‘USA Today’ Editorial Board: Treat Rape as Crime, Not Violation of Campus Rules
On Tuesday, USA Today’s Editorial Board explained why it is imperative that law enforcement be involved in campus sexual assault cases, arguing that an effective solution to sexual assault in college “requires treating rape as a crime, not as a violation of campus rules.”
In a thoughtful, balanced “Our View” piece, the Editorial Board discussed how leaving the investigation and adjudication of these cases in the hands of university administrators hurts the accused, the accuser, and the rest of the community.
First, even students who are found guilty by a campus tribunal and expelled are still free to commit sexual assault outside the college. “They’ll just have to choose from a different set of potential victims,” the Editorial Board writes. Second, “a system run by university employees will always face the temptation to put the school’s interest above the interest of victims.”
The editors point out that as bad as the current system is for victims, administrators’ failings might be even greater when it comes to providing due process for students accused of sexual assault:
Across the country, accused students don’t have the right to see all the evidence against them, and administrators can find a student guilty based on low levels of proof, rather than “clear and convincing evidence.” Protecting the accused is no small matter when 2% to 10% of rape accusations are found to be false and many more are riddled with uncertainty.
We agree. Read the rest of the editorial in USA Today.