On what planet is it right to punish the innocent in a quixotic effort to curb campus rape?
Unfortunately, it’s a-okay in the bizarro world that is Capitol Hill. Democrat Colorado Rep. Jared Polis earned roaring applause on Thursday when the lawmaker declared it is just to expel all students — regardless of guilt — who are accused of sexual assault.
“I mean, if there’s 10 people that have been accused and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, seems better to get rid of all 10 people,” Polis said at a House hearing on campus sexual assault. “We’re not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we’re talking about their transfer to another university.”
According to the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow, the Colorado Democrat made the statement to justify his belief that the standard of evidence for expelling a student accused of rape should be dramatically lowered.
“I mean, if I was running one [conduct hearing] I might say ‘well, you know, even if there’s a 20 or 30 percent chance that it happened I wouldn’t want… I would want to remove this individual…’ Why shouldn’t a private institution, in the interest in promoting a safe environment, use an even lower standard than a preponderance of evidence, like even a reasonable likeliness standard?” the congressman asserted. (RELATED: Dem Congressman: Expel All Students Accused Of Sexual Assault, Even The Innocent Ones [VIDEO])
Polis’s grand plan would obviously overturn due process for the poor souls who find themselves brought before a university conduct hearing. It would cost millions of dollars for the schools to fight for their decisions in real court — and you can bet many innocent students would fight their expulsions in court.
The congressman also plainly admits that it’s more than fine to punish plenty of innocent people on behalf of a “good cause” — an idea completely at odds with American values.
Under his plan, the entire Phi Kappa Psi chapter at the University of Virginia might’ve faced expulsion over the Rolling Stone/Jackie rape hoax. (RELATED: Three Members Of Falsely Accused Fraternity Sue Rolling Stone After Fabricated Article)
But it gets worse when that “good cause” is actually a problem that’s been blown completely out of proportion. The media has decided that one in five college women are sexually assaulted — even though the Department of Justice says it is actually 0.03 in 5. Additionally, sexual assault is given an expansive meaning in the studies that buttress the media reports. According to the “one in five” studies, sexual assault includes forced kissing, grind dancing and sex where consent cannot be remembered due to heavy alcohol consumption. (RELATED: There’s More Than One In Five Things Wrong With Campus Rape ‘Facts’)
The “one in five” studies, such as The Washington Post’s June survey on the matter, fail to ask whether the “assaulted” student actually felt they were assaulted. WaPo and others just ask respondents if they had a bad grinding experience and the paper labels it sexual assault if they did.
Even though the acts that are considered sexual assault in these studies don’t correspond with traditional notions of rape, the idea that one in five college women are being dragged kicking and screaming into dark alleyways by evil frat boys is what many folks think of when they hear campus rape.
That maybe explains why Congressman Polis has no qualms about punishing innocent men. If he thinks it will eliminate the back alleyway threat posed to 20 percent of college women, then that’s a price worth paying.
In reality it would guillotine men over the mere allegation of awkward make-out sessions and grind dancing gone bad. We would be eliminating due process for thousands of men all in order to safeguard upper-class women from the scourge of bad kissers. (RELATED: Here’s One Rape Culture The Media Wishes Were Fake)
In spite of its myriad problems, the American judicial system is not about to accept the Rocky Mountain liberal’s proposal to do away with due process anytime soon. But college sexual assault allegations aren’t handled by the criminal justice system — they’re handled by the university conduct boards.
The decisions reached by these boards — which typically feature a brilliant mix of woefully unqualified students and incompetent school administrators — are often based entirely on the arbitrary feelings of the administrators. (RELATED: The Deans Of Campus Insanity)
The process is completely screwed up and even many people who buy into the campus rape hysteria acknowledge the system’s defects. Yet they trust the system and want it reformed rather than leaving the matter up to the police and the courts.
Considering the rampant hysteria around campus rape and the cowardly nature of college deans, it’s worth betting that tons of young men would find themselves kicked out over trumped charges if Polis had his way.
It also probably lead to more false reports and rape hoaxes. If jilted lovers like Columbia University’s Mattress Girl and UVA’s Jackie knew they could get their revenge with a made-up story, count on more false accusations to pile on.
Especially when the scorned know they can’t be charged with making false reports like they would if the legal system handled campus sexual assaults.
It would be one thing if Polis was just one loon suggesting a nutty idea. But he’s a popular liberal congressman and his statement earned the cheers of an elite Capitol Hill audience.
He’s also not the only one suggesting insane measures to eradicate the exaggerated epidemic of campus rape. Vox founder Ezra Klein wrote in 2014 they he supported draconian affirmative consent laws that would make sex a thoroughly bureaucratic affair. For Klein, that was worth it because men need to know fear when they decide to have sex on a college campus.
“Because for one in five women to report an attempted or completed sexual assault means that everyday sexual practices on college campuses need to be upended, and men need to feel a cold spike of fear when they begin a sexual encounter,” Klein argued.
Polis only takes the logical step further by eliminating the need for proof of assault — because that will really send a chill up the spine of any young man who might want to have sex at some point in college.
It’s depressing to think that our leaders and commentators would subscribe to such illiberal notions and buy into the sick fantasies of campus rape hysteria.
Then again, what’s more depressing is how well theses ideas fit into the P.C. totalitarianism of American universities.