Campus Hook-Up Culture and Title IX Sex Police Meet Due Process

Sep 25, 2019 by

The sexual misconduct case of John Doe v. Grinnell College just settled, joining over 200 other such cases vindicating male students falsely accused of nonconsensual sexual relations on campus.  It appears the college hook-up culture is moving from Title IX sex police to courtroom due process.

Title IX is the federal law which bans sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funds. Since 2011, when President Obama’s Education Department declared in a Dear Colleague Letter that sexual violence was a form of sex discrimination, it has required campuses to expand Title IX offices with coordinators, investigators, and adjudicators to handle sexual misconduct complaints. Acting as law enforcement, judge, and jury, these officials are sometimes referred to as the campus sex police.

John Doe was a sophomore in November 2015 when he learned that a female student had complained that two of their prior sexual liaisons one year earlier had been non-consensual. The female student did not want Doe formally investigated, but she also did not want him to attend her upcoming study abroad trip. The matter was resolved informally. A few months later, however, a second female student expressed the same concern about Doe regarding relations she had with him the previous summer. Grinnell’s Title IX Office then, on its own initiative, opened a formal investigation into both claims. Doe insisted his relations with both females were consensual.

To adjudicate, Grinnell hired Marsha Ternus, former Iowa Supreme Court Judge known principally as one of three judges kicked off the Court in a 2010 recall election after it mandated same-sex marriage under the state Constitution. Ternus met with neither the investigation team, nor the second female student, as required by Grinnell policy, but still found Doe at fault on both counts. She then recommended his expulsion, “based upon a predatory pattern of behavior.” Doe’s internal appeal failed. He later learned that Ternus had provided additional documents and commentary to Grinnell’s reviewing official in off-the-record communications, to which he had not been given the opportunity to respond.

Source: Campus Hook-Up Culture and Title IX Sex Police Meet Due Process | RealClearEducation

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