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Columbia’s New Gender-Based Misconduct Policy For Students


President Bollinger has announced Columbia University’s newest Gender-Based Misconduct Policy for Students, which can be found here. We’ll try to break down his email, which mostly mimics what was sent out a few days ago by deans, below:

  • Goals of the policy:  “to strengthen confidence in the University’s handling of reports of sexual assault and other gender-based misconduct, to ensure fairness for all parties involved, and to provide more assistance to students in need.”
  • Improving key personnel: students will no longer serve on hearing panels, and advisors or attorneys may now accompany students to any meetings or hearings related to investigations.
  • Navigation: Case managers will guide students (both “complainants” and “respondents”) through the process, and help with living arrangements.
  • Logistics: They’ve added six new staff members to the Office of Sexual Violence Response and will open a new Rape Crisis Center location on the seventh floor of Lerner. Undergraduate orientation training has been “expanded.” PrezBo reminds us that Suzanne Goldberg is his new “special advisor.”
  • Pats on the back: “Today’s new policy is one among many reforms we have initiated to try to deal with what is most certainly a national issue.”

Yes, this is a national issue, and this is a new policy, but much of it is the same. Appeals (page 17-18) will continue to be made to the dean of the respondent’s school, and the timeframe for resolving reports is still 60 days, yet there is no check placed on this (page 12). We’ll be looking into the more minute differences between the new policy and the old policy (as updated in August 2013), and will update accordingly.

Update (11:20 am): The introduction from DSpar’s email to Barnard is also included below.

Update (11:35 am): See a statement from several student groups, calling it “misrepresentative for Columbia to characterize these reforms as a response to student concerns,” below. The letter expresses disappointment that the Executive Vice President of Student Affairs did not get to oversee the process, and that student input was not considered. It continues: “The policy does not guarantee accommodations like housing and academic changes for survivors, it does not establish clear or useful sanctioning guidelines, it does not sufficiently improve the training for staff members who interact with survivors, and it leaves the appeals process in the hands of Deans with no expertise, inadequate training, and a clear bias.”

President Bollinger’s statement:

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:
I am writing today to announce a new University Gender-Based Misconduct Policy for Students and related procedures for responding to such misconduct.  This can be accessed at:  Our goals underlying the new policy are principally these: to strengthen confidence in the University’s handling of reports of sexual assault and other gender-based misconduct, to ensure fairness for all parties involved, and to provide more assistance to students in need.  The changes we’ve made also reflect recent guidance from the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and federal legislation, as well as our own community’s recommendations.  I strongly encourage everyone to take the time to understand the new University policy and the procedures it outlines.  Throughout the coming year, we will continue to discuss ways to improve our policy.  Everyone’s ideas are welcome and valuable in achieving the ultimate end here, which is to make Columbia a place where students feel safe, respected, and fully able to experience the extraordinary education and social opportunities the institution provides.  
A significant component of the new Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, which deserves special note, involves various steps to improve the key personnel responsible for its implementation.  Our investigators will be taking on a larger role in determining credibility and responsibility, and they will possess the requisite professional background and training to do so.  Individuals serving on the hearing panels will be drawn from a designated pool of Columbia professionals with expertise in student life who have been tasked with this duty as part of their job.  (Consistent with federal guidance, students will no longer serve on these panels.)  And advisors, including an attorney if a student so chooses, may now accompany students who are parties to the investigative and disciplinary process at all hearings and official meetings. 
A related development concerns case managers employed by the Gender-Based Misconduct Office.  The presence of these case managers will provide complainants and respondents with a University staff member dedicated to helping them navigate this difficult process, access available support services, and secure necessary accommodations regarding their academic work and residential living arrangements. 
Yet, I also want to stress that, as important as the policy and personnel changes are, they represent only one element of a comprehensive University effort begun in the spring semester and continued through the summer to prevent and respond to sexual assault and other forms of gender-based misconduct.  Six new staff positions have been created in the Office of Sexual Violence Response (SVR), including an assistant director to be located at the University Medical Center.  A new and larger Sexual Violence Response and Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center will officially open later this month on the seventh floor of Lerner Hall (in addition to the existing Hewitt Hall office on the Barnard campus), providing a private yet accessible location for students in need of support and services.  The training we mandate for incoming undergraduates on consent, respect, and the importance of bystander intervention has been expanded and will be carried into the school year.  Helping to drive these initiatives forward is Suzanne Goldberg, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, who last month I named as my special advisor on these matters.
So, today’s new policy is one among many reforms we have initiated to try to deal with what is most certainly a national issue and—of greater importance to us—a Columbia University issue.  I have always said, and will do so again, that our responses to this (or any other serious matter) should be guided by our own internal standards of character and basic norms of proper conduct, consistent of course with the law and public policy, but always seeking far more of ourselves than what may be commonly asked. 
Lee C. Bollinger

DSpar’s introduction:

Dear members of the Barnard community,

Below is an important announcement from President Bollinger regarding Columbia’s updated Gender-Based Misconduct Policy. I urge you to read through the information carefully, as it details new and enhanced measures intended to reduce the number of incidents to zero, and to make the University a safer and more respectful place overall.

We at Barnard support these efforts and are optimistic about the plans underway. As a member of the Barnard community, you should know that all of the existing resources and services on our campus remain in place. Amy Zavadil, Associate Dean for Equity & Title IX Coordinator, is our central point of contact and ready to provide guidance and information to any student, faculty, or staff member. Over the summer, she has been working closely with a dedicated subcommittee of the Student Government Association to expand programming and training, such as bystander intervention workshops, that will help our entire community identify and respond to dangerous or unwelcome situations, for ourselves and others. Dean Zavadil will also continue to collaborate with her counterparts at Columbia on prevention, as well as implementation of the updated University policy. You can find more information about Barnard’s policies and resources at

This issue is a top priority for me and my team, and we remain committed to improving and expanding our efforts throughout this academic year, and for as long as it takes.


Debora Spar

Student response:

August 14th, 2014 ­­

Today, Columbia University announced a new policy for responding to sexual assault, domestic violence, and gender­based misconduct on campus. We are deeply troubled that this policy was drafted without input from students and fails to address the serious and urgent concerns raised by survivors and concerned students over the past year. This is unacceptable.

It is misrepresentative for Columbia to characterize these reforms as a response to student concerns. It is clear from both the content of the new policy and the process by which it was developed that this revision was largely an effort to ensure their baseline compliance with the recently enacted Campus SaVE Act and D.O.E. regulations. This policy does not reflect students’ needs, and changes made are not adequate to ensure student safety.

Over the last year, survivors and organizers have made national headlines exposing the systemic failure of Columbia University to support survivors and address sexual violence on our campus. Throughout this period, students have diligently attempted to create an open dialogue with administrators to reform our Gender­-Based Misconduct Policy. We have submitted pages of policy proposals, spoken out in town halls, and organized protests. We have made pleas for reform on national television and the front pages of newspapers. We have repeatedly requested meetings with top administrators­­–the same administrators who collaborated in the development of this new policy. All of these requests and proposals have been rejected or ignored.

Several students were explicitly told by multiple top administrators that a policy review would not and could not take place until a new Executive Vice President of Student Affairs was appointed to oversee the process, but assured us that student voices would be heard once this review began. This did not happen. Ten graduate and undergraduate students were called in to a brief, secret meeting two days before the policy was released and asked to respond to a summary of the already-­finalized revisions, thanked for their ideas, and then dismissed.

Our goal is and always has been to work with the administration — ­­ including President Bollinger, Jeri Henry, and Melissa Rooker, who were central to the development of this policy­­ to address these critical concerns. Instead, we have been stonewalled, misled, and deliberately excluded from the revision process. Thus far, their refusal to meaningfully engage with students and their failure to respond to our concerns has made constructive communication impossible.

Essential student concerns have not been meaningfully addressed in the new policy. For example, this policy does not guarantee accommodations like housing and academic changes for survivors, it does not establish clear or useful sanctioning guidelines, it does not sufficiently improve the training for staff members who interact with survivors, and it leaves the appeals process in the hands of Deans with no expertise, inadequate training, and a clear bias. Students have been raising these concerns and many others for months, yet this policy does nothing to address them.

These oversights might have been avoided if student voices had been included in this process. With this in mind, we call on the President’s office to meet with student survivors and organizers immediately, openly, and regularly to discuss ways to reform Columbia’s policies and procedures for responding to sexual assault. It is imperative that students have meaningful, accessible, and open channels of communication with decision­makers, a clear process for formally proposing changes to the policy. We call on Dean of Judicial Affairs Jeri Henry, Title IX Coordinator Melissa Rooker, Special Advisor Suzanne Goldberg, and the Office of Gender-­Based Misconduct to begin working with students immediately to develop effective, accessible channels of communication and actively include students in any current or future conversations about policy reforms.

We are currently reviewing the policy in detail and will offer a comprehensive assessment in the coming days. We strongly encourage other students to read and review the changes as well, and fill out this survey to voice their feedback on the new policy.

Each day that Columbia University fails to address pervasive sexual violence on campus, our safety as students and our integrity as a community is threatened. When will Columbia University make ending sexual violence on campus a top priority? What must we do to make our voices heard?

No Red Tape Columbia
The Coalition Against Sexual Violence
Columbia Alumni Allied Against Sexual Assault
Title IX Team
Take Back The Night of Barnard College at Columbia University

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  • Heisenberg says:

    @Heisenberg If you read this it is quite apparent that this policy is BS, punishes the 99% of guys who are innocent to try to ensure they get the few guilty people. Classic Columbia overreacting to the liberal students and pandering to the media at the expense of the innocent.

    1. now maybe i got a C in math says:

      @now maybe i got a C in math but i’m pretty sure it’s far from “99% of guys who are innocent.” more like, as any actual source will back up, far less than 5%. and no, r/MRA is not an “actual source,” any more than “out of your ass.”

      if you want to rape people with impunity to live out your ultimate white hetero entitled dudebro fantasy, just ask your dad to get you into Dartmouth

      1. Heisenberg says:

        @Heisenberg I happen to have a friend who was falsely accused because of this BS process. So be high and mighty all you want but shouldnt your ultimate latina lesbian check yo privilege feminist fantasy be protecting the innocent.

        1. What we need is better consent education says:

          @What we need is better consent education It’s very possible your friend was innocent AND guilty at the same time.

          Our culture of sexual macho-ness pushes men to be “good in bed”, or adopt qualities that constitute rapists (e.g. taking lead, not asking for permission, being strong and forceful). If it’s not 1000% clear that your partner is enthusiastically consenting, you might be raping him or her. I feel sadness for men and for women that that is the climate we live in. This means it might be very obvious to your partner that he/she was raped, while you may have absolutely no clue that you raped someone. It is not your fault and it is not their fault. But you still made someone feel vulnerable and powerless, and experience a debilitating loss of bodily autonomy that will affect them in all aspects of their life for a lifetime. This is why it is important to always always always communicate with your partner! Not just before, but during and after! If you have sex with another human being, you must take on responsibility for their emotional and physical well-being. It might seem “unsexy”, but it is the only way to ensure you are not a rapist.

          1. Anonymous says:

            @Anonymous Seeing as men are the only ones capable under these definitions of committing sexual assault, when then is a woman responsible?
            Better yet, what is the penalty for a false accusation? Mandatory expulsion is what it should be. Oh, wait, that’s difficult to prove… What if they make a mistake and kick out an actual survivor. Oops, too bad. Welcome to the male world.

          2. What we need is better consent education says:

            @What we need is better consent education [Replying to anonymous below–the reply button is cut off]

            Men AREN’T the only ones capable of committing sexual assault. But our current sexual climate says it’s sexy for men to be the forceful alpha, and sexy for women to take it (passively). So basically society is grooming you to be a rapist. If you do not want to be one, it’s up to you to counteract that culture and make sure your parters are equal and involved.

            I know [at least] 3 survivors whose rapists do not know they committed rape. I can guarantee you if they were ever brought to trial they would legitimately believe they were innocent.

            As for false accusations? If you pick you partner wisely, communicate constantly, and respect their wishes vigorously, your chances of any accusation–false or not–will decrease dramatically.

            Also, I think you misinterpreted my comments as applying only to men. Untrue. As a woman, I have also stepped back before and thought “Wow I am being really coercive right now. I need to respect his boundaries”. Introspection and respect for one’s partner are the responsibility of all people who choose to be sexually active. If you cannot care for another human being, please do not involve one in your sexual exploits. You can get off on your own just fine.

          3. peoplism not feminism says:

            @peoplism not feminism Responding to “we need more consent education.” Did you read what you just wrote? “I can guarantee you if they were ever brought to trial they would legitimately believe they were innocent.” Now, read it again. Seriously. Don’t you think you’ve abused the definition, stretching it a bit too far when these alleged rapists do not even recognize the act of rape? Do you see how ridiculous that sounds?

            To clear up your confusion, I can tell you what rape is and what it isnt. Firstly, it is not drunk sex. If it were, that means you’re a rapist too, because chances are you’ve had drunk sex. (You disgust me!) Not so fair, is it. Now, examples of rape are: sex with the threat of violence. For example, a woman grabs a man’s genitals while wielding a gun.

            I know you’re young, and when you get to my age, your obvious logical lapses will be apparent. But for now, remember to think with your brain, and not with your emotions. No amount of ruined lives of athletes or scholars will makeup for the pain an ex boyfriend caused you.

          4. Anonymous says:

            @Anonymous Responding to “peoplism not feminism”

            Drunk sex isn’t rape, but sex without consent is. If you’re gambling on implied consent, you’re betting your happy life as an athlete scholar that your parter feels exactly the way you think he/she feels at all times. That is laughable!

            Also, if a women followed my advice of absolute communication and attendance to her partner’s autonomy, she would only “grabs a man’s genitals while wielding a gun” after he explicitly expressed the desire for it. And she would periodically check thereafter that he still desires it. Listen to your partner and you, too, can avoid raping your partner!

          5. Something to consider says:

            @Something to consider The national survey of rape conducted by Koss et al. revealed that 1 in 12 college men committed acts that met the legal definition of rape, and of those men, 84% did not consider their actions to be illegal.

        2. Victim blamer says:

          @Victim blamer Your friend was probably drunk and made a bad decision to sleep with someone he shouldn’t have. Also he obviously wouldn’t have gotten convicted if he didn’t give off such rapey vibes. Tell your friend to stop drinking and dressing like a rapist.

      2. Todos Los hombres says:

        @Todos Los hombres Hey pretty lady, why don’t you smile?

    2. Schrödinger says:

      @Schrödinger Actually, the policy change to allow lawyers into respondent meetings is an important one that makes life much easier on the accused party.

      1. check it says:

        @check it dat umlaut doe

    3. peoplism not feminism says:

      @peoplism not feminism it’s so ironic that feminists try to revoke civil liberties by invoking the title ix clause. Especially when they ask to refuse the equal treatment of due process to male’s for the sole benefit of women. I’m actually quite happy with how the administration has responded to the blatantly sexist policy – now, the biased student panel has been eliminated in favor of a panel of trained professionals. Additionally, students can bring legal counsel. Yet, we are a long way from equality. Until men can walk on this campus without the threat of one false-accusation destroy their lives, we still have work to do. that’s true equality – not special privilege at the expense of men.

  • friendlyneighborhoodsource says:

    @friendlyneighborhoodsource From page 5 of “Columbia University’s Gender-Based Misconduct Policy For Students”:

    “For purposes of illustration, the following list sets forth examples of conduct that could constitute gender-based misconduct under those definitions:

    • Coercion for a date or a romantic or intimate relationship

    • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging

    • Use of unwanted force in connection with sexual activity or attempted sexual activity

    • Sexual contact with a person who has not clearly consented

    • Unwelcome remarks about the private parts of a person’s body

    • Belittling remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation based on gender-stereotyping

    • Videotaping or photographing of activity of a sexual or private nature without the consent of the person(s) being videotaped or photographed

    • Obscene gestures of a sexual or gender-based nature

    • Graffiti concerning the sexual activity of another person

    • Use of email, the Internet, or other forms of digital media to facilitate any of the behaviors listed above”

    Source: Gender Based Misconduct_JL_F.pdf

  • Here's the thing says:

    @Here's the thing No Red Tape (the largest supplier of red tape on campus) et al will never be pleased. It is one thing to say “there is always room for improvement/progress”, but it is entirely another to say “we’ll protest and chant and petition no matter what changes are made”, and these groups are clearly taking the latter approach.

    1. The thing is says:

      @The thing is Columbia released this policy with ZERO input from students. No Red Tape and the Coalition on Sexual Violence have spent the last year coming up with specific demands and policy proposals that were completely ignored by the administration in their new policy. So yes, they’re going to protest, because the policy is not what they have been spending their time fighting for; it is simply another publicity move by the university to try to pretend like they’re fixing the problem.

      1. Um says:

        @Um The irony is that the groups make the technocratic claim that Valentini and the other deans shouldn’t get to be the appeals handler because, among other things, they aren’t qualified/trained. If Valentini and Co. aren’t qualified to consider an appeal, then these undergraduates aren’t qualified to make policy proposals (or to use your incredibly arrogant term, “demands”).

        1. The thing is says:

          @The thing is The members of NRT and CASV include a number of survivors who have actually been through Columbia’s process. Moreover, these aren’t just random students, they are students who have made it their mission to research and learn about this issue in order to change something. Many of them are trained peer counselors, trained consent educators, etc. So yes, they are qualified. I’m not saying let them write the whole policy, but I am saying to listen to their input. They have spent a year developing a very well-researched list of possible policy changes, so to disregard them for being “unqualified” is absurd.

          1. Um says:

            @Um To say that the admins didn’t consider those proposals when writing this policy packet is crazy. Some of their ideas and sentiments clearly made it into the official rules. They’re just making the mistake of equating ‘not getting everything’ with ‘being ignored and getting nothing’.

  • People need to stop complaining says:

    @People need to stop complaining At least they’re doing something. Give them some time. Anyone in the software industry knows the importance of iterative development and just getting a baseline commit out there. Now it’s time to work with the students to shape things as necessary, but students also have to understand how much goes on behind the scenes to run such a large, private university. This is clearly an important issue that needs to be discussed, but it cannot be the only thing that admin works on for weeks on end. Largescale policy changes take time and we need to accept that.

    1. Funny you say that says:

      @Funny you say that If you look through the archives of Spectator, even the NYT, you’ll find that this exact same conversation has happened about every 5 to 10 years since the 70s. The last one happened in around 2010, when the class of ’13 were freshmen, so current students don’t remember it.

      Each wave brings up pretty much the same issues each time, because administrators rely on summer breaks and activist turnover to let the movement die out. So what happens is students make noise, the administration issues some statements, sets up a new website, makes some cosmetic changes, maybe sets up an “exploratory committee,” and then people feel like things are going in the right direction, that we should give them a chance, that those activists should just shut up already and wait patiently for huge changes to happen. But eventually the statements peter out, the students graduate, and the committee stops meeting, and we enter the cycle again.

      Are there some good changes in this? Sure. But lying to students and shutting them out of the process is a really bad sign, and there are a lot of important things missing from this policy. To think that we should all just sit back and hush up when we keep seeing evidence of the admin’s shady reform efforts (hellooo, Bacchanal cancellation, anyone?) is feeding that cycle that we really, REALLY need to break.

      1. CS Major '10 says:

        @CS Major '10 Yep, I remember this bombshell from 2010

        And how absolutely nothing happened.

        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous should note that the case found the accused at fault and a dean just voided the penalty

    2. CS Major '10 says:

      @CS Major '10 Oh Lord, please let’s not make laws like we make our software. Justice for sexual abuse is not a lean startup.

    3. lol says:

      @lol Is it just me or are tech dudes the worst kinds of mansplainers

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous All hail the STEMlords, kings of mansplaining

        1. peoplism not feminism says:

          @peoplism not feminism no food stamps for you.

          1. peoplism not feminism says:

            @peoplism not feminism I meant don’t bite the hand that feeds you, especially when your walls built from the mortar of a gender studies degree come crumbling down.

  • Mr. Sanity says:

    @Mr. Sanity “we’ll protest and chant and petition no matter what changes are made”

    That is exactly right. And anything less than the exact things that these red tape infants demand is, of course, “unacceptable”….. Why the endless tone of superority? Is Columbia not politically correct enough for you? Really?

    And then there is the fact that this is literally the ONLY alleged crime where you would not give a shit about the rights of the accused. Terrorists caught on videotape deserve to live in country clubs and have the very best free lawyers, but just get accused of any gender misconduct and your life is over without any reasonable legal process.

    Obnoxious, superior, 21st century fascists…..

  • Just remember, frosh says:

    @Just remember, frosh *Do not* drop the soap

    1. That comment was says:

      @That comment was perhaps in poor taste.

  • hey guys says:

    @hey guys Remember how three days ago everyone was “rallying around” the activists because they said that Bacchanal getting canceled was the exact opposite of what they wanted?

    Now they’re saying with even greater fervor that they’ve been terribly misled and marginalized and given the opposite of what they wanted—comprehensive and inclusive policy reform—and suddenly they’re crybabies again!

    Anyone want to call the New York Times?


  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I hate everything about this conversation.

  • People need to stop complaining says:

    @People need to stop complaining The worst kinds of people are the ones that assume only guys are in tech… given the subject nature of this dialogue, it’s pretty hypocritical to assume I’m a “dude”

    1. People need to stop complaining says:

      @People need to stop complaining Sorry, this was meant as a reply to ‘lol’ – “Is it just me or are tech dudes the worst kinds of mansplainers”

      Side note to bwog, it would be nice if the comment/reply status remained the same when the page refreshes automatically after an incorrect captcha. Hard to notice that your comment will no longer be seen as a reply to the one you actually want.

    2. sorry says:

      @sorry i guess people assumed you were a tech dude because you said the kind of sycophantic, needlessly-devil’s-advocating thing a tech dude would say

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous The “compromise and get something/stay pure and demand our due” debate is as old as injustice. Everyone’s a cowardly appeaser to someone, and a radical extremist to someone else, even if they all want the same thing.

  • Comrade says:

    @Comrade Bollinger’s new office of Sexual Violence Response has an oddly appealing acronym (SVR) that is wholly appropriate for a secretive and terrifying bureaucracy with arbitrary powers of arrest, detention, prosecution, and punishment.

    The SVR, after all, is also the short-form name for Vladimir Putin’s Foreign Intelligence Service, established in 1991 as the successor to the KGB.

    1. Virgilio says:

      @Virgilio (I did not write the above post, nor do I find it sensical.)

    2. A guy says:

      @A guy Uh, no. The successor to the KGB is the FSB. So I don’t know what you are talking about.

      1. Historian says:

        @Historian You’re both right. The KGB was broken up in 1991. The internal security apparatus was continued by the FSB. The external security and foreign intelligence function was taken over by the SVR.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Columbia is the only ivy or major univeristy to do anything on this issue this summer. No other school has made any progress or statements. Thank you Columbia.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous What the? Are you joking? Are you with Bollinger’s PR office? Do you read the news? Harvard, for one, is far, far ahead on this issue. But don’t take my word for it. Look it up.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Harvard has done absolutely nothing, and is in the process of writing a new policy. Nothing has been released.

        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous That’s not true. Visit the website for the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response at Harvard. You will see they have accomplished a lot more than we have–actual engagement from the campus community; real organization. There’s no comparison.

  • First-Year says:

    @First-Year I’m not going to act that I have a great deal of knowledge regarding this topic but I think it’s pretty great that administration is making an effort during a break. As an incoming first-year I haven’t seen first-hand how the campus is affected by this increasing problem but before arriving at school administration has tried to inform my class on the gender-based misconduct policy and has devoted a large amount of time during NSOP to brief us on the issue. I understand how many students can still be upset, especially due to the fact that no students were asked to help draft the policy, but at least effort is being put forth. It’s juvenile to think that things are going to change completely and become perfect (just look at what’s going on in Ferguson if you think this society is good at making progress). We need to work at the root of this problem to begin to spark change because as long as there are people coming into this school with the goal of partying and hooking up (take a glance at the 2018 class page, those people exist), there will always be an issue regarding sexual violence.

    1. um says:

      @um Dude, administrators technically work year round, so this is part of their damn jobs anyhow. AND student groups have been working with them and practically writing half of their shit for them since January.

  • Big Tom says:

    @Big Tom Rape: Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened ;)

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Just kind of curious – what kind of reforms are the student activists proposing? The Columbia edits seem kind of comprehensive and I’m not sure what else the student groups want changed, to be honest.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous They linked it after the jump in blue.

  • I am but a humble engineer says:

    @I am but a humble engineer and walls of text confuse me.

    Am I correct in reading that the changes still leave in effect the system where a large bureaucracy has hearings and interviews, and produces a report that makes a recommendation to the deans, who then throw it out the window and do whatever the fuck they want?

    If they make every case end up the way they want it, then there’s no system.

  • hysteria says:

    @hysteria There wasn’t even a word in the student groups’ response message congratulating the university for implementing a new policy (addressing most of the concerns they had in the first place). There are only tiny parts of their initial demands that are missing in the university’s policy, but they make it sound like the university has done nothing! These groups need to grow up and learn that change is incremental, and to be celebrated at each step.

    I guess they know that they won’t be on “national television and the front pages of newspapers” once their hysteria dies down.

  • STEMLORD 32kModem Beta says:

    @STEMLORD 32kModem Beta I just wish they didn’t call plaintiffs in sexual assault cases or people who claim to have been sexually assaulted ‘survivors.’ That’s the language of prejudgement.

    Guys/gals should probably look into what they can do legally when they’re hit with this sort of accusation. You shouldn’t wait until No Red Tape gets their way and your record is thrashed on a whim because some putz thought “a preponderance of evidence” was a good enough standard to be found guilty of sexual assault.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous John Doe vs Columbia University, m8

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous In other news, there are one million more important things going on at the university…

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Yes, you’re right. There are. This may just be the one that broke the camel’s back.

    2. lol says:

      @lol Yeah, like Fall Bacchanal getting canceled. *Faints again from sheer displeasure*

  • Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy All I hope is that this policy change will result in the guilty being punished and the innocent being exonerated…

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous It is a very difficult situation as the overwhelming number of the “assault” victims and assailants know each other or have had relationships. Also many people redact and change their stories, so it becomes complicated.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous That’s not true. Visit the website for the Harvard Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response ( Then compare it to ours. This is just one example.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous That’s not true. Visit the website for the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response at Harvard. You will see they have accomplished a lot more than we have–actual engagement from the campus community; real organization. There’s no comparison.

    1. Harvard says:

      @Harvard …is the best at many things.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bollinger looks ridiculous in that picture tho

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