U-Va.’s badly flawed sexual-misconduct rules
The May 7 Metro article “U-Va. eases standard to show sexual misconduct,” on new University of Virginia rules regarding sexual misconduct, failed to adequately explore the serious due process questions raised by these rules and the Education Department initiative mandating them.
Not all accusations of sexual misconduct are accurate or true, and the truth can be especially hard to discern in “he said, she said” cases. No matter, the Education Department’s new policies increase the risk that students wrongly accused of misconduct will be found guilty, suspended or expelled, and tarred as stalkers or rapists without any right to representation by counsel and facing the lowest possible standard of proof, which requires findings of guilt if hearing officers believe there’s merely a 50.001 percent chance that the alleged misconduct occurred. The new rules are bound to do more to increase injustice on campus than decrease sexual violence.
Wendy Kaminer, Boston