Education

Colleges Might Be Ignoring Trump Admin’s Sexual Assault Guidelines

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Colleges are ignoring the Trump administration’s sexual assault guidelines, according to a Sunday report.

Statements from college students and administrators suggest that campuses are not abandoning sexual assault policies like the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence, according to The Washington Post.

“With the advocacy that we’ve seen and the commitment that institutions have made to their students, they’re not going to let us go backward, even if folks wanted to,” Julian Williams, the compliance, diversity, and ethics vice president at George Mason University, told WaPo. “The cat’s out of the bag a bit here, in terms of this being the expectation that students have when they arrive on campus.”

Rose Pascarell, the school’s vice president for university life, agreed with the sentiment.

Williams called the 2011 Dear Colleague letter a “game changer,” saying that it encouraged colleges to create a “Title IX infrastructure.” But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded both this letter and a 2014 one in September, arguing that the policies deprived students of their due process rights and implementing interim guidelines while redesigning Title IX regulation. (RELATED: DeVos Rescinds Obama-Era Sexual Misconduct Policy And Implements New Interim Guide)

Students “don’t want us to retrench,” said Felicia McGinty, Rutgers University’s vice chancellor for student affairs. “For those people who read political tea leaves, I think they’ve got it wrong if they think this generation of students is just going to say, ‘Hey, okay, that’s last year’s issue. We’ve moved on to something else.’ I don’t think so.”

WaPo cited two 2015 surveys suggesting a one in five rate of sexual assault or misconduct experienced by female students, but a 2016 Bureau of Justice report indicated that less than 1 percent of students experience rape or sexual assault on campus.

“Betsy DeVos and the Trump Administration chose to tip the scales in favor of rapists and perpetrators,” college rape prevention group End Rape on Campus said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Rolling back this guidance is an affront to the students, survivors, and allies who have fought to bring the sexual assault epidemic out of the shadows.”

TheDCNF reached out to Pascarell, Williams, George Mason University, McGinty, Rutgers University, and the Education Department for comment, but received none in time for press.

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