Election year means new changes from the new person in office, and new policies replacing the old ones.
One thing that this election year has decided to change is former President Barack Obama’s Title IX guidance for colleges.
Title IX makes sure educational institutions do not discriminate against genders. Members of any gender may not be excluded from participation or be denied benefits in educational programs.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans on changing Obama’s Title IX and replacing it with a new policy she is working on. The new guidance is shorter and quick to the point compared to the old policy. It is in the form of a question-and-answer document and allows schools to decide how to handle cases of sexual misconduct on their campus.
“The tone of the new guidance is much more permissive than that of the Obama-era directives,” said Peter F. Lake, who leads the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University.
Many colleges have announced that they will not be changing their current sexual misconduct policies. Colleges take sexual assault seriously and are not planning on changing their policies until more details are talked about.
In a background call with reporters, a senior department official said the government had left open the option of what schools do in this interim period but had no expectation about whether colleges would adopt a higher standard.
Crystal C. Coombes, senior deputy Title IX coordinator at the University of South Florida, spoke with the Chronicle of Higher Education and said her institution will stick with the preponderance standard for now.
“We believe it works well for us,” said Coombes.
DeVos did give credit to the Obama administration by bringing this issue to light and creating a policy to help, but she thinks the policy should be updated and changed.
“The system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” said DeVos. “Survivors, victims of a lack of due process, and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved.”
DeVos believes that changing the policy would be good and help all of those who are involved in sexual violence cases, including the people accused of sexual violence and the victims.
“All students deserve protection. All students,” DeVos said in a news conference in July. “There has been a lack of clarity in this area. I heard from both groups in ensuring that the process is fair to both parties, and they’ve acknowledged that it isn’t today.”
Most people are not behind DeVos policy plan change and some fear that this will not help the victims at all, but only those accused of sexual violence. They think things will go back to how they use to be and victims won’t have their voices heard.
Title IX may have new policy changes. Some people may think the change is a good idea, while others may argue that there shouldn’t be any change. The government is taking careful consideration of both groups when creating the new policy.