Due process doesn’t seem to have a place on America’s college campuses anymore. Accusations are common, but evidence is scarce in many cases. A sad example of this comes from Purdue University in Indiana, where a female student accused a young man of sexual assault. The young man, whom I’ll call John, had absolutely no evidence presented against him except the testimony of the accuser and her friend. John had the testimony of multiple male and female witnesses, as well as a text message exchange in which the woman consented to a physical relationship. John was not permitted to present any of that evidence to Purdue’s investigators. As a result, John was expelled from the school with his football scholarship revoked. Thankfully, John managed to successfully sue Purdue after the fact, but his story is a cautionary tale for every college student. If you are a young man accused of misconduct by a woman, don’t expect due process from your college or university.
John’s isn’t the only sad story out there. A male and female student at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York both filed Title IX complaints against one another for sexual assault, both claiming that they were too intoxicated to have relations with the other. Both complaints lacked evidence, but the investigators at RPI sided with the woman because they indicated that the burden of proof was on the man to prove that he did not sexually assault the woman. Obviously, that flies in the face of everything we believe as Americans. The mantra “innocent until proven guilty” is a cornerstone of our American legal system. Yet, as soon as you step on a college campus as a man, those rights appear to be suspended.
College men should be warned. Abstinence until marriage isn’t just the best decision for your physical, moral, and spiritual health. It is also the best legal decision you can make to avoid a false accusation of not having consent. However, states should take immediate action to stop this injustice before it happens again. Any university that won’t give students constitutionally-protected due process rights should immediately have their public funding eliminated. Rights matter on campus as much as they do off campus.