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INGRID JACQUES

Jacques: UM students deserve due process

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

In an effort to meet the demands of a White House crackdown on campus rape, the University of Michigan—along with other universities in Michigan and the U.S.—have scrambled to revamp their sexual assault policies. The result has been over-prescriptive handbook guidelines and policies that strip due process from the accused.

For the first time, UM released a report this week detailing 129 alleged incidents of sexual misconduct that occurred in a 12-month period. Such reports will now be issued each year, according to new guidelines.

Of the incidents reported by students, UM identified 11 violations and expelled one student.

UM and Michigan State University are currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for the way the schools have handled sexual assault cases. If the universities don’t meet the government’s demands, they risk losing federal funds.

UM claims its report is in the interest of public transparency. And while transparency is a good aim, the university must ensure students accused of wrongdoing are given fair treatment.