Analysis: How the 2016 Republican Party Platform Guts Title IX Enforcement for Sexual Assault Victims
The focus of the 2016 Republican Party Platform is on Title IX, a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in educational institutions. Specifically, the platform criticizes the use of Title IX to protect transgender students and victims of sexual assault, considering both applications unacceptable. However, this overlooks the importance of addressing sexual assault on college campuses in the same way as other wrongdoings.
Sexual assault is a unique crime in that engaging in sexual acts is a normal and frequent occurrence, which only becomes criminal when consent is absent. Consent is not only about what one person knows, believes, feels, or chooses, but also how these aspects are communicated to another person. Proving consent or the lack of it is not always straightforward, and investigations can be hindered by the effects of alcohol and drug use on the memories of perpetrators, victims, and witnesses.
While it is reasonable to argue that universities need specialized training and staff to effectively handle investigations and consequences, it is unjustifiable to claim that they should not be held accountable for these responsibilities, as suggested on page 35 of the Republican Party Platform. This viewpoint contends that the Administration’s interpretation of Title IX interferes with colleges and universities’ autonomy, preventing the proper authorities from conducting investigations and prosecuting sexual assault cases with due process.
It is true that sexual assault is a crime that should be investigated by law enforcement officials. Those who believe that the police should play a larger role in order to relieve universities of this responsibility are also correct. However, Title IX does not impede the duty of the police. Instead, it serves as a complementary process to ensure that educational institutions do not tolerate discriminatory policies or practices.
To understand this further, one must comprehend the power of the fear of violence as a deterrent. The possibility of becoming a victim of a violent crime is enough to restrain most people’s behavior. Hence, universities have the authority to act swiftly, suspending or expelling individuals who are perceived as dangerous, to ensure the safety of their students. Additionally, universities are expected to provide necessary support services to victims of violence on campus, ensuring that they can continue their education and access the benefits of higher learning.
Since universities already investigate and discipline various offenses such as physical altercations, theft, arson, theft of vehicles, and trespassing, they should also address a particular subset of offenses that were previously overlooked. This discrimination occurred because we allowed a particular civil violation to go unresolved, and Title IX aims to eliminate this exception. Rather than creating a new exception, Title IX demands that these discriminatory practices be treated the same as any other offense. The Republican platform, by excluding sexual assault from Title IX jurisdiction, oversteps its boundaries and attempts to undo progress made in treating sexual assault as a crime equal to others on college campuses.
Title IX mandates that universities promptly investigate sexual assault complaints and appoint an impartial factfinder to determine the veracity of the allegations. If the evidence shows that the allegations are more likely true than not, the university must impose appropriate disciplinary measures. There are no calls to eliminate these procedures for complaints involving assault, vandalism, or cheating because they are already in place. If these procedures existed for sexual assault as well, Title IX enforcement would be unnecessary. However, this is not the case.
This argument does not suggest that implementing Title IX is without challenges, and some institutions may be going too far. Nonetheless, the blame for these issues cannot be placed solely on Title IX enforcement. In fact, one could argue that the current administration has given universities excessive freedom to manage their procedures, resulting in dysfunctional systems that could mishandle evidence and compromise student privacy.
If Republican policymakers genuinely want to address this issue while still respecting the intentions of Title IX, perhaps what they truly need is more government involvement.
Your assignment is to rephrase the entire passage using more appropriate language and ensuring its uniqueness by utilizing natural English. The given text to be reworded is as follows: