Federal Court Stifles the Campus SaVE Act

In an important court ruling last week, a federal judge in D.C. ruled that the Campus SaVE Act can have “no effect” on Title IX. This was a critically important victory and an important first step on the way to ensuring that no sexual assault victim on any campus is subjected to second-class justice when she seeks redress in the aftermath of sex-based violence (sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.)

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Victory! Court Rules The Campus SAvE Act Has No Effect On Title IX

Earlier today, in two long-awaited companion court rulings, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled that Title IX’s civil rights standards for addressing sexual assault on campus were not weakened by the 2013 Campus SaVE Act.

With this decision, colleges and universities—many of which are already under investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights—cannot rely on Congress’ language in the Campus SaVE Act to deviate from Title IX’s longstanding requirement that schools apply “prompt and equitable” policies and procedures to ensure the effective redress of violence against women. “Equitable” means that gender–based violence must be treated exactly the same as violence based on any other protected category such as race and national origin.

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Title IX Complaint Filed With United States Commission On Civil Rights

While Congress continues to propose dangerous legislation to weaken Title IX, Wendy Murphy is pushing federal agencies to hold the line on civil rights and ensure women's safe and equal access to education.

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Campus Report: Anatomy of a Rape Case at the University of Virginia

“This was a very difficult case. Ms. X provides a very compelling and believable account of the events and has clearly been affected by this incident. Mr. Y, your behavior was crass and disrespectful but this panel could not come to a unanimous conclusion that the policy had been violated in this instance. That said, this panel urges you, Mr. Y, to evaluate your actions and your treatment of women in the future. We would strongly suggest that you consider counseling around the issue of consent and respecting the wishes of your sexual partners. The panel wishes Ms. X well as she continues to work through the trauma that this incident has clearly caused.”

These are the words that Dean E. read out loud at the conclusion of a grueling ten-hour hearing in which I had to single-handedly defend my case against the person who had drugged and raped me last December.

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An Open Letter To University Presidents About Campus Sexual Assault

On March 7 2014, you were granted unprecedented authority to engage in gender discrimination and explicit subjugation of women on campus. Bestowed upon you by Congress, the Campus SaVE Act (SaVE) provides that the redress of civil rights violence on the basis of sex should occur under less protective standards compared to civil rights violence on the basis of all other protected class categories such as race, national origin and religion.

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Bloomberg Businessweek – Changing How Colleges Deal With Rape

On April 20 of that year, Karasek says, she and three other women walked into Berkeley’s Center for Student Conduct to report that the same student had assaulted them. They told their stories to several administrators, including the school’s Title IX officer, Denise Oldham. At the meeting with Oldham, who enforces women’s rights to equal education under Title IX, Karasek says they were asked to write statements about the assaults. She assumed this was a formality and didn’t submit hers for almost a month. One woman, she says, misunderstood and didn’t write anything. Karasek says the school never followed up with that student. “She thought that telling her story out loud counted as informing the school,” she says. Berkeley acknowledges that a verbal report is enough—but Karasek says the women don’t know if that complaint was ever addressed. Berkeley says it can’t comment on specific students’ conduct cases and refused repeated requests to make Oldham available for interviews, saying “she’s focusing all her attention on addressing the situation.”

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Why the SaVE Act Harms Women on Campus

Please resist supporting or seeking support from any group that lobbied for the Campus SaVE Act. It is profoundly anti-women's equality; it's overtly sexist and it explicitly segregates and subjugates women by requiring or allowing the redress of violence against women on campus to be subjected to less protective legal standards compared to all other forms of civil rights violence.

That women WERE equal under Title IX BEFORE SaVE (at least in the written law—if not its enforcement) for more than forty years and then became expressly UNequal in higher education in 2014 is outrageous, though maybe not surprising. Only when victims started speaking up did Congress slap them down by giving schools express permission to devalue civil rights violence against women.

For those of you who care about the fair treatment of women, please take the time to read the law critically, and read the lawsuit that was recently filed to stop SaVE so you can understand WHY certain of its provisions are so offensive and dangerous.

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Stop Campus Sexual Assault

The Problem of Campus Sexual Assault

Recently, a friend and fellow University of Chicago alumna showed me an open letter to university president Robert Zimmer demanding that the university reevaluate its policy regarding campus sexual assaults. After reporting an assault by her then-partner and being illegally offered a mediation session by Dean of Students Susan Art, current fourth-year student Olivia Ortiz filed a complaint with the United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR), prompting a larger investigation of the university for possible violations of Title IX. In response, a coalition of alumni wrote and circulated the letter in question. I gladly added my name.

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Allegations of a botched UVA rape investigation at center of a challenge to the Campus SaVE Act

Today, the local Charlottesville paper, C-Ville, published this story about the Marsh Law Firm's case against the United States Department of Education and the University of Virginia. Here are some excerpts from the piece.

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Sexual Harassment Law, a Step Back for Class

A woman who claims the University of Virginia brushed aside her sexual assault claim filed a federal class action challenging the Campus SaVE Act, a federal law she claims undermines the rights victims of sexual assault and harassment.

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