Columbia University: Violation of Due Process Rights in Sexual Misconduct Policy

Category: Due Process
Schools: Columbia University

Despite all of the fanfare surrounding Columbia University’s promulgation of a so-called "Sexual Misconduct Policy"-a policy touted as a "national model"-Columbia, under intense and broad public criticism, has silently altered the text of its scandalous assault on student rights and decencies. For instance, in the original policy, there was no recording or transcript made of the proceedings, preventing any serious internal appeal or recourse to the real legal system. Instead, the very authors of a judicial decision would "summarize" the case for the official charged with hearing appeals. Now, Columbia University will keep a recording or full transcript of the hearing, thus offering at least a minimal means of legal and moral remedy for the victims of this kangaroo court. Most of the changes are efforts to move hesitatingly toward meeting FIRE’s objections. However, not a single admission of prior and ongoing injustice has been made. Moreover, many problems remain with Columbia’s policy, such as the lack of a right to confront one’s accuser.