Contact: Mac Walter
Eighteen Groups Announce Opposition to Campus Accountability and Safety Act
WASHINGTON / September 10, 2014 – Eighteen organizations are today announcing their opposition to the proposed Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA), S. 2692 and H.R. 5354. The 18 groups represent a broad coalition including victim advocacy groups, gender-specific organizations, college trade entities, and media outlets.
Their opposition to CASA arises from the fact the bill does nothing to address the documented inadequacies of campus committees to conduct investigations, hold hearings, and impose appropriate sanctions. Ironically, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act contains no requirements to increase police presence, promote thorough investigations, or strengthen prosecutorial actions.
Under existing Department of Education policies, campus committees are required to adjudicate allegations of sexual assault, but can only expel a person found guilty of sexual assault.
As a result, numerous complaints have been filed by victims of sexual assault alleging the university did not take the allegation seriously.
In addition, over 40 students accused of sexual assault have filed lawsuits claiming due process violations. Last week the U.S. Department of Education notified Brandeis University that it was opening an investigation on behalf of an accused student who was found guilty of sexual misconduct last Spring.
The 18 groups voicing their opposition to CASA include the American Council on Education, Beyond the Registry, Community of the Wrongly Accused, ifeminists.com, National Association of Scholars, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, Voice for Male Students, Women for Men, and others.
A complete list of opposing groups can be seen here: www.saveservices.org/camp/campus-justice-coalition/
The Duke University Chronicle recently editorialized that the current campus system “has the potential for real, human cost, where innocent students are convicted and guilty ones set free.” The editorial boards of both USA Today and the Los Angeles Times have also come out against universities’ reliance on campus committees to adjudicate felony sexual assault cases.
“The current system represents second-class justice for both victims and the accused,” charges Campus Justice Coalition spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “CASA is a perfect example of a bill that is full of symbolism but woefully lacking in substance.”
Over 300 editorials have been published this year disputing the notion of “rape-culture” and critiquing proposed legislative approaches: www.accusingu.org .
The Campus Justice Coalition is working to promote effective and fair solutions to the problem of campus sexual assault.