Recently, a former undergraduate male student sued Cornell University, alleging that the school wrongly accused him of assaulting a female student. The student alleges in the suit that the college “cherry-picked witness statements, ignored important statements and judged the credibility of witnesses without any ascertainable rational or logic.”
This student’s case in only one of many where the male student alleges that the university’s disciplinary processes are stacked against him.
In some cases around the country the suits have fallen flat, while in others they have led to settlements wherein the school either set aside the sanctions or reduced them.
Partly as a result of such activity, the United States Department of Civil Rights has established new procedures for schools to follow when handling sexual assault cases. For example, the education department recommended that the alleged victims be required to prove that it was “more likely than not that violence occurred.”
Around the country, the education department is investigating more than one hundred colleges for mishandling women’s accusations of sexual assault. On the other side of the fight, many men feel that the colleges are too quick to believe an alleged victim and are providing the college administrators with too much authority, stating that they often act as investigators, prosecutors, and jurors. As Washington D.C. lawyer Justin Dillon said, “To a hammer, everything is a nail, and the men are the nails in these situations.”