Earlier this year, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced her intention to scrap certain Title IX guidelines. Signed into law by the Nixon administration, Title IX protects any individual enrolled in a publically-funded program from being discriminated against based on sex.
The Obama administration created regulations that would “lower the standard of evidence for people reporting sexual assault on college campuses, as well as penalize those universities that did not investigate these assaults in a timely manner.” Both of these regulations have been rescinded by DeVos, citing concerns that the current policy denies due process to individuals accused.
On Thursday, Oct. 12, MSU was faced with the question of whether or not the university would follow the Secretary’s orders, specifically regarding protections for transgender bathroom rights, and an increased mandate burden of proof for sexual assault investigations.
At the ASMSU senate meeting on Oct. 12, multiple student advocates appeared to voice their opinion on the subject. Terry Bradley, a senior in elementary education, spoke out in favor of keeping the Title IX regulations. He condemned DeVos’ comparisons of victims to accused, saying, “survivors contemplate things like dropping out and suicide, while those accused only face a drop in reputation.”
There was little debate on the senate floor with the initiative getting an unanimous 19-0 vote, in favor of Title IX. Senator Alex Lei said, “When talking with other senators before the meeting, there were two big reasons why they were in favor of the Title IX policies.” He continued, “Rolling back Title IX protections threatens our student body, and MSU’s policies effectively hold us to higher standard than what has been nationally mandated.”