This past Wednesday, Republican Congressmen Reps. Matt Salmon of Arizona and Pete Sessions of Texas proposed a bill to protect the rights of fraternities and sororities. Cray. Amid the media’s war on Greek life, it feels as though the organizations are not given proper due process in the face of scandal, as many institutions are deferring to campus investigations in instances such as sexual misconduct, immediately moving to remove the organizations, rather than giving the accused and the organizations proper hearings.
FIRE has repeatedly expressed our reservations about entrusting universities to adjudicate allegations of serious felonies like sexual assault,” Cohn said. “But if they are to continue to hold this responsibility, basic fairness requires students be given tangible due process protections. The due process protections provided by the Safe Campus Act would enhance the reliability of campus proceedings and lend sorely needed credibility to their findings.”
It is said many victims of sexual assault don’t want to go to the police, because they know their assailants. They want them punished, but not imprisoned. But when it’s a matter as serious as this, campus investigations just might not do.
The legislation would require a college to conduct a full discipline hearing before a chapter could be banned from campus. Interim sanctions, such as suspension, during this process could only last 10 days.
This piece of legislation also aims to protect the traditions of fraternities and sororities by barring any mandate that they be co-ed.
The legislation would also prohibit colleges from ordering fraternities and sororities to become coeducational. In September, following a series of alleged sexual assaults, Wesleyan University told its fraternities that they must admit women in the next three years. One of the chapters is suing the university, alleging the order is discriminatory.
[via Inside HIred]