According to DeVos, the Obama-era directive led to cases of accused students harmed by unjust findings without due process. “Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously,” she said in her speech. “Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.
DeVos criticized a key element of Obama’s policy: that schools use a standard known as “preponderance of the evidence” when weighing sexual misconduct cases. “Washington dictated that schools must use the lowest standard of proof … it’s no wonder so many call these proceedings ‘kangaroo courts,'” DeVos said.
Again, Hobson disagrees that the rights of the accused have been neglected or ignored. ISU not only has a victim advocate, it also provides an adviser to the accused. “So when someone has been accused of some kind of sexual misconduct on our campus, they do have the right to someone who understands the process and can be an adviser to them through that process,” Hobson said.
The respondent adviser “helps them understand … what their rights are,” Hobson said.
At ISU, that person is Al Perone, who is associate dean of students/ombudsperson.
Hobson has worked on two campuses with many different professionals at those schools. Since the Obama-era directive, “what I see is institutions trying very hard to maintain due process rights, of both the survivor and the alleged perpetrator.”