Shut up:” Columbia’s New Approach to Debate

February 28, 2001

GUILTY until proven innocent. That seems to be Columbia University's take on anyone accused of sexual misconduct. And it's not up for discussion.

Under rules the school adopted last year, students accused of sexual indiscretions have no right to counsel, no right to confront their accusers and no right to cross-examine witnesses. In other words, no rights at all.

And when the Columbia Civil Liberties Union tried to hold a round-table discussion on the new policy last Friday, neither university administrators nor members of Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER, the on-campus advocates who pushed for the rules) were even willing to show up...