IU students react to new Title IX rules
The responses are mixed but everyone agrees IU needs an upgrade
Secretary of Education Betsy Devos has found herself in the center of a very controversial topic — sexual assault. Last week, she officially rescinded portions of Title IX that dealt with the burden of proof necessary for investigating rape on college campuses.
The change has left both Republicans and Democrats confused and worried, but some people see it as a beneficial move.
In the past, the guidelines gave universities supreme rule of the law. When victims reported their sexual assault, the campus itself would handle it rather than a law enforcement agency. This often left both sides of a case feeling dissatified with how the case was handled.
Additionally, there have been concerns about students being falsely accused and losing opportunities. There is a fine line between protecting students and holding them accountable for their actions and IU students fall on both sides of the equation.
An Indiana University alum who wishes to remain anonymous says these provisions would have been helpful to him when he was in school. This student was accused of sexual assaulting a member of a sorority, and while the case didn't go to trial, he suffered consequences from his fraternity.
"I like the change becasue it takes the investigation and penalty process out of the schools hands and puts it in the police's hands. The police are supposed to handle these things, not academics," he said. "I felt guilty until proven innocent with the school. I don't think this makes it any easier to commit a crime. It only puts the matter in the hands of trained police instead of colleges."
However, for victims of sexual assault on campus, this change seems risky.
Morgan Ray, a senior at IU, faced massive trauma and recovery after she was sexually assaulted by another IU student.
"An academic institution should take sexual violence and sexual assault cases very seriously and be willing to offer support for victims and the accused. They have the role of making sure their students are safe and able to do well in their courses in order to graduate," Ray said. "I think IU handles sexual assault very well, at least in my case."
Other victims believe that IU could do a lot to improve their sexual assault response, but don't think Betsy Devos' move will make it happen.
Another anonymous student thinks that IU did what they could to help in her case, but it was not enough. This student thinks IU needs to reevaluate their response but does not think that DeVos' approach is going to help anyone.
"IU could use a major upgrade on how they handle sexual assault cases, they don't protect the individual to the fullest extent they should," the student told The Tab. "Victims are living with their perpetuators down the hall or in the same class and IU needs to be more influencing in the case."
Indiana University's Sexual Assault Prevention and Victim Advocacy Center have not responded for comment.