It’s a wonder there’s any time for actual learning at many American colleges today, given the social justice issues — and more — that are swirling around the campuses. Take the legal issues at the campus of the University of South California (USC) in Los Angeles.
USC is under federal investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) due to a complaint that some educational programs were biased against male students. Four USC initiatives are being examined, including the Smart Women’s Securities chapter and the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) chapter.
The university for years let gynecologist George Tyndall continue treating students at the campus health clinic despite numerous complaints about his behavior, as the Los Angeles Times first reported in May. He is now under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Now, there are reports USC has been ordered to pay an unidentified male student $11,965 in court costs after a judge found that the university had conducted a biased investigation against him.
The male student, identified in court documents only as John Doe, was investigated for allegedly assaulting a female student; the university then expelled him. After Doe brought legal action against the university, the court discovered that USC had taken an “adversarial position” against him, as Campus Reform noted.
Judge Elizabeth Allen White rendered the judgment in late June. One of the most disturbing court findings is that the male student in question and his adviser were referred to as “mother f***ers” by USC Title IX officers. The lawsuit alleged the officers referred to the female student who claimed the assault as “cute,” “intelligent” and “a catch.”
The judge determined that “USC did not allow the male student to review all evidence against him, withheld contradictory information from its initial report against the male student, and failed to interview a potential first-hand witness to the alleged assault.”
Judge White in her ruling also suggested that male students may benefit from the decision because of its implication for due process rights at universities.
“The Court also finds that a significant non-pecuniary [pain and suffering] benefit has been conferred upon a large class of persons — namely, individuals at USC who are accused of violating USC’s sexual misconduct policy where a Title IX investigation is conducted,” the ruling said.
“In granting the petition, this court found, among other things, that, not only was USC’s Title IX Office improperly biased against petitioner … but also that USC’s Title IX coordinator held an adversarial position in relation to petitioner, rendering her advisory role with the purportedly neutral Student Equity Review Panel improper,” it continued.
LifeZette reached out to the university for comment.
“The judge’s finding was based on the specifics of this particular investigation, and it is being re-done in accordance with the judge’s order,” a university spokesperson told LifeZette by email. “No broader issues were identified. USC’s policies are administered in fairness to all parties with decisions based on the evidence.”
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 holds that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos withdrew Obama-era campus sexual-assault guidance in September 2017.
“This interim guidance will help schools as they work to combat sexual misconduct and will treat all students fairly,” DeVos said in a statement. “Schools must continue to confront these horrific crimes and behaviors head-on. There will be no more sweeping them under the rug. But the process also must be fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes.”