This week’s issue of The Review, University of Delaware’s (UD’s) student paper, features an editorial by former FIRE intern Rachael Russell on the university’s adoption of a “single investigator model” for sexual misconduct investigations. In her editorial, Rachael looks at the threats to accused students’ due process rights that occur when one person is both the investigator and judge in a case.
As Rachael explains, UD’s policy change allows a lot of room for bias to seep into sexual misconduct investigations:
The new policy indicates that one trained professional will investigate a report of sexual misconduct and conclude whether the respondent is guilty or not. This construct allows one individual to act as detective, judge and jury by single-handedly deciding the fate of the accused. By allowing one person to act in all of these roles, there is no check on the investigator’s power. That individual’s biases and mistakes may persist in an investigation unrestrained.
Read Rachael’s full editorial at The Review.
Do you want to be a voice on campus like Rachael? Check out FIRE’s summer internship program!