Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When young men are expelled from college for alleged sex offenses, that's not punishment, it's just teaching 'good citizenship'

That's just one of many astounding assertions that appears in Allie Grasgreen's strange article where university officials decry the new North Carolina law that gives presumptively innocent students the right to legal representation, at the student's expense, during campus judiciary proceedings.

Despite all their twisting and pounding, an expulsion is punishment, as is a suspension; in fact, an expulsion is often tantamount to life-altering punishment. But that's completely lost on the unnamed "officials" who harbor that view.

Most of the views in this article are the same old bellyache: on campus, the presumptively innocent accused of sex offenses get too much due process. Too much of that awful fairness-stuff thrown their way. This, coming from folks who would never say the same about any other class of persons accused of any other offense.

But wait, there's more. "A key component of the developmental process of responding to student misconduct is for the student to take responsibility for their own behavior and to learn from the incident," said Bill Haggard, vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Mr. Haggard, you seem to be assuming the student is guilty by reason of an accusation, aren't you? I mean, an innocent student isn't going to "learn from the incident," is he?

Mr. Haggard isn't finished: "Part of that learning experience is being able to speak on their own behalf, take responsibility for their own behaviors and engage in a conversation about changing their behavior in the future." How can that happen with a lawyer in the room?

Again, if a student happens to be innocent, should he be forced to "take responsibility for his own behaviors" or "change" his behavior "in the future," Mr. Haggard?

This would all be comical if it weren't so infuriating.

The article goes on: "Officials worry that changing the rules will drag out the length of proceedings -- by who knows how long, if attorneys are able to do things like motion for stays -- and hike up the cost."

Yes, we wouldn't want to make sure justice is done if we could get a quick expulsion instead, now would we?

And pardon me for snickering, but a university official worried about hiking up the cost? Seriously?!

There's more: "Whoever's able to hire the best and most expensive attorney is likely to win the day," said Chris Loschiavo, president of the Association for Student Conduct Administration and director of student conduct and conflict resolution at the University of Florida.

Yes, those damn lawyers, always getting in the way of expelling "responsible" students! I mean, lawyers never help to clear innocent students who've been wrongly accused, do they? Unheard of!

Mr. Loschiavo isn't finished sharing his brilliance with us: "It raises lots of potential questions and problems and it makes what is an educational and administrative process now into a quasi-courtroom."

Yes, I mean, why try to turn a judiciary proceeding, where evidence is taken and the facts are weighed and where students are supposed to have at least some due process protections, into a proceeding that assures fairness and the orderly administration of justice? We wouldn't want that, now would we?

This is just more of the same old bullshit. Allie Grasgreen largely parrots university officials who are "concerned" that stupid things like fairness and justice will creep into their kangaroo courts the minute the lawyers get in the room!

Can't have that. Definitely can't have that.