Wed10182017

Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 8am

Editorial

Editors Talk Title IX Changes

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has recently announced that the Department would be making significant changes to past Title IX guidelines and how schools investigate and process cases of sexual misconduct by removing the Obama-era 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter.

Editor’s at The Outlook had varying opinions on whether this change is necessary, talked of the importance of Title IX and what it means to current college students, both men and women alike, and also commented on whether the University is doing enough to protect their students from gender discrimination and sexual misconduct.

One editor spoke of the importance of Title IX in schools, and said “I think it’s important because Title IX covers more than just assault - it also assures that there will be no gender-based discrimination, which I think is really important.”

“I think that there is not enough done, generally, when it comes to sexual assault/misconduct, but that’s more than just a Title IX issue - that’s just a general part of the legal system that needs to be worked on. Overall, I think Title IX does what it is supposed to do,” the staffer continued.

Another editor felt that past Title IX guidelines should not be altered; however, it is possible that the current guidelines don’t do enough to protect the accused.

“In some cases, the accused may not be given fair trial, and while assault cases are often emotional and difficult, the accused also deserves a fair trial,” the editor said.

“Also, if the survivors can get an even better chance of being protected with new guidelines, then so be it. However, with past comments from the President himself on sexual assault and other statements from those in his administration, I don’t think that DeVos will do anything to protect survivors,” he/she continued.

Thoughts on whether the “Dear Colleague” letter has done enough, varied, with some editors believing that broader guidelines are better for interpreting ever-changing scenarios.

“Although sexual misconduct and assault are well-represented in the Title IX guidelines, it should be consistently revised in order to accommodate for the many variables that could exist within sexual assault cases that could prevent the victims from getting the justice they deserve,” said one editor.

“After skimming the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter from the Obama administration, it seems as though the letter touches upon the basic guidelines of Title IX,” said another editor. “That being said, I think that there should be a document that outlines the specifics of this law so there is no ‘grey area.’”

One editor suggested a middle-ground in order to keep the old and bring in the new. The staffer said, “I think the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter should have more information so that the law can be more specific. I do feel that you shouldn’t remove the letter, but just build on it. Rather her rescind the guidelines, instead she should add on to the guidelines to build on it’s strong base.”

Whether the University has handled past cases well, the editors remained critical, but generally were positive about how the University has improved.

“Just last year here at Monmouth, students became vocal about a case of sexual assault that went unreported at Monmouth. At the end of the day, higher education is a business,” one editor said. “There is always room for improvement, and I urge not only Monmouth but other universities to look out for the best interests of their students rather than their institution’s ‘brand.’”

Another editor felt that most colleges and universities do a good job handling cases. “While we do hear every so often a college try to hide assault charges, most schools follow Title IX correctly. I think that schools who do try to hide the charges under the rug should get severe repercussions,” the editor said.

Overall, the University has done what it’s supposed to according to one editor. “For Monmouth, I feel that the Title IX codes are very clear and they make sure that students know that their rights are protected,” the editor said.

“The resources could be advertised better, but most students on our campus are aware that sexual misconduct has no place at Monmouth and that our Title IX coordinator and her colleagues are here to protect us,” the staffer continued.


*Correction*

The Outlook would like to make a correction regarding the U.S. News Ranking story from 9/27/17. We said, “This year’s freshman class has over 1,000 students as of 2017, making it the largest freshman class at the University yet.” It was actually the number of applications that were the highest in the University’s history, not the number of freshmen.

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