On Friday, September 22, 2017, the Trump administration abandoned Obama's campus assault guidance in favor of new interim rules that let universities choose the type of standard of evidence to use during sexual assault investigations. This way, according to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, all students will be treated fairly. She stated that Obama's rules were skewed against students accused of sexual assault. Many agree that Obama's laws were too strict, but a lot of people are criticizing DeVos's decision saying it silences survivors of sexual abuse.
Sofie Karasek, the co-founder of End Rape on Campus, stated, "Betsy DeVos and Candice Jackson's intentions are clear: to protect those who 'grab' by the genitals and brag about it — and make college campuses a safer place for them."
More than any other demographic group, this affects college students. At colleges, 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault. Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of female students and 5.4% of male students experience rape or sexual assault. To put that into perspective, if you are in a class with 40 people, about five of your classmates will be victims of sexual assault.
Only 20% of female students report sexual assault. With this new law, victims could be even more hesitant to report, since there is no format on the investigation. This means that each individual university in the nation chooses how to go about the investigation. This opens the possibility of Universities covering up stories of sexual violence to make their school look better, and even refusing to punish perpetrators.
Title IX was put into affect to prevent sexual discrimination including sexual violence. According to Joe Biden, "Now the Department of Education under new leadership is working to roll back the protections under Title IX that we worked so hard to put in place."
As a college student, it is important to pay attention to issues such as this because it can have a direct affect your life.
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