If I was a parent with a child about to enter college, I’d be very careful in the selection process.

KC Johnson of Minding the Campus reports.

At Swarthmore, “A Very Low Bar” to Deem Students a Rapist

Parents considering sending the child to Swarthmore College no longer can claim they weren’t warned.

The Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer had a lengthy and quite well-done article examining the increasing lawsuits filed by students accused of sexual assault who were victimized by a lack of due process in campus disciplinary proceedings. Most of the cases the article covers (Swartmore, Xavier, St. Joe’s—whose case despite the article’s suggestion still remains alive in federal court) will be familiar to Minding the Campus readers. But reporters Jeremy Roebuck and Susan Snyder obtained a remarkable quote from retired Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice Jane Greenspan, who Swarthmore hired to preside over its sexual assault disciplinary system.

Greenspan wouldn’t tell the Inquirer whether she thought it was appropriate that students be branded rapists based on the preponderance of evidence threshold, but both she and Swarthmore made clear that she would use the standard. But she described it as “a very low bar.” Somehow I doubt Swarthmore will be including this (correct) admission in any of its promotional material.

The Inquirer piece also examined a case I haven’t covered, at Philadelphia University. There, an accused student named Anthony Villar declined to participate in the process, in part because his attorney was excluded. Huffed attorneys for the school, “Villar’s lawsuit suggests that during an internal administrative disciplinary process, he was entitled to the rights of a criminal defendant.”

Consider the impact of the school’s action. Having been deemed a rapist, many schools won’t (understand) accept Villar as a transfer student. Many professions (any, basically, that require a background check) will be foreclosed to him.