Rebuttal Essay- Kailee Whiting

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. <>.

Lombardi, Kristen, Rick Olshak, and Connie Kirkland. “How College Campuses Handle Sexual Assaulr.” NPR. NPR, 3 Dec. 2009. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <>.

University of Iowa. “About Title IX.” About Title IX. University of Iowa, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <>.

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2 Responses to Rebuttal Essay- Kailee Whiting

  1. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Kailee.
    (I’d like to use your first sentence in class; please remind me.)

    P1. This is an essential argument, Kailee. I’m glad you’re making it here. Your first and second sentences don’t follow logically though. Logically, your “however” should be followed by an observation about the campus police, not the local police. Your “get involved” is indirect where it should be direct. Again, you should be focusing on the choices made by the campus police, not the local police. In the first case, the campus police DON’T invite local police involvement. In the second case, they ARE COMPELLED to report the crimes to local authority. The difference in the case of rape is what? That the campus cops DON’T WANT to involve the local police? Or that the campus cops AREN’T COMPELLED to report a rape to them?

    P2. Sloppy comparison. A “system” can’t be as crooked as “how.” Revise to make parallel. Ask what this means. Again, this would be good to cover in class if you’re willing.

    Actually, I’m going to review several of your sentences in class and have already included them in a post that will benefit everyone, Kailee. I’m confident of your approval.

    Before you introduce Lombardi’s innocuous-sounding statement, Kailee, give us a hint about its true nature, instead of letting us read it unawares and then explaining afterwards. For example:

    Each college violates its students rights in a different way. Most routinely violate the students’ sixth amendment right to a jury of their peers. As Kristen Lombardi reports . . . .

    That way, we’re ready to hear her quote with open ears, knowing what to listen for.

    P3. The punctuation in your first two sentences is abysmal, Kailee. 🙂 PLEASE let me help with that before you publish your portfolio.

    Your cast of characters is confusing here, Kailee. When you use the word defendants in a discussion about the judicial system, you’re talking about the accuseds, not the defenders of a point of view. Who the “survivors” are is very unclear. Then you shift suddenly to observe the victims’ perspective. Finally, you say the rapist and the victim are “tried,” which is only half right and very confusing. Let’s make clear that the “quick and speedy remedy” benefits the accused rapist and greatly disadvantages the victim. If that’s not clear, the paragraph fails.

    P4. Your “to some” point whiffs on the primary purpose of your rebuttal, Kailee. To “WHOM” exactly? To the administration it has the clear advantage of avoiding publicity. To the accused it has the clear advantage of more often acquitting the defendant. Those aren’t “some.” They’re clearly identifiable and should be clearly identified early, not later. You get there.

    Ask yourself the important Sentence-Level Question: What’s my sentence really about? Your subjects are: 1) the idea, 2) It, 3) It, 4) The local police, 5) This; the focus. Looking over that list, can you tell me what the paragraph is about?

    1) Campus justice serves the needs of the defendant
    2) Private college-level investigations spare the defendant publicity and an arrest record
    3) Private investigations protect the defendant’s reputation
    4) The rapist’s name is withheld from the press
    5) The victim’s rights are ignored

    Those five sentence summaries make the subject the subject.

    Your argument is sound, Kailee, and your focus is rightly on the raw deal victims get in college-level “justice” proceedings. But your sentences aim to the left or right of the target.

    Grade Recorded but provisional: revise to improve.

  2. Pingback: Common Sentence Problems | Dubitability

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