How Universities are Using Title IX to Adopt Discriminatory Policies to Expel Young Men for Alleged Sexual Assault

Eytan and Nielsen were published in Law Week Colorado, September 28, 2015.

Title IX investigations, campus sexual assault policies and the need for schools to impose harsher discipline, have dominated recent headlines. The sentiment that all young men accused of sexual assault are guilty was questioned, albeit briefly, when Rolling Stone Magazine retraced a high-profile article fraught with inaccuracies about male students’ indifference about a fraternity gang rape.
However, on Sept. 10, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis expressed his support for expelling male students accused of sexual assault regardless of whether they are truly guilty. Polis stated, “If there’s 10 people that have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people.” Expelling falsely accused young men from college without due process is discriminatory and devastating.
It is laudable that our country is highlighting the atrocious crime of sexual violence on college campuses. It really is about time. But, in the rush to judgment, our schools have failed to apply inherent fairness of process. Title IX protects against all gender discrimination, not just one gender. These Title IX commandments strip all protections that a young man should have when he is facing expulsion from a university. Title IX is a portion of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972. It states, in part, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” This statute now serves as the very keystone for the adoption of discriminatory university disciplinary policies around the country.

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