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University of Colorado will not follow revised Title IX guidelines

University will stick with Obama-era standards of evidence in campus trials

The University of Colorado will continue to use the Obama-era Title IX guidelines when overseeing campus rape tribunals, foregoing the revised guidelines issued by the Trump administration’s Department of Education.

School officials already believe that the university’s process ” provides fairness to all involved in campus sexual assault investigations,” according to The Daily Camera.

“One of the priorities has already been a prompt, equitable and fair process for those accused of sexual violence and the victims,” said Valerie Simons, the Title IX coordinator of the university, according to The Daily. “There will be no immediate changes to either our sexual misconduct policy or our OIEC policy.”

Simons added that the university is “always reviewing all of [its] policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal and state law.”

From the article:

Joanne Belknap, a CU professor who has researched and designed courses on gendered violence and sexual harassment, said research and reality does not support the idea of the accused being treated unfairly in campus sexual assault cases.

“I’m sure we can all find examples where certain people were treated unfairly,” Belknap said. “But this whole idea that somehow all these men on campus are at risk of being charged with something they didn’t do is such a gross exaggeration of what the reality is.”

Twenty-eight percent of female undergraduates at CU said they were sexually assaulted during their college experience, according to a 2016 survey. Fifteen percent of all respondents reported sexual assault on or off campus during their college career.

“The reality is that most victims don’t report at universities because we still stigmatize the victims over it, which is what DeVos is doing as if there are all these women just running around wanting to say they’re rape survivors and victims,” Belknap said.

Amanda Linsenmeyer, director of CU’s Women’s Resource Center, said any guidance that discourages victims from reporting their experiences or receiving services is a disservice to the community.

“WRC stands with survivors,” Linsenmeyer said.

Boulder lawyer John Clune claims that “CU is very thoughtful in how they develop their policies,” stating: “They had their hard days of Title IX lessons, but they’ve become one of the better schools in the country in dealing with reports of sexual misconduct. I think there’s going to be a lot of Advil over deciphering how they’re going to navigate this going forward.”

Read the whole article here.

MORE: As Trump administration promises end to Title IX witch hunts, witch-hunters cry foul

MORE: The feds will let colleges use higher evidence standard in Title IX cases: report

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