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Charlotte Talks: What DeVos' Reversal On Campus Sexual Assault Guidance Means For Schools, Students

Universtiy of North Carolina at Charlotte campus
Wade Bruton

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Colleges now have a different way of handling sexual assaults. Education Secretary Betsy Devos set that in motion by overturning Obama-era guidelines but the move is controversial. A closer look.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reversed Obama-era guidance last month on how colleges should address sexual assault on campus. The previous administration's guidance advised colleges to investigate complaints more aggressively and lowered the burden of proof in misconduct cases.

Critics said the lower standard set by The Office of Civil Rights under President Obama created a lack of due process for the accused. The current Education Department agrees and has given colleges the freedom to use a higher standard in a move they say will create more fairness for all.

The new shift is controversial. Victims' advocates fear the new policy will reduce protections for assault victims and discourage victims from speaking out. Mike Collins and guests examine what this shift means for how colleges handle cases of sexual misconduct on campus and what it means for students. 


Sarah Brown - reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education

Annie Clark - Executive director and co-founder of End Rape on Campus, a rape-survivor advocacy group

John Gresham - Attorney, Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC. He has represented a number of male students who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

Sarah Edwards - Associate General Counsel at UNC Charlotte

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.