No Means No, DeVos

Carter Elliot, Staff Columnist~

On Sept. 7 the United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made an appalling announcement that shook educational facilities all across the nation. DeVos stated that the department will be ending the campus sexual assault rules and regulations put in place by the Obama administration.

Throughout his administration, former President Barack Obama completed several efforts to help prevent sexual assaults on campus, as well as to help victims of sexual assault. In 2016, he signed into law the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act which gives victims of sexual assault certain rights that before, they had been denied.

More famously he, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, started the “It’s On Us” campaign. They both traveled around the country speaking on the issue of sexual assault on campuses in order to raise awareness and hopefully prevent them from occurring.

However, the most important thing to happen during the Obama administration was that they began to interpret Title IX in a way that forced schools to investigate reports of sexual assault and violence.

DeVos stated, “The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” and in a time where more sexual assaults are being reported on campuses than ever before, I couldn’t disagree more.

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Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

By removing these efforts put in place during the last administration, we are giving power to those who are attacking innocent students on campuses nationwide. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, only 2.1 percent of sexual assault reports are proven to be false. With a statistic like that, why in the world would we be giving the benefit of the doubt to those accused of such a crime?

This is an issue of the utmost importance, and as Biden said, “Students, parents, faculty, alumni. Don’t just sit and watch. Speak up. Any rollback of Title IX protections will hurt your classmates, your students, your friends, your sisters.”

I’m telling DeVos “no,” and I mean it, so should you.