SIU and Other Colleges and Universities Look at Sexual Assault Policies

Sep 25, 2017

New guidance from the U.S. Department of Education means colleges and universities are taking another look at their sexual assault policies.

SIU President Randy Dunn says the new directives - which reverse some of the changes from the Obama Administration - will mean leaders on each of SIU's campuses will need to update their policies.

"In terms of due process protections for someone who's accused of a campus sexual assault, we're going to be looking probably at nailing down procedures somewhat more clearly so there's consistency across the campuses, and things of that nature. This may be something we have to come back and talk about again as we see what happens with this guidance that we've just received."

But, Dunn says many of the updates that had been implemented during the Obama Administration may be difficult to change.
"We do have a number of laws - protections - here in the state of Illinois that did codify, in law, some of the things from that 2011 letter. So you're not going to see this drastic change in Illinois; I think rather there are going to be some refinements."

Refinements could include due process protections for people accused of campus sexual assault, and making sure procedures are consistent from one campus to another.

Secretary DeVos has said the Obama-era guidelines skewed against those accused of sexual assault - and these new directives allow colleges and universities more flexibility to provide fairness to all involved.