Rape

FratPAC Lobbying to Hold Campus Rapists Criminally Accountable

But shifting rape investigations from campus to cops riles many.

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Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee/Facebook

American fraternities and sororities are lobbying Congress to reform the way rape allegations are handled on college campuses. The Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee, or "FratPAC," wants lawmakers to require sexual assault claims be handled by the criminal justice system before universities review them. 

FratPAC, now in its 10th year, is a joint effort of the North American Interfraternity Conference and the National Panhellenic Conference, umbrella associations representing U.S. fraternities and sororities respectively. "Fraternities and sororities intend to be a leader in offering ideas for how Congress can provide a Safe Campus for all students," it proclaimed in a statement yesterday. 

Bloomberg News framed FratPAC's efforts as "pushing Congress to make it harder for universities to investigate rape allegations." Neither Bloomberg writer David Glovin nor FratPAC offer much in the way of specifics.

But Glovin's piece is definitely critical of the idea that campus proceedings should only follow criminal adjudication. Right now, school "disciplinary boards can take action, including suspensions or expulsions, far more quickly than courts and, unlike criminal proceedings, don't require a finding 'beyond a reasonable doubt,'" Glovin notes. He quotes Joelle Stangler, student body president at the University of Minnesota, who calls FratPAC's efforts "extremely problematic."

"Adjudication on campuses is incredibly important for victims and survivors, to make sure they receive some sort of justice," said Stangler, who has worked with a Minnesota advocacy group for sexual-assault victims.

[…] "Imagine a situation where a young women is sexually assaulted, and it has to go through the state judicial process," said Mark Koepsell, who heads the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, which represents faculty and administrators. "Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrator is walking around campus."

Imagine!, a situation where someone can be accused of a crime and not receive punishment for it until they're proven guilty. Crazy talk, that. Although heretics might point out that it's also one of the bedrocks of American jurisprudence. 

I know, I know, the point is that people want a way to deal with campus sexual assault outside the justice system. But these same people tend to agree—along with literally everyone else—that a) colleges suck at handling campus sexual assault cases, and b) rape is a serious violation that should be a criminal matter. How is taking a serious criminal matter out of the hands of people untrained and unequipped to deal with it and turning it over to people who investigate such matters with regularity a harmful thing?

If the issue is that law enforcement doesn't always deal well with rape cases, either, then let's work on reforming how law enforcement deals with rape cases—reforms that would benefit not just the relatively privileged minority living on college campuses but everybody who finds themselves victims of sexual violence. But I suspect some people won't ever be happy with how law enforcement handles rape cases as long as this pesky presumption of innocence persists…

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  1. I can’t think of any other violent crimes we’d trust a bunch of education graduates to adjucate, why on Earth would we trust a college panel to run a rape trial? It’s truly absurd that the feminist solution is to punish the innocent and not really punish the guilty since an actual rapist is getting off pretty easy if they’re only getting kicked out of school for their crime.

    1. Think of it this way: they get to be seen punishing 30 or more non-rapists for every actual rapist that gets off easy.

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  2. Smart move.

    1. And by this, I mean that this move is obviously designed to stop colleges from re-defining the word “rape”. By giving jurisdiction exclusively to the police, rape is defined by the criminal code, not SJW flavors of the month.

      1. True, but what is to stop a private college from adopting a rule against “inappropriate carnal knowledge” which is identical to the SJW flavor of the month?

        (Public colleges are of course limited by due process guarantees. See e.g. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003))

  3. I believe colleges should be able to set and enforce their own standards of student behavior.

    I certainly don’t think the feds should pressure colleges one way or another on how to deal with rape charges – whether by requiring college disciplinary hearings or forcing colleges to defer to the criminal justice system.

    If the govt actually let colleges make their own policies, I would certainly prefer that they report alleged rapes to the cops, and if a student gets arrested, suspend him (or, theoretically, her) until the charges are resolved. If it turns out that the student was innocent all along, then compensate him for his suspension by giving him free or reduced tuition for the rest of his college career.

    1. I certainly don’t think the feds should pressure colleges one way or another on how to deal with rape charges – whether by requiring college disciplinary hearings or forcing colleges to defer to the criminal justice system.

      Yeah, there is that. I don’t really know that I support FratPAC’s plan entirely, for that reason (it’s hard to say without specifics, which I haven’t been able to get yet, though I am talking to the head at some point soon about it). But that didn’t seem to be any of the (rapidly multiplying) critics’ problems with it; rather, they’re all just slamming it for wanting cops to handle cases.

        1. I think Amanda Marcotte (the second link) had a decent point when she mentioned that colleges and universities punish students for petty theft, underage drinking, et cetera, without always calling the police, and that FratPAC only seems interested in preventing “in-house” disciplinary action when it is an accusation of sexual assault.

          Do you think FratPAC makes a distinction based upon the seriousness of the alleged crime?
          Do you think they should?

          I’m interested in most anyone’s opinion, not just Elizabeth’s.

          1. colleges and universities punish students for petty theft, underage drinking, et cetera

            Misdemeanors versus….

            FratPAC only seems interested in preventing “in-house” disciplinary action when it is an accusation of sexual assault.

            FELONIES!

            Noticing any difference?

              1. I can see allowing colleges to handle petty theft by their own rules, but not if that creates double-jeopardy for the student, ie that student is also subject to criminal prosecution in the civil courts.

                This whole thing is really just a holdover from when colleges were a special class of institution, often with royal charters. They really need to learn that they aren’t that special any more.

            1. Yeah, I don’t think colleges try to keep homicide investigations ‘in-house.’

              1. Please see below, Irish.

              2. And it’s noteworthy that they only assert jurisdiction over one particular felony.

            2. “Noticing any difference?”

              I thought I covered this, Anonymous, when I asked: “Do you think FratPAC makes a distinction based upon the seriousness of the alleged crime?”

              I get the sense that you would allow the “lesser crimes” to be handled by the institutions and the more serious ones by law enforcement. Or do you believe that all alleged crimes should be handled by the police?

              This is what I’d like to see discussed, whether “lesser crimes” could/should be handled by the institutions while the more serious ones by law enforcement, or whether all alleged crimes should be handled by the police.

              I was asking for a good-faith discussion.

              1. There seems to me to be a pretty flawed logic here, which is that the reason FratPac is focusing on sexual assault is because sexual assault is the crime that’s already been politicized and which has been used to gin up mobs of angry students to vandalize fraternities.

                The reason FratPac isn’t thinking about underage drinking is because underage drinking is not a crime that’s been politicized by activists as part of a hysterical moral panic. Maybe all of these things should not be handled by colleges, but it’s not unreasonable for them to focus on the one that’s the most important at the present moment.

                1. Well said.

                  Re: rape “is the crime that’s already been politicized and used to gin up mobs of angry students to vandalize fraternities. …underage drinking is not a crime that’s been politicized by activists as part of a hysterical moral panic.”

                  Rape is politicized by politicized feminists who in my view want to rail against not just fraternities but men in general. The moral panic comes after rape has been declining and female college enrollment inclining.

                  If rape is pervasive, why do parents let daughters set foot on campus?

                  Instead, we have this:

                  “By 2012, there were 2.8 million more women than men in college, and by 2020 this ‘enrollment gap’ is projected to grow to 4.4 million as women account for 74% of enrollment growth.” See the Washington Post opinion: “Social inequality’s deepening roots.”

                  Campuses are safer than the general population.

                  “…the rate of rape and sexual assault is lower for college students (at 6.1 per 1,000) than for non-students (7.6 per 1,000). (Note: not 1 in 5). What’s more, between 1997 and 2013, rape against women dropped by about 50%, in keeping with a more general drop in violent crime nationally.” The actual number of sexual assault victims is several orders of magnitude lower than the highly circulated “one in five.” bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5176

                  “The Sexual Harassment Quagmire” at Male Matters USA

              2. I get the sense that you would allow the “lesser crimes” to be handled by the institutions and the more serious ones by law enforcement. Or do you believe that all alleged crimes should be handled by the police?

                You sense wrongly. A college should only be able to hold hearings on violations of its own rules and then those rules should not supersede the laws of the jurisdiction it is located it. Honor code/code of conduct violations? Sure. Should colleges hold “proceedings” to determine violation of criminal statutes? No. Then again, there is no freestanding legal duty to report crimes.

                “Do you think FratPAC makes a distinction based upon the seriousness of the alleged crime?”

                Which is a weaselly burden-shifting question to begin with, hence, my facetious answer to your original post. These campus sexual inquisitions have no business determining legal guilt or anything that looks like it might be legal guilt if you squint at it. We already have a legal system, fucked up as it may be, with whatever scant protections it affords to the accused. The people opposed to reporting crimes to the police would like to strip the accused of even the few rights they have left, brand them as criminals, and destroy their reputations without so much as “how do you answer the charges against you?”

              3. Of course all crimes should be handled by law enforcement. Stupid fucking dummy.

          2. I think colleges should be free to punish students (and employees) as they see fit for violations of college rules, as long as the maximum enforceable penalty is separation from the institution. But I don’t think colleges, particularly taxpayer-owned ones, should be allowed to enforce the criminal code, or deny people their constitutional rights.

            1. Thanks, Tonio.

            2. Tonio, the only problem with this is the “contributed to a hostile learning environment” rule. It swallows up the whole thing.

          3. Charles, I think Marcotte is putting that out as a canard. As Irish and some others have pointed out, campus rape/sexual assault is the issue being politicized by SJWs resulting in government action being taken by the DoJ and Civil Rights Division of the Department of Education. That’s how we’ve ended up with this push to decrease the evidentiary standard and truncating of due process rights. FratPAC looks to be, on the surface, doing exactly what PACs do: responding to a discrete political action with targeted political action of its own.

          4. Amanda “String ‘Em Up” Marcotte is equating rape with petty theft? Oh how this world has folded in upon itself!

    2. If the govt actually let colleges make their own policies…

      But in many cases, the colleges are the government. So what you have is certain branches of government denying due process. Not phrasing this well, but hope you see what I mean.

  4. The problem Elizabeth is that to these people anything other than a conviction is law enforcement not dealing with rape properly. Don’t let the victim language fool you. This is a direct attack on due process and our civil rights and nothing else.

    1. Better to let 100 “innocent” men rot in jail than allow 1 guilty rapist to go free. //Valenti’s dictum

      1. Better to hang them even. One thing these people envy about the third world is their wanton use of the death penalty.The fact that the accused rapists they lynch or execute in many of those countries in response to western hype over rapes are often given nothing resembling a fair trial is beside the point. You will even here lefty feminist types discussing bringing back the death penalty for rape.

        1. ^ I’ve never heard this and I’m not sure I believe you. Leftists are generally vehemently against the death penalty, and I’ve never heard them argue for a rape exception.

          1. http://www.debate.org/opinions…..th-penalty

            Although I did just find a website where 78% of respondents argued rape should get the death penalty. So…really not sure what to think.

            1. That seems like a good way to make sure rape victims become murder victims.

    2. “How is taking a serious criminal matter… a harmful thing?”

      Simple answer… it reduces the likelihood that someone will be publicly declared a rapist and punished. That is the school’s goal; they feel the need to demonstrate that they caught and punished the bad guy and therefore made campus safe again. Presumption of innocence makes that more difficult and therefore they see it as a harmful thing.

      The guilt or innocence of one accused student (or the existence of an *actual* crime) is irrelevant compared to soothing the community fear that a rapist may be wandering free among them.

  5. Imagine a situation where a young women person is sexually assaulted, and it has to go through the state judicial process,” said Mark Koepsell, who heads the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, which represents faculty and administrators. “Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrator is walking around campus.

    Fucking due process, how does it work?

  6. You know, if these gals just want to lynch a rapist, they could always just travel to India.

    PROTIP: Nagaland is the only predominately Baptist state in the world with a higher percentage of Baptists than Mississippi.

    1. Dude! The “falcon capital of the world!”

    2. So just to make clear, you’re saying the lynchers are Baptists?

      1. There’s a 75 percent chance, yes.

        I just thought it was a cool fact about the region, though.

      2. Don’t be smug, Eddie. Your sect has a quite impressive body count, too, just not as recently.

    3. That’s scary.

  7. Right now, school “disciplinary boards can take action, including suspensions or expulsions, far more quickly than courts and, unlike criminal proceedings, don’t require a finding ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,'” Glovin notes.

    Interestingly, the same was true of Stalin’s show trials.

    “Imagine a situation where a young women is sexually assaulted, and it has to go through the state judicial process,” said Mark Koepsell, who heads the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, which represents faculty and administrators. “Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrator is walking around campus.”

    These people really are opposed to the idea of the presumption of innocence and the the burden of proof rests with the person asserting the claim. The vagina is holy and sacred, as is the being attached to it. Nobody would EVER lie about rape as they would about all of those other crimes that happen primarily to men.

    1. Suggesting that women also do a bad thing (like lie or misremember) that it is commonly accepted men do is sexist. Somehow. Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure it’s sexist to suggest that women have assholes.

    2. Well, the rapist is only walking around campus if he makes bail.

  8. “The Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee, or ‘FratPAC’.”

    Where is the S for Sorority?

    1. Something tells me fraternities started the PAC, Panhellenic joined it and they wanted to keep the brand going.

      1. They call themselves “FSPAC” for short: http://www.fspac.org/news/decade_of_action/

        1. Ah. Then I guess they just wanted the catchy “Rat Pack” branding.

  9. How is taking a serious criminal matter out of the hands of people untrained and unequipped to deal with it and turning it over to people who investigate such matters with regularity a harmful thing?

    Because these people don’t really give a shit about rape. If they did, just the supposed 1-in-5 statistic should make them say that campuses should be shut down immediately. But they don’t, because they know that stat is bullshit too. It’s an absurd power play against people they hate in a childish, highschoolish way. And relegating this to the legal system doesn’t allow them to try and exercise that power and see the people they hate punished without due process.

    1. If the one and five stat were true, there would be wards full college girl rape victims suffering from PTSD and mental breakdowns. They of course don’t believe it like you say.

      1. Indeed, if one does the arithmetic, the 1-in-5 stat would result in millions of rape victims.

      2. If they really believed that stat, they would be either calling for colleges to be shut down, or for full-on armed security swarming everywhere.

    2. Just bring back in loco parentis at this point. Curfews, Expulsion for lewd and drunken behavior. Same for pre-marital sex. Sure it’s patronizing but it worked after a fashion.

    3. And relegating this to the legal system doesn’t allow them to try and exercise that power and see the people they hate punished without due process.

      Of course, it never occurs to them that the screw can again turn and all the protection due process would afford them will be gone.

    4. Or they believe that all women are victims of rape; that sex “in our misogynist society” is inherently conducted in the face of a power imbalance, and that coercion therefore is always implicit, and that all women are either subconsciously traumatized, even they don’t realize it (Stockholm syndrome). In short, all women are rape victims and all men are rapists.

      The 1 in 4, 1 in 5 claims are just attempts to Trojan horse that Dworkinesque notion of all women as victims, all men rapists, into the mainstream discourse.

  10. From the Slate article: “FratPAC is singling out sexual assault as the only crime they want universities to handle in this way. Underage drinking, drug dealing, burglary, assault?all of these actions break both school rules and the law, but FratPAC is not asking universities to wait for the criminal courts to adjudicate these crimes before punishing the students for breaking their corresponding school rules.”

    Shot in the dark here but maybe – hear me out here – MAYBE this has something to do with the fact that this is because rape is the one crime the administration and these SJWs have such a hard-on to deprive the accused of their due process rights?

    1. Exactly. It’s a Kafkaesque situation. Amanda and her buddies have used sexual assault for political reasons and have attempted to deprive men (and particularly those evil men who join fraternities) of their due process rights. Then when they try to defend themselves by arguing that colleges shouldn’t even be involved in this situation, people like Marcotte declare that this attempt at self-defense is evidence of rape culture.

      1. Curious to know how, in their minds, one becomes a ‘good man.’ You can’t defend yourself against accusations of rape because even if you’re innocent, you’re still somehow defending rape, So should we all just confess to every rape ever committed to demonstrate our innocence? Why is it that reading feminist screeds makes me feel like I’m reading Kubla Kahn or another of Wordworth’s more opium-influenced works?

        1. Wordsworth. not wordworth. Dammit.

          1. And actually Coleridge, rather than either of those.

      2. SJW: “You’re a rapist.”
        Accused: “No I’m not.”
        SJW: “DENIER!”

        (and the world burns)

    2. Is the feferal government attempting to force a national standard on how colleges deal with stidents accused of those other kind of crimes? When one side politicizes something, one shpuld not feign surprise when opponents combat it through political means.

      1. I’m not aware of the DoJ or the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Education threatening the shit out of colleges and universities over any of the other crimes that Amanda Marcotte lists in her Slate article, no.

  11. If certain groups want a way to “deal with” sexual assaults outside of the criminal justice system with a lower evidentiary standard, why aren’t they going to the civil courts? Assualt is both a crime and a tort. Concerned campus groups could help victims get legal representation, and that would be a heck of a lot more helpful than trying to get the university to adjudicate sexual assaults.

    1. How much could you collect from the average college kid? Half a bottle of George Dickle and a hacky sack?

      1. “I’m duly entitled to damages in the amount of 50% of your bong collection.”

      2. Enough. Structured settlement over 10 or 15 years after graduation. It would be like a second student loan payment.

  12. “Imagine!, a situation where someone can be accused of a crime and not receive punishment for it until they’re proven guilty.”

    No! No!!!

  13. “A typical example of the Cardassian approach to life was found in their jurisprudence and criminal trials, in which the verdict was always determined beforehand – guilty – and the purpose of the proceedings was not justice in the Human sense but bringing the offender to recognize the power and benevolence of the State…Consequently, charges against the accused were announced at the commencement of the trial itself, the execution date was set in advance and only the offender’s spouse as well as the court-assigned nestor and counsel could attend the trial. When Benjamin Sisko once asked Gul Dukat why bother with a trial at all, Dukat responded that the people demanded it as they enjoyed watching “justice triumph over evil”. The notion that they might try an innocent man by mistake was foreign to them as they believed in and always operated under the assumption that “Cardassians don’t make mistakes”. The typical Cardassian approach, therefore, was direct, simple, and ruthless, uncaring about how many aliens ? or Cardassians ? were trampled in the interests of the state.”
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Cardassian

  14. Yet another Reason story that takes the side that benefits rapists. There have been so many of them, I am beginning to think you guys support rape because you see restraints on it as a violation of your right to have whatever sex you want. Libertarians with their pseudo-liberty ideas cannot get traction with the rest of the population because other people sense your commitment to debauchery and don’t want any part of it for themselves or their loved ones.

    Let me remind you that there is no such thing as a right to a university education. Universities can have whatever policy they think is appropriate. They are not slaves. They don’t have to retain and educate any student against their will.

    1. As soon as public universities quit taking public money and become private universities then they can have whatever policies they want.

  15. This is so simple. Any felony arrest gets the student suspended. Any felony conviction gets the student expelled. Done and done.

    1. Still not getting the whole due process thing, are ya?

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