PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608
Email: tstoddard@saveservices.org

Over 100 Editorials Now Call for Repeal of Federal Sex Mandate

WASHINGTON / March 19, 2013 – Nearly two years after the U.S. Department of Education (DED) issued its “Dear Colleague” directive on campus sexual assault, the federal mandate continues to serve as a lightning rod for debate and criticism. To date, over 100 editorials have challenged the DED mandate: http://www.saveservices.org/camp/ded-directive/ded-editorials/

The editorials have criticized the federal mandate for removing fundamental due process protections, weakening the standard of proof to a preponderance of evidence, and encouraging false allegations. A growing number of judges, attorneys, and victim advocates have highlighted the damage caused by bogus accusations: http://www.saveservices.org/falsely-accused/sex-assault/victim-advocates-speak-out/

Last week the New York Times sponsored a debate on the directive. One columnist, Adam Goldstein of the Student Law Center, decried campus “Star Chambers” that adjudicate allegations of rape “without subpoena powers, a right to representation, or any kind of due process controls.” http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/03/12/why-should-colleges-judge-rape-accusations/rape-is-a-crime-treat-it-as-such

Thirteen organizations including the American Association of University Professors have called on the Department of Education to rescind its policy: http://www.saveservices.org/camp/complaints/

“The DED sex mandate is the latest example of the authoritarian mindset that seems to be taking hold at college campuses across the country,” notes SAVE spokesperson Chris Thompson. “Universities should be watchdogs of the principles of liberal democracy, not lapdogs to an extreme agenda that seeks to remove due process from the innocent.”

Students found guilty under the policy are typically expelled and may find it difficult to gain admission at another college. Civil rights expert Wendy Kaminer has described the policy as an ill-considered concession to an “authoritarian impulse.” http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/04/sexual-harassment-and-the-loneliness-of-the-civil-libertarian-feminist/236887/

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: www.saveservices.org and www.accusingu.org .