Biden Pushes to Combat Sexual Violence in Schools

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BY TRACY PFEIFFER ANCHOR ALEX HOLLEY You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy In an app...
BY TRACY PFEIFFER ANCHOR ALEX HOLLEY You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy In an appearance at the University of New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pushed new guidelines to help universities and colleges prevent and respond to campus rape and sexual violence. Biden authored the 1994 Violence Against Women Act -- and in an emotional speech, said that nearly two decades later, the United States still isn’t getting the message. Pres. JOE BIDEN: “No means no. No means no if you’re drunk or you’re sober. No means no if you’re in bed, in a dorm, or on the street. No means no even if you said yes at first and you changed your mind.” (WSCH) The federal civil rights law Title IX requires schools to handle cases of sexual violence quickly and appropriately -- but the vice president argued, many do not have adequate systems to take complaints, protect victims, or notify victims of investigation results. (Video: NECN) A writer for Inside Higher Ed says the new federal guidelines are described as a clarification rather than a set of new rules, but do contain key differences. “The department is stipulating that the burden of proof required for colleges to take action is less than that required for criminal convictions, and stating that there are specific requirements that apply to colleges for incidents that take place off-campus.” An article from The Center for Public Integrity explains, this clarification has been sorely needed--with tragic consequences. “For years, college administrators have criticized the federal government for its lack of specific and consistent instruction on how to resolve student claims of campus rape; the confusion, critics say, has resulted in campus judicial processes that can leave student victims feeling further victimized.” But a writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, some legal experts, like Peter Lake, are concerned university investigations are quote- “inevitably fraught.” “Criminal prosecutors, for lack of evidence, decline to pursue many cases; under Title IX, colleges must. Peter F. Lake, director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy: ‘We've been lured into doing something in a criminal-justice model that the criminal-justice system itself hasn't been able to deal with.’” The 19-page regulatory guidelines were reportedly mailed to colleges, universities, and school districts across the United States. Follow Newsy_Videos on Twitter Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy
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