Here's today's press release:
WASHINGTON, April 30, 2012—The U.S. Senate made bipartisan progress on college student rights on Friday as it passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (VAWA). Heeding the concerns of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Senators altered language in the final bill that might have required colleges and universities to employ our nation's weakest standard of proof in adjudicating allegations of sexual misconduct.
"FIRE thanks Senators Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, Robert Casey, Mike Crapo, and Kay Bailey Hutchison for their leadership in protecting students' due process rights," said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. "Campus sexual misconduct can and should be combated without eroding student due process rights."
FIRE takes no position on the vast majority of VAWA. Prior to last week's change, however, Section 304 of the VAWA draft would have required that all colleges and universities accepting federal funding "provide a prompt and equitable investigation and resolution" of allegations of campus sexual misconduct. While FIRE of course supports prompt and equitable campus disciplinary procedures, the term "prompt and equitable" was recently (and, in FIRE's opinion, incorrectly) defined by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to require use of the ...