USC: Oppose Changes to Title IX

USC: Oppose Changes to Title IX

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AbolishGreekUSC started this petition to University of Southern California and

Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education are jeopardizing Title IX's support of survivors by introducing new protections for those ACCUSED of assault. These changes become active on August 14th, and will have an immense impact on survivors of sexual assault. More than 80% of current survivors do not report their assault for fear of further trauma, social repercussions, and not being believed. USC must take action immediately to protects its students––especially its survivors––before it is too late. 

The new Title IX rule:

  • Limits schools' obligation to investigate assault and harassment, requiring responses to only the most extreme cases 
  • Removes most off-campus incidents from the university's jurisdiction
  • Requires live hearings and direct cross-examination of complainants and respondents by representatives that each party must provide
    • No longer provides a time limit for investigations, allowing them to endure for even longer than they currently do, further traumatizing victims and survivors.
  • Elevates the standard of scrutiny required from “preponderance of evidence” to a far stricter “clear and convincing evidence,” making justice harder to come by. 

While 19 states and the District of Columbia are filing lawsuits against the Education Department aimed at blocking these unjust policies, USC must act independently to protect of its students. In relaxing its rules, the new Title IX does allow schools to take their own action; students must now ensure that even if this abhorrent legislation does pass, the university is held accountable and continues to support and champion its survivors in the pursuit of justice. 

DEMANDS FOR USC:*

  1. Lower the standard of scrutiny back to the lower standard “preponderance of the evidence” from “clear and convincing evidence.”
  2. Ban informal resolution mechanisms, including but not limited to: mediation in cases of sexual assault, rape, relationship violence, and stalking that is an extension of such violence. It is widely agreed upon that mediation is an inappropriate and even unsafe measure in these types of situations.
  3. Uphold a 60 day time frame for the completion of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination cases. Because of COVID 19, Title IX processes will continue remotely. 
  4. Continue to offer Title IX protections to students, regardless of whether the incident took place on or off campus. This includes cases of assault that take place on study abroad trips. 
  5. Reinstate protections for LGBTQ+ students as outlined by the Department of Education’s 2016 guidance. All students must be properly supported by Title IX.
  6. Mandate clear communication by faculty and staff, so that 
    ALL faculty and staff not only disclose their mandated reporter status, but additionally distinguish between confidential and disclosed reporting resources on class syllabi. 
  7. Establish a Student Advisory Board to review Title IX trainings and changes that the university may implement moving forward. 
  8. Provide print and virtual informational materials to students, available both in person and online that clearly disclose mandated reporting requirements. Additionally, students must sign an informed consent form acknowledging their receipt of this information. These materials must be available in all languages. 
  9. Issue a written public statement declaring its commitment to the previous eight demands by August 14, 2020. 

One in three Trojan women will be sexually assaulted in her time on campus. As a community, we should be making progress in protecting victims, not paving the way for even more offenders to walk away without consequences. Hold your administration accountable today.

*These demands were adapted from the UCLA petition, "UCLA: Speak Up Against Title IX Changes," and we thank them for their thoughtful resource. 

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