I recently wrote Chancellor Carol Folt of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about an issue I think is very dangerous for male students as it relates to Title IX, sexual assault, and rape on campus. In my email, I asked her to consider a form that all male students and their parents must sign before attending classes at UNC which would inform them of the definition of rape and sexual assault on campus and how any investigation of alleged rape would take place.
This is important because in the high school setting, students are taught that if they are accused of a serious crime in our country, they have the ability of have legal representation, the ability to cross examine any evidence presented at trial and the accuser, and to have competent professionals involved in the process.
My fear is that male students are entering the University of North Carolina university system thinking they have these protections and they do not. I also figured that Chancellor Carol Folt would want male students to be advised that the definition of rape and sexual assault and any investigations related to it differ while on campus compared to how it is defined and prosecuted off campus.
But apparently I was wrong because the Chancellor never returned my email. Here is the email in it’s entirety:
Chancellor Carol Folt,
As you are well aware, given the recent “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education that sets a framework down in how universities deal with rape and sexual assault cases, I think the University of North Carolina system is setting male students up for failure.
In my contact to you, I am asking that you consider the following document be a mandatory form all students and parents must sign before attending class so that they are made aware of the internal working of Title IX as it relates to rape and sexual assault.
Here is my fear: prior to entering college, students are under the belief that if they are accused of rape or sexual assault, they will be given due process under the law, be able to be represented by competent lawyers, see evidence presented and have that evidence questioned, have the ability to testify to innocence, and see and dispute any DNA / forensic data pertaining to the case. After all, this is what high school students are taught in classes and I suspect it is something you would want if alleged to have committed a crime.
I believe that students entering the UNC system (specifically male students) are operating under the idea that if they are accused, they will have a right to legal due process.
So with this in mind, is it possible to develop a form students and parents sign that informs them that if they are accused of rape or sexual assault, even when the accuser does not want to involve law enforcement, that he/she is still subject to university tribunals that allows for:
1) No ability to have legal representation in tribunals.
2) No ability to question or refute evidence to the matter.
3) That the college can withhold any exculpatory evidence or not even present any evidence supporting the allegation.
4) The accused has no ability to see who his/her accuser is to ascertain if the accuser is even known to the accused.
I believe that by allowing male students to enter the UNC system with the understanding that they have constitutional rights as taught in high school, but not telling them how rape and sexual assault tribunals operate is dangerous to these students and their families.
By not informing new students and their families about Title IX definitions of rape and sexual assault that differs dramatically from the legal definition of rape and sexual assault in our courts, combined with the four points above it appears that the University is allowing male students to enter a system where he thinks he has certain legal protections and doesn’t which seems a bit underhanded and sneaky.
And underhanded and sneaky it is.
It is possible that Chancellor Folt does not want male students and their parents to realize that their sons are in a dangerous setting where anyone can anonymously accuse them of a crime and that the allegation alone is enough to expel him from school and be ridiculed in the media?
Does Chancellor Folt not want a mass exodus of male students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill so that the University has students on campus that can be used to meet the quota of male students who are raping and committing sexual assault as defined by the Department of Education?
Does Chancellor Carol Folt not want mothers to learn that their sons can be found guilty of rape and sexual assault by a 20 year old communications major rather than experienced law enforcement?
Why would the Chancellor not want her male students to be informed on how to be successful while attending UNC?