Protecting the Rapist
When the local police force is unable to handle a crime that is committed in their district they normally call in help from surrounding police departments. However on a large college or university campus, the local police do not have precedence over the campus police. This campus police department is made up of a few police officers, a whole bunch of security officers, and students that are called to the scene of a crime. Only in the case of murder or death do outside police forces get involved with crimes that happen on campus.
College judicial systems are just as crooked and backwards as the campus police departments. Each college is slightly different with how their judicial system works. Kristen Lombardi an investigative reporter for the Center of Public Integrity tells us that the majority of judicial systems consist of “hearing panels will consist of students and faculty and staff members serving as a board … conducted very much like you might expect a hearing to be conducted, with both sides presenting their cases,” A panel made up of the college’s own students, faculty, and staff members is a direct violation of the six amendment of the Constitution promising an impartial jury. An impartial jury is made up of a jury pool that is, “selected randomly from all potential jurors,” A panel of students, staff members, and faculty, who may or may not know the victim or rapist, is not an impartial jury.
Many defendants of the campus judicial system bring up the point that the college disciplinary system offers victims a, “short trial and quick remedy,” A shorter trial is great, however any victim would opt out of the, “quick remedy,” in exchange for justice. In a hearing panel or honor court the rapist and victim will be tried against a panel that is not equipped to find if a person is guilty or not. Dana Bolger a student at Amherst College and writer for the New York Times says that these panels are, “designed to protect their Title IX rights to a safe educational environment,” Title IX is an educational amendment stating that, “No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid.” Which is one hundred percent for the protection of a rape victim. But a court system in the United States would also use Title IX and does find rape as a punishable crime.
In theory the idea of campus judicial and police systems may seem like a great idea to the university’s and colleges. It keeps the investigation internal and close to home. It also saves the reputation of the man until he is proven guilty. The local police would release the alleged rapist’s name, damaging him forever. This is wrong; the focus should be on protecting and seeking justice for the victim, not the rapist.
Bolger, Dana. “College Systems Can Work Where Courts Fail.” New York Times. NYT, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/03/12/why-should-colleges-judge-rape-accusations/colleges-help-rape-survivors-where-courts-fail>.
Lombardi, Kristen, Rick Olshak, and Connie Kirkland. “How College Campuses Handle Sexual Assaulr.” NPR. NPR, 3 Dec. 2009. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121057891>.
University of Iowa. “About Title IX.” About Title IX. University of Iowa, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://bailiwick.lib.uiowa.edu/ge/aboutRE.html>.