Education
<strong>Vassar College</strong> in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. can brag about its 23 percent acceptance rate, but the truth is that the once all-female bastion frequently serves as a safety school for applicants who don Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. can brag about its 23 percent acceptance rate, but the truth is that the once all-female bastion frequently serves as a safety school for applicants who don't quite make the cut at more selective liberal arts colleges such as Amherst, Middlebury, Williams and Swarthmore. The 37 percent of accepted students who enroll find a Greek life-free campus, abysmal athletics, easy access to New York City and quality academics. (Public Domain/Poughkeepsieman)  

Were Vassar hoax bias perps also involved in a false rape prosecution?

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Robby Soave
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The two former Vassar College students who were expelled for creating hoax bias incidents and then filing false reports about them were also actively involved with the college’s Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention committee, which currently faces a lawsuit for prosecuting a wrongful rape conviction.

The Daily Caller first reported that Genesis Hernandez, a transgendered student and vice president of the student government, had been named as one of two perpetrators in a string of hoax bias incidents on campus. The perpetrators wrote hateful messages on students’ doors — including “Hey Tranny. Know Your Place” — and then filed false reports to the Bias Incident Response Team, of which Hernandez was the only student member. (RELATED: Shocking discovery in hoax bias incident at Vassar College)

Watchdog Wire recently reported that Henandez’s partner in crime was her girlfriend, Imani Wong. Both were expelled, and could not be reached for comment because their university email addresses are no longer active.

Given the nature of their dishonesty, some are asking questions about the couple’s involvement in Vassar’s sexual assault adjudication process, which was recently criticized by a former male student who is suing the college for wrongfully convicting him of rape.

Peter Yu was a Vassar student and member of the rowing team. In February of 2012, Yu engaged in what he later described as consensual sex with another rowing team member, Mary Claire Walker. Yu was a virgin at the time. Over the course of the next year, Walker sent him several polite Facebook messages, and even wrote that he she had had “a wonderful time,” with him.

A year later, Walker filed a rape claim against Yu — on the very last day that Vassar procedures permit her to do so, according to Minding the Campus.

Yu had little time to prepare a defense. Within three weeks of Walker filing her claim, Yu was convicted by Vassar’s Interpersonal Violence Panel and expelled.

Despite Yu’s request to have a student sit on the adjudicating panel, his guilt was determined solely by three members of the faculty — a significant fact, given that Walker’s father is a professor at the college.

As an adjudicative body at a private university, the IVP is not required to follow typical criminal court proceedings. It denied Yu the use of an attorney, prevented him from cross-examining Walker and utilized a “preponderance of evidence” standard rather than a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

Yu has filed suit against Vassar for discriminating against men, breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

IVP’s procedures are not made public, but a flowchart image explains the general process for reporting and adjudicating sexual assault on campus. The image, which can be found on SAVP’s website, was created by Imani Wong.

Process-Reporting

The extent of Wong’s involvement with SAVP isn’t clear, but it seems that Hernandez was actually a member of the committee until her expulsion. She is still listed as a 2013/2014 committee member.

The fact that at least two people with authority in shaping Vassar’s sexual assault investigation policies were expelled for committing fraud would seem to undermine the college’s response to Yu’s suit, in which administrators claim that “Vassar acted in good faith at all times in its dealings with [Yu] and did not engage in willful, wanton, malicious, or reckless conduct so as to justify an award of punitive damages.”

Vassar did not respond to a request for comment.

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