Friday, February 6, 2015

It's in everyone's interest to rid our campuses of rapists, and to insure that the accused get fair hearings

Here's an interesting quote: “One of the things I think gets lost in this conversation is that survivors have an interest in accused students being treated fairly,” said Nancy Cantalupo, a gender violence expert and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. “If they aren’t treated fairly, then these proceedings go on and on and on. And survivors don’t want that. Survivors have just as much of a stake in getting this right, and that includes making sure that the accused are treated with fundamental fairness.”

This is all we can ask. When a young man is subjected to fair hearing and is found responsible for rape, you will not hear complaints from this blog. It is in everyone's interest to rid our college campuses of rapists -- not just the women they have preyed upon or might prey upon, but the wrongly accused as well. Every rape undermines the perceived integrity of every man or boy accused of rape.

The problem is that too many schools have procedures that don't provide for fundamental fairness, and that most schools have amateurs investigating and adjudicating very complex issues relating to sexual violence. A lot of times, I am sure, they get it right, but these matters are too important to be a crap-shoot. When the process isn't fair, this is unjust to accused men, and it does rape victims no favors.

Hostility to the fair administration of justice undermines confidence in the system and fuels a growing belief that college disciplinary proceedings are unjust to young men. The more prevalent that belief, the greater the likelihood that persons adjudicating these disputes will be wary about finding even guilty men responsible for their actions.

Everyone loses when the process isn't fair.