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PR: Survey: Americans Want Colleges to End Campus ‘Kangaroo Courts’

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Contact: Rebecca Stewart

Telephone: 513-479-3335


Survey: Americans Want Colleges to End Campus ‘Kangaroo Courts’

WASHINGTON / November 18, 2020 – A recent SAVE survey, conducted by YouGov, shows a strong majority of Americans support due process for college students accused of sexual offenses. The survey of 2,608 adults, representative of the U.S. population, reveals the following:

  • Students accused of sexual assault on college campuses should have the right to know the charges against them before being called to defend themselves. Agree: 81%
  • Students accused of crimes on college campuses should receive the same civil liberties protections from their colleges that they receive in the court system. Agree: 68%
  • Students accused of sexual assault on college campuses should be punished only if there is clear and convincing evidence that they are guilty of a crime. Agree: 75%

The survey also found that 68% of respondents said this statement, “Allegations of sexual assault on campus should be primarily handled by the state or local police,” comes closer to their opinion, compared to the statement, “Universities should take a leading role in investigating allegations of sexual assaults on campus.”

The recent survey was designed to replicate a 2017 survey conducted by the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy, which used the same questions and reported nearly identical results to the four questions listed above (1).

The Bucknell survey also queried, “Students accused of sexual assault on college campuses should have the right to cross-examine their accusers.” The new Title IX regulation only allows an intermediary to ask questions of the complainant, not the accused, so this question is no longer relevant to current campus policies.

Fieldwork was undertaken November 12-16, 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The survey results are representative of all U.S. adults, aged 18+. This survey was conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. The full survey results can be viewed online (2).

To date, federal and state judges have issued 193 decisions favorable to accused students (3).  In a recent case involving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Judge David Hurd utilized strong language to chastise RPI’s use of a double-standard. The court commented that “whatever answer may come to the question of how to secure the rights of an accusing woman and an accused man, that answer cannot be that all men are guilty. Neither can it be that all women are victims.” The plaintiff presented strong evidence that “RPI has come down on the opposite side of that truth,” the court concluded (3).

In recent years, mistreatment of both complainants and the accused have resulted in campus disciplinary committees being derided as “Kangaroo Courts.” (5) This week SAVE is launching a new campaign titled “Save Due Process on Campus.” (6) The goal of the campaign is to assure the incoming Biden Administration retains and vigorously enforces the new Title IX due process regulation (7).