The Rope Bridge: A Parable for College Men (Who Do Not Commit Sexual Assault)
You're hiking near the village of Husaini in Pakistan and you come up to the Borith Lake. The only way across is a rickety old rope bridge. It doesn't look strong enough to hold you, and you're having some serious doubts about this.
You look to your guide, who's had lots and lots of experience with rope bridges. He tells you with both a smile and the utmost sincerity, "I'd give it a better than even chance that you'll make it across."
"Better than even chance" you think! "So there's -- what? -- a 49 percent chance that I won't make it across?!!"
I'd say that's more than alittle doubt; that's substantial doubt.
Are you going across that bridge?
Let me answer it for you: not a chance in hell. I know you -- you don't take risks that huge about important matters.
Well, young man, the Obama administration, for one, is willing to take a risk with you, about something pretty damn important, too. It is willing to let you be expelled from school -- and have your future forever marred -- if you are found responsible for committing sexual assault, even though you didn't do it, and even if they have substantial doubt about whether you did it.
Read that last part again. It's not hyperbole.
If you've been hiding under a rock since last spring, or playing too many video games, or studying female anatomy a little too intently on the Internet, you may not know that the Obama administration changed the law last April 4 for colleges: if you are accused of sexual assault while attending college, even if you are factually innocent, the school needs to find only a slightly better than 50% likelihood that you did it in order to expel you. Good luck getting into a good school, much less going to grad school, if that happens.
You see, when it comes to your life, they have no problem taking a substantial risk that the school might just get it wrong. They're willing to let you go plummeting into that river just so they can be sure they are catching all the real bad guys. You are collateral damage in their more important war on rape.
Every civilized society must strive to (1) eradicate heinous crimes by punishing the offenders, and (2) insure that the innocent aren't punished along with the offenders. Too often, the second half of that balance is omitted from the public discourse. Accusations of serious criminality, especially murder and sexual wrongdoing, too often are their own convictions in the high court of public opinion because the stigma is so severe. It is our mission to raise awareness about the injustices suffered by persons wrongly accused of serious criminality. Protecting the innocent from unjust harm as a result of a wrongful accusation is a hallmark of a civilized society.