want, But they shouldn't get to decide whether broken laws, especially laws involving violence, are kept from those who are sworn to enforce those laws.
And they have no ability to decide on the victim's behalf either and to force her to offer information to the police. Whether or not they have a legal obligation to pass information on to the police actually varies by state.
Quote:
... Not everyone on campus is required to report a sexual assault to police if a student comes to them for help, and colleges are required by the U.S. Department of Education to do their own investigation, separate from that of the police. Campus police officers -- who are in some cases both sworn law enforcement officers and members of a college's staff -- can find themselves straddling both kinds of investigations at once.

In states like Wisconsin, state laws and federal laws over who must report cases of sexual assault differ, creating more confusion. ...
I tried to wade through this pdf on who is an is not a mandatory reporter and rights the (alleged) victim has to control their information ... enough to understand it gets complicated.

Last edited by DSeid; 12-31-2019 at 03:59 PM.
  #106  
Old 12-31-2019, 04:14 PM
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For upper-level courses it's common for only one section to be available, once per year. I don't know what accomodations you can offer that don't delay graduation a year. Based on an accusation with either no corroborating evidence or not enough to make any determination of a crime or a policy violation.
The university can make an accommodation, unhealthy and unsatisfactory as it may be, that doesn't include taking more fees from one student.

This can be unsatisfactory for everyone, but the critical point is that it can be really difficult for the university, and hence put way down lower on the list of actions than it should be.

Part of the difficulty is that some universities depend on fees for funding and are completely unwilling to do anything that breaks the financial contract. This isn't the opposite problem. It's the same problem. The university needs to separate out it's vested economic interests from the consideration of the moral and legal responsibilities.
  #107  
Old 12-31-2019, 04:15 PM
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If you think a jury of your "peers" is terrifying, you'll love a jury of the SDMB "statisticians"!
Multiple sources all pretty much concur on this point. The BBC reviewed it pretty recently - somewhere between 2 to 10% seems to be the number of false accusations.

Others here are much more familiar with these figures than I am but I've never heard much that contradicts them: an alleged victim's word alone with nothing that contradicts it may not reach the "beyond reasonable shadow of a doubt" level, but "clear and convincing" level? Yes.
  #108  
Old 12-31-2019, 04:22 PM
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I woke up thinking about this thread this morning and realized one important factor we (and certainly I) haven't explicitly considered: Title IX.

Title IX requires that the college take whatever steps are necessary for the reporting student to be able to complete her education, including, as I understand it, transferring her to other classes, getting extensions on papers/exams, transferring her to another dorm, etcetera. The stickiest event would be if both students were in the only course section offered that semester AND the course was a requirement in both their majors AND it's their last semester before graduation. In that case, the college should have the (alleged) assailant not attend the course--though he could meet with the professor, get class notes from others, take tests separately, etc. until the campus investigation is complete, at which time, if there's no evidence to indicate he's guilty, he could be afforded whatever accommodations he needs to complete the course.

The campus is required to launch an investigation regardless of whether the assault is reported to the police. I refuse to assume in advance that, as in the OP's hypothetical, there is no evidence. That's what an investigation determines. Maybe the VICTIM doesn't recognize there were witnesses when there actually were. Maybe during the investigation, other students will disclose the (alleged) assailant assaulted them and that they didn't report it, necessitating further investigation.
  #109  
Old 12-31-2019, 04:30 PM
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Witnesses need not have witnessed the rape to still provide corraborating evidence. If the accusers roommate tells investigators that the accused was very upset on the night of the incident, that's evidence.
  #110  
Old 12-31-2019, 05:28 PM
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Doesnt it also matter if it happened on or off campus? If off campus in say someones apartment that would be outside the colleges domain.
  #111  
Old 12-31-2019, 06:52 PM
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Multiple sources all pretty much concur on this point. The BBC reviewed it pretty recently - somewhere between 2 to 10% seems to be the number of false accusations.

Others here are much more familiar with these figures than I am but I've never heard much that contradicts them: an alleged victim's word alone with nothing that contradicts it may not reach the "beyond reasonable shadow of a doubt" level, but "clear and convincing" level? Yes.
As noted before, the methodology on these studies are not up to par. Unless the accuser recants, there is nothing to say that a particular confession is "false."
  #112  
Old 12-31-2019, 09:32 PM
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As noted before, the methodology on these studies are not up to par. Unless the accuser recants, there is nothing to say that a particular confession is "false."
I assume you mean "a particular accusation is false." But certainly a recantation is not the only evidence of a false accusation. The accused could have an alibi, for example.
  #113  
Old 12-31-2019, 10:02 PM
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While it's been partially addressed, I should directly address some aspects of OP:

Quote:
4. There are no state/federal laws that mandate that you take a particular course of action (i.e., "you must give the accused the benefit of presumption of innocence" or something like that.)
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 creates several complex legal requirements for all educational institutions that receive public funds, be they private or public schools (because this even includes private schools that simply admit students who are financing their education via FAFSA loans, virtually all colleges in the United States are subject to the law regardless of their legal structure.) So this stipulation is just so plainly non-factual that it should be considered invalid.

Quote:
6. The school itself has no policies or precedents that lay out what you are to do, or not do, in this situation.
Under the above mentioned Title IX, the school will be legally required to have such procedures and policies. I would wager virtually any amount of money every legitimate college in the United States has a policy/written procedure on how to handle student-on-student claims of sexual assault.

Other than that what a University President should do is pretty simple, even if some of the mechanics involved are complex.

1. Any State/Federal legal requirements I have to meet, I would meet, as part of my custodial responsibilities to administrate the school in compliance with the law.
2. Any existing university policies would be followed.
3. Recognizing as a University President I am not equipped to help someone who may have been sexually assaulted, I would refer them to counseling and other medical help they might need. I would avoid trying to offer impromptu counseling myself because of my lack of qualification to do so and fear that an untrained approach on such a thing could cause more harm.
4. Assuming no criminal case occurs and the university investigation process does not result in any adverse findings against the accused student, I would still endeavor to accommodate the accuser as best as possible for her mental health and well being. This would include accommodations that would minimize any contact she would have to have with the student she accused. However since no adverse findings, either at the criminal or university level, had been found against the accused, I do not believe I would be on firm legal footing to take any adverse actions against him (i.e. forcing him to move to a different dorm or forcing him to withdraw from classes.) Without knowing specifics, I would speculate that in most situations the school exposes itself to legal liability if it takes adverse actions against a student when a university pre-defined process has not found any wrongdoing by the student proven to whatever legal standard was present in the university process.
  #114  
Old 12-31-2019, 10:17 PM
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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 creates several complex legal requirements for all educational institutions that receive public funds, be they private or public schools (because this even includes private schools that simply admit students who are financing their education via FAFSA loans, virtually all colleges in the United States are subject to the law regardless of their legal structure.) So this stipulation is just so plainly non-factual that it should be considered invalid.



Under the above mentioned Title IX, the school will be legally required to have such procedures and policies. I would wager virtually any amount of money every legitimate college in the United States has a policy/written procedure on how to handle student-on-student claims of sexual assault.
Here is what Title IX says:

Quote:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, except that
after the "except that" it lists where discrimination on the basis of sex is permissible. As an aside, it is utterly amazing that the government can impose upon universities these requirements because of that language.

For example, why couldn't a university say that they will have no policy at all regarding sexual assault allegations and leave that to the police? How is that discrimination "on the basis of sex"?
  #115  
Old 12-31-2019, 10:56 PM
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If you think a jury of your "peers" is terrifying, you'll love a jury of the SDMB "statisticians"!
You may not like the statistics but that's what they say: the odds that somebody is a victim of a sexual assault are much higher than the odds that somebody is the victim of a false accusation of sexual assault. So in a situation like the OP described, the accuser is more likely to be telling the truth than the accused.
  #116  
Old 12-31-2019, 11:15 PM
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You may not like the statistics but that's what they say: the odds that somebody is a victim of a sexual assault are much higher than the odds that somebody is the victim of a false accusation of sexual assault. So in a situation like the OP described, the accuser is more likely to be telling the truth than the accused.
Can you cite one of these statistics with a link to the methodology? As someone can be convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of an alleged victim, I wonder how these studies determine that an allegation is "false."

For example, in these studies (and not to rehash it) what category would the Thomas or Kavanaugh allegations be placed in? And I really don't want to rehash it, but it certainly wouldn't be part of the "false" category, although these allegations may be false. Further, there were several follow up allegations against Thomas and Kavanaugh. All not in the "false" category? What about those against Trump and Clinton? All not in the "false" category?

You see my point. You can't say that an allegation is false without some powerful evidence saying it is false. So the methodology is important.
  #117  
Old 01-01-2020, 12:36 AM
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Dont investigate, call the Police, they will investigate.
This.

We either have the very serious crime committed, that a man has raped a woman.
OR
We have the very serious crime committed, that a woman is trying to frame a man and utterly destroy his life.


Frankly, i lean towards the second as more likely. Someone that DOES want authority to investigate, but does NOT want the police to investigate, sounds like someone with something to hide by resorting to the agency that is less competent to investigate the actual truth.
  #118  
Old 01-01-2020, 12:48 AM
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This.

We either have the very serious crime committed, that a man has raped a woman.
OR
We have the very serious crime committed, that a woman is trying to frame a man and utterly destroy his life.


Frankly, i lean towards the second as more likely. Someone that DOES want authority to investigate, but does NOT want the police to investigate, sounds like someone with something to hide by resorting to the agency that is less competent to investigate the actual truth.

I think the first is far more likely. But yes, let professionals do their jobs.
  #119  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:01 AM
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We either have the very serious crime committed, that a man has raped a woman.
OR
We have the very serious crime committed, that a woman is trying to frame a man and utterly destroy his life.
Those are not the only two options. But more to the point, in the face of what is unknown or unknowable, it is possible to respond to the accuser as if they are a victim deserving of help without simultaneously taking adverse action against the accused as if they are guilty.

Because I guess that needs to be said again.
  #120  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:03 AM
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This.

We either have the very serious crime committed, that a man has raped a woman.
OR
We have the very serious crime committed, that a woman is trying to frame a man and utterly destroy his life.


Frankly, i lean towards the second as more likely. Someone that DOES want authority to investigate, but does NOT want the police to investigate, sounds like someone with something to hide by resorting to the agency that is less competent to investigate the actual truth.
Then it's time we help you out of your ignorance. Victims don't hesitate or refuse to inform police because they "have something to hide." They do so because less than 10% of all sexual assault reports result in conviction and because they know that no matter how solid their case is, the defense will paint them as aggressive, lying trollops. They do so because they're afraid the assailant will attack them again out of rage. They do so because the incident was so traumatic, pretending like it never happened is preferable to reliving it by recounting it to often-skeptical cops.

The rate of false reports is very low, but some people like to believe it's high because they'd rather believe women are apt to be seductive, lying Jezebels than to believe nice, apparently normal young men can sexually assault women. They feel safer that way.
  #121  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:37 AM
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Can you cite one of these statistics with a link to the methodology?
Seriously? You want to dispute such an obvious mathematical fact? If I said that elephants were bigger than mice, would you want a cite for that?

But, I'll play.

Quote:
One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives

In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime

cite
They got these figures from the Center of Disease Control and the Department of Justice.

Quote:
The amount of false reports in comparison to the total number of sexual assaults and rapes is likely closer to .002 to .008%. Statistically, it is overwhelmingly more likely that a person alleging sexual assault or rape is telling the truth than making a false accusation.

cite
In fact, you can take women completely out of the picture. A man is statistically more likely to be a victim of rape than a victim of a false rape accusation. cite
  #122  
Old 01-01-2020, 02:11 AM
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...

Nope. I have a single anecdote from years ago in which a man lost his job based on an accusation with no other evidence. Perhaps that's incredibly rare. It was at Columbia University, if that's relevant.

My brother also had a promotion delayed by a year due to an accusation with no other evidence. In fact, after they completed the investigation they promoted him, and shortly thereafter the accuser was fired for a pattern of lying (of which that accusation was just one case.) But yeah, he was harmed

Sometimes there's no perfect answer.
By the way, neither of those men was accused of rape. They were both accused of taking too much interest in the woman. Harassment, I guess. The junior professor was accused because he let the student talk to him in his office with the door closed. He wasn't paying attention because he was distracted by his engagement to a woman he was actually interested in. My brother was targeted after he told the admin, "why don't you put us on the same flight" when the two of them were flying (for work) to the same convention.

I would guess that false rape accusations are a lot less common than false "he looked at me" accusations.
  #123  
Old 01-01-2020, 09:04 AM
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You will find in life that there are situations where no matter what course if action you take someone is harmed or inconvenienced. Your insistence that separating the students necessitates one person dropping belies a myopic outlook preventing you from considering other options.
You have yet to offer an option that doesn't harm people. I nev
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Originally Posted by Odesio View Post
And at least one other poster gave an alternative way for a student to complete the course without attending class, so I assume you read that and promptly ignored it.
I responded to at least one other poster, so I assume you read that and promptly ignored it.
  #124  
Old 01-01-2020, 09:10 AM
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Multiple sources all pretty much concur on this point. The BBC reviewed it pretty recently - somewhere between 2 to 10% seems to be the number of false accusations.

Others here are much more familiar with these figures than I am but I've never heard much that contradicts them: an alleged victim's word alone with nothing that contradicts it may not reach the "beyond reasonable shadow of a doubt" level, but "clear and convincing" level? Yes.
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
You may not like the statistics but that's what they say: the odds that somebody is a victim of a sexual assault are much higher than the odds that somebody is the victim of a false accusation of sexual assault. So in a situation like the OP described, the accuser is more likely to be telling the truth than the accused.
I wrote nothing about whether I like the statistics or whether they are correct or not. The proposal is trial by statistics. Punishing people based on historical data. That's wrong. And terrifying.

Last edited by Ruken; 01-01-2020 at 09:10 AM.
  #125  
Old 01-01-2020, 09:20 AM
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it only delays graduation if it's their final year. Otherwise it's just rearranging the schedule. A good quality recording gadget costs about $100. Every class can be recorded if there's a compelling reason to do so, like preventing someone from graduating on time. There are other ways of interacting. And there are other classes.
There are other ways of interacting, and you are taking one away that everyone is paying for.. There are not other classes; you take them in sequence. Break the sequence, then wait a year.

Again, there may not be a better solution, but to pretend yours is without harm is incorrect.
  #126  
Old 01-01-2020, 11:35 AM
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You have yet to offer an option that doesn't harm people. I nevI responded to at least one other poster, so I assume you read that and promptly ignored it.

My goal isn't to prevent all harm as there is no option that doesn't at the very least inconvenience someone. But there's no reason a student needs to be forced to drop a course. It is certainly possible for the university to offer an alternative method for completing coursework despite your insistence otherwise.
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  #127  
Old 01-01-2020, 12:02 PM
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You have yet to offer an option that doesn't harm people. I nevI responded to at least one other poster, so I assume you read that and promptly ignored it.
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There are other ways of interacting, and you are taking one away that everyone is paying for.. There are not other classes; you take them in sequence. Break the sequence, then wait a year.

Again, there may not be a better solution, but to pretend yours is without harm is incorrect.
There is no way to avoid all harm. Rape is harm. Being forced to sit in class with your rapist is harm. Being forced to sit in class with a person who falsely accused you of rape is also harm. My goal is not to remove all harm, but to minimize harm.

The school can almost certainly find a way to avoid keeping a student an extra year, however. There are lots of ways to complete a course. My husband used to teach at the college level. He had to do crazy stuff to accommodate students with learning disabilities. He could go a little out of his way to accommodate the students in this hypothetical situation.
  #128  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:07 PM
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I wrote nothing about whether I like the statistics or whether they are correct or not. The proposal is trial by statistics. Punishing people based on historical data. That's wrong. And terrifying.
This is a very strange spin honestly.

"Trial by statistics", either explicitly or implicitly what the evaluation of every bit of evidence is in criminal cases.

How likely is it that the sample we have came from the accused v could it have been someone else? Can we exclude it and if it is a "match" to what degree of confidence? The subject is literally called "forensic statistics".

What do I think the odds are A is being truthful? B? If A identifies B as the person who had held them up and B denies it, and there is no other evidence, then we would likely say that A is less likely lying than B. We are using historical data that victims are less likely to lie in this circumstance.

So on.

Your position is that using science is a trial is wrong and terrifying. That making an assessment informed by historical information is wrong and terrifying. That position frankly is wrong and terrifying.


Again in a legal trial the standard is "beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt" and a college administrative has a lower standard. The college administrative action also does not have the same punishment stakes as a rape conviction in the courts.

In this hypothetical one or the other will be harmed to some degree. A decision has to be made as to whom. That decision has to be informed by an assessment (based on history, based on statistics, based on rational arguments) who is more likely telling the truth, and an assessment of the harms of each action, both to the individuals and to others.

To ignore statistics would be reckless.
  #129  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:13 PM
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That's not an option. The police are conducting a criminal investigation while the school is conducting an investigation to see if anyone has violated their policy. The police may investigation and the prosecuting attorney might decide to take no action because a trial will not likely lead to a guilty verdict. The school might investigation and finding that the preponderance of evidence support's the woman's claim take action against the male student even if no criminal charges were filed.
I find this bizarre. Which takes priority, the state justice system or the university? This would appear to be "we can't convict him in a court but we'll punish him anyway." What legal basis does the university have for punishing him? And what would it do/ My feeling is that any attempt to punish someone who firmly believes he is not guilty would bring hordes of lawyers down on the university. IMHO, you cannot have private justice, and with little or no appeal. If the student is expelled, then the university needs to say why, and even if it does not, people will wonder and start talking. The student would have the stigma of the crime attached to him, with no formal charge.

In short, surely this kind of thing is beyond a level that a university can or should handle.
  #130  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:14 PM
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If I were so principled as my ideals, or so ideal as my principles, I would resign effective immediately upon receiving the complaint. Why? Because (6) I am president of a school that has no policies in place to handle rape accusations. That kind of obliviousness is a major, major problem which is best solved with a change in leadership. I would also make this very clear and public in my letter/speech of resignation.
To save the OP, let's say you were just appointed as university president last week in order to clean up after the lackluster administration of your predecessor.
  #131  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
I wrote nothing about whether I like the statistics or whether they are correct or not. The proposal is trial by statistics. Punishing people based on historical data. That's wrong. And terrifying.
But sometimes you need to suck it up and make a decision. That's your job in the situation described by the OP. And if you have to decide which way to go, doesn't it make sense to make the choice that is significantly more likely to be correct?
  #132  
Old 01-01-2020, 04:57 PM
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I find this bizarre. Which takes priority, the state justice system or the university?
I think you're looking at this the wrong way. The university has nothing to do with prosecuting criminal offenses. From the university's point of view, their priorities lie with enforcing their code of conduct, protecting students, and protecting the university. The criminal justice system is not connected to the university at all.

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This would appear to be "we can't convict him in a court but we'll punish him anyway." What legal basis does the university have for punishing him?
Who is the we in question? The university has every right to create a code of conduct policy and take adverse action when they find students who violate it. Their policy has nothing to do with criminal law.

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And what would it do/ My feeling is that any attempt to punish someone who firmly believes he is not guilty would bring hordes of lawyers down on the university.
Perhaps. In my experience plenty of employees certainly threaten litigation when they feel wrongly terminated but it rarely amounts to anything.


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IMHO, you cannot have private justice, and with little or no appeal. If the student is expelled, then the university needs to say why, and even if it does not, people will wonder and start talking. The student would have the stigma of the crime attached to him, with no formal charge.
The university generally keeps students records private. They'll tell the student why he is expelled but they're not going to share that with the public at large.

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In short, surely this kind of thing is beyond a level that a university can or should handle.
If you get into a physical altercation at work your employer will investigate. If they find you violated policy odds are good you'll be terminated. Even if you aren't prosecuted they can still fire you for violating policy. The university investigating allegations of sexual assault are no different.
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  #133  
Old 01-01-2020, 05:09 PM
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Seriously? You want to dispute such an obvious mathematical fact? If I said that elephants were bigger than mice, would you want a cite for that?

But, I'll play.



They got these figures from the Center of Disease Control and the Department of Justice.



In fact, you can take women completely out of the picture. A man is statistically more likely to be a victim of rape than a victim of a false rape accusation. cite
Again, what is the methodology behind these conclusions? How does one determine when an allegation is "false"? None of you cites explain their conclusions.
  #134  
Old 01-01-2020, 05:36 PM
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Again, what is the methodology behind these conclusions? How does one determine when an allegation is "false"? None of you cites explain their conclusions.
I didn't quote stats, but I would have guessed that various entities poll groups of people and ask questions like "have you ever been sexually assaulted?" and "have you ever been falsely accused of sexual assault". Without litigating any particular case, it's easy enough to compare the relative frequency of people who claim on an anonymous survey to have been assaulted with those who claim to have been falsely accused.
  #135  
Old 01-01-2020, 07:04 PM
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I didn't quote stats, but I would have guessed that various entities poll groups of people and ask questions like "have you ever been sexually assaulted?" and "have you ever been falsely accused of sexual assault". Without litigating any particular case, it's easy enough to compare the relative frequency of people who claim on an anonymous survey to have been assaulted with those who claim to have been falsely accused.
There are numerous problems with that method, if true:

1) The truth of allegations is what we are getting at. Self-reporting is the raw input. Many people who are guilty of sexual assault will report being wrongly accused and many who made false allegations will claim that they were sexually assaulted.

2) Did the poll get the right cross section of people? Did they ask convicted rapists to give their input?

3) How is "sexual assault" defined? A person could have been smacked on the ass at one point in her life and therefore answer "yes" to the question, but then subsequently made a false allegation of another sexual assault. Another person could be like the woman in the links posted above by Ann Hedonia and say that they were sexually assaulted because they had two glasses of wine prior to consensual sex.

The methodology is important. If it turns out that 5% of allegations are false, but 90% are undetermined and 5% are confirmed, the statement "only 5% of allegations are false" is pretty meaningless.
  #136  
Old 01-01-2020, 08:23 PM
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Doesnt it also matter if it happened on or off campus? If off campus in say someones apartment that would be outside the colleges domain.
If I am the dean I reserve the right to expel any students who are found to have committed rape, even if it was off-campus. We might not be able to investigate as effectively if the rape takes place at a third-party who refuses to comply with our people, and there's nothing the university can do about that. But if we're talking about frat houses we can write it into the charters that they are required to comply with our investigations or lose the fraternity.

~Max
  #137  
Old 01-01-2020, 08:39 PM
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If I am the dean I reserve the right to expel any students who are found to have committed rape, even if it was off-campus. We might not be able to investigate as effectively if the rape takes place at a third-party who refuses to comply with our people, and there's nothing the university can do about that. But if we're talking about frat houses we can write it into the charters that they are required to comply with our investigations or lose the fraternity.

~Max
I agree. Just like any other organization, the university can have rules for its members. It would be like saying that your local Elks Club cannot expel a member who murdered his wife because he did so off the Elks' property and the Elks should only police stuff that occurred inside the lodge.
  #138  
Old 01-01-2020, 09:19 PM
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I agree. Just like any other organization, the university can have rules for its members. It would be like saying that your local Elks Club cannot expel a member who murdered his wife because he did so off the Elks' property and the Elks should only police stuff that occurred inside the lodge.
Urbanredneck may have had a point about the apartment, though. Let's say I'm the dean and a student comes to me and accuses another student of raping her at his off-campus apartment. She says nobody knows she was there and otherwise refuses to consent to any evidence or municipal police involvement. The question I'm wondering about is whether we, the university, should have the right to force the accused to let us search his home for evidence.

Legally we could try to write it into the enrollment contract - if you attend our university and live within X miles, you have to let us search your home whenever we want. That might be found unconscionable, since students don't really have any bargaining power and we wouldn't be liable for the crime anyways. Such an intrusion would only be justified by claiming that it makes all of our students safer, but it would be highly inconsistent since we don't investigate other crimes committed off-campus in private establishments. Just imagine the headlines... "Florida man asks for totalitarian school policy" "Warrantless searches backed by threat of expulsion" "Students protest: we have rights"

Contrast with frat houses which are actually affiliated with the campus and probably receive title IX funding.

I'm leaning heavily towards telling the girl that a complete investigation will require cooperation with municipal authorities who have warrant powers, and that as the case stands we don't have enough evidence to act.

~Max
  #139  
Old 01-01-2020, 10:47 PM
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Urbanredneck may have had a point about the apartment, though. Let's say I'm the dean and a student comes to me and accuses another student of raping her at his off-campus apartment. She says nobody knows she was there and otherwise refuses to consent to any evidence or municipal police involvement. The question I'm wondering about is whether we, the university, should have the right to force the accused to let us search his home for evidence.

Legally we could try to write it into the enrollment contract - if you attend our university and live within X miles, you have to let us search your home whenever we want. That might be found unconscionable, since students don't really have any bargaining power and we wouldn't be liable for the crime anyways. Such an intrusion would only be justified by claiming that it makes all of our students safer, but it would be highly inconsistent since we don't investigate other crimes committed off-campus in private establishments. Just imagine the headlines... "Florida man asks for totalitarian school policy" "Warrantless searches backed by threat of expulsion" "Students protest: we have rights"

Contrast with frat houses which are actually affiliated with the campus and probably receive title IX funding.

I'm leaning heavily towards telling the girl that a complete investigation will require cooperation with municipal authorities who have warrant powers, and that as the case stands we don't have enough evidence to act.

~Max
A university Title IX investigation is independent of a criminal investigation. If the student reports to the police, the university must still conduct its investigation. It cannot make its investigation in any way dependent on a student filing a police report. The investigation consists of:

•gathering information, including social media posts, cell phone records, documents, video recordings, etc.
•interviewing the victim and the alleged assailant
•interviewing any potential witnesses*

It does NOT include searching an off-campus apartment. Nor can the university force students to waive their Fourth Amendment rights . On- or off-campus, neither a university nor anyone else can search a student's resident without a search warrant, which requires probable cause.

The burden of proof for a university investigation is lower than it is for a criminal investigation. It's important not to confuse the two.

*The OP says there are no witnesses, but the investigation would determine that, not the student.
  #140  
Old 01-01-2020, 10:55 PM
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I'm a student employee at a public university (I work in recycling). At the state level I'm required to report* any instances of child abuse or neglect (even if I only suspect it).

In addition to that, at the university level, I'm required to report* any instances of physical or sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination that I am made aware of.

Both of these apply both on and off campus if they involve university-affiliated persons (students, teachers, employees, etc). In the case of child abuse, the person(s) involved do not matter.

This example of mandatory reporting may help shed light on how at least my university would respond to off-campus incidents like the one described by Max S.

*Report to appropriate authority. For example, call 9-1-1 if it's an emergency, state human services if it's child abuse, or relevant university department if it's harassment or discrimination.
  #141  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:33 AM
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Urbanredneck may have had a point about the apartment, though. Let's say I'm the dean and a student comes to me and accuses another student of raping her at his off-campus apartment. She says nobody knows she was there and otherwise refuses to consent to any evidence or municipal police involvement. The question I'm wondering about is whether we, the university, should have the right to force the accused to let us search his home for evidence.

Legally we could try to write it into the enrollment contract - if you attend our university and live within X miles, you have to let us search your home whenever we want. That might be found unconscionable, since students don't really have any bargaining power and we wouldn't be liable for the crime anyways. Such an intrusion would only be justified by claiming that it makes all of our students safer, but it would be highly inconsistent since we don't investigate other crimes committed off-campus in private establishments. Just imagine the headlines... "Florida man asks for totalitarian school policy" "Warrantless searches backed by threat of expulsion" "Students protest: we have rights"

Contrast with frat houses which are actually affiliated with the campus and probably receive title IX funding.

I'm leaning heavily towards telling the girl that a complete investigation will require cooperation with municipal authorities who have warrant powers, and that as the case stands we don't have enough evidence to act.

~Max
In addition to the unconstitutional conditions problem you mention, I don't believe that any university police department in the country has a forensics unit such that a search of an apartment would do any good. If we are at that level, we are at regular police level.

My only point was in response to the idea that if it happened off campus then it is hands off for the university. Like any organization it can have its own rules of personal conduct and can expel or take disciplinary action for conduct which does not occur on campus.
  #142  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
..
I'm leaning heavily towards telling the girl that a complete investigation will require cooperation with municipal authorities who have warrant powers, and that as the case stands we don't have enough evidence to act.
Let the police do that, they are hard to sue.
  #143  
Old 01-02-2020, 02:56 AM
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A university Title IX investigation is independent of a criminal investigation.
Of course, but I wouldn't think the university is required to open a Title IX investigation for a rape that takes place off-campus at a private, unaffiliated residence. I would think the school is immune from liability, unlike say, on-campus residences or an affiliated fraternity house

But I'm really way out of my area of expertise here.

~Max
  #144  
Old 01-02-2020, 03:27 AM
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Of course, but I wouldn't think the university is required to open a Title IX investigation for a rape that takes place off-campus at a private, unaffiliated residence. I would think the school is immune from liability, unlike say, on-campus residences or an affiliated fraternity house

But I'm really way out of my area of expertise here.

~Max
If the (alleged) assailant and the victim are both students at the university, they do. A Title IX investigation is NOT a university-level criminal investigation. This explains it:

Quote:
If a student files a complaint with the school, regardless of where the conduct occurred, the school must process the complaint in accordance with its established procedures. Because students often experience the continuing effects of off-campus sexual harassment in the educational setting, schools should consider the effects of the off-campus conduct when evaluating whether there is a hostile environment on campus...

Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape are serious no matter where they occur, and schools and universities should make sure to take every appropriate step to ensure their students have access to an education free from the damaging effects of that conduct.
Hope this helps.
  #145  
Old 01-02-2020, 03:55 AM
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If the (alleged) assailant and the victim are both students at the university, they do. A Title IX investigation is NOT a university-level criminal investigation. This explains it:



Hope this helps.
Hmm, OK. Assuming the victim does not provide enough evidence for me to discipline the accused, and does not want to involve the police, how else do we get additional documents and evidence, except through voluntary production from the accused?

~Max
  #146  
Old 01-02-2020, 05:52 AM
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If you have data on how common it is to automatically remove an accused from class with an accuser with no evidence beyond the accusation, let's see them.
Why do you keep assuming it would be the accused who would be removed? Why wouldn't it be the accuser who wants to get away from the person they claim raped them? Why wouldn't the special accommodations be made for them, and not the accused?

Not that removal from the class is the only option. I was actually in a class in college where one student put out a restraining order on another student. There wasn't another offered class of the type, so the result was that both of them had to sit on opposite sides of the room and never interact with each other in any way.

I also remember situations where students could not attend classes for various reasons, and the teachers would set up private sessions with them. That also seems a workable solution for keeping two students separated.

No matter what, something has happened between these two students. A rape, a misunderstanding, a false accusation, whatever. Keeping the students separated is a good idea, and there are various ways of doing so, each with their pros and cons. And it is ultimately up to them to decide how "harmful" any of them are.
  #147  
Old 01-03-2020, 02:59 AM
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Hmm, OK. Assuming the victim does not provide enough evidence for me to discipline the accused, and does not want to involve the police, how else do we get additional documents and evidence, except through voluntary production from the accused?

~Max
As I noted earlier, the university would examine cell phone records, social media, as well as interviewing others. They don't dust for fingerprints. The primary goal of Title IX is not to "discipline" the accused but to ensure the victim has fair access to education free of discrimination and sexual harassment/assault and to protect others in the student body. If the university determines from the evidence--and again, we're talking much lower standards than "beyond a reasonable doubt"--that the only way to do that would be to expel the accused and bar him from campus, that may happen. Or class schedules might be changed. Or the victim would get extensions on deadlines for papers, etc.
  #148  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:56 PM
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Again, what is the methodology behind these conclusions? How does one determine when an allegation is "false"? None of you cites explain their conclusions.
My point was that sexual assaults are far more common than false accusations of sexual assaults. Are you disputing that fact? If so, say so.

But if you're agreeing with the fact, I don't see any reason to get into a discussion about the various methodologies used to arrive at it.
  #149  
Old 01-03-2020, 04:25 PM
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As I noted earlier, the university would examine cell phone records, social media, as well as interviewing others. They don't dust for fingerprints. The primary goal of Title IX is not to "discipline" the accused but to ensure the victim has fair access to education free of discrimination and sexual harassment/assault and to protect others in the student body. If the university determines from the evidence--and again, we're talking much lower standards than "beyond a reasonable doubt"--that the only way to do that would be to expel the accused and bar him from campus, that may happen. Or class schedules might be changed. Or the victim would get extensions on deadlines for papers, etc.
I was under the impression that the university cannot compel the production of phone records, "private" social media posts, letters, etc. Neither do I think they can compel testimony from people not affiliated with the school.

So if a victim comes to me without enough evidence to support a case, and involving the municipal authorities is off the table, all I can do is interview the accused. If the accused's testimony is unimpeachable, then what?

Let's say the victim claims that the accused's roommate (who is not a student) was in the room while she was being raped. She alleges that the roommate placed two calls to someone named "Steve", and that they talked about a drug transaction and must have overheard her being raped.

The accused says he was home with his roommate and does not remember if somebody named "Steve" was called. The roommate volunteered testimony and said he could not remember calling anybody, and he has since lost his phone. The roommate refused to volunteer records from the phone company, even as accused asks him, citing personal privacy. Both accused and roommate claim not to know who Steve is.

If I could confirm a "Steve" was really called twice at the time given, that would contradict the accused's testimony. But I can't compel the roommate to produce phone records, and I can't fault the accused if his roommate refuses to volunteer phone records.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 01-03-2020 at 04:28 PM.
  #150  
Old 01-03-2020, 08:12 PM
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My point was that sexual assaults are far more common than false accusations of sexual assaults. Are you disputing that fact? If so, say so.

But if you're agreeing with the fact, I don't see any reason to get into a discussion about the various methodologies used to arrive at it.
I am saying that we have no way of knowing that without seeing the methodology of these studies.
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