Letter to the editor: Administration shows double-standard with lack of punishment
- May. 8, 2012
- 3 Comments
After having read the article about a University employee charged with raping his 20-year old daughter and him still employed, I was angry. Not angry that he is employed after being charged, no. He is innocent until proven guilty. I’m upset with the University and its staff sending a conflicting statement to students.
I sat as the Student Rights Chair for Student Senate this year. During that time, Dr. Jane Tuttle and Nick Kehrwald, Assistant Vice Provost of Student Affairs and the Student Conduct Officer, respectively, presented the committee with proposed changes to the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities. There was one proposed change that would give the University broad powers to hold students accountable for crimes committed off-campus. This would include actions that could be charged as felonies, most notably, rape or sexual assault of another student. Rights killed this proposal. Federal law already requires action in the case of rape and some members felt that the broad powers wanted were too much.
At present time, the Office of Civil Rights requires that the University take action if a student is accused of sexually abusing or raping another student. That’s right, a student only has to be accused of such crimes to be pulled out of class. Yet, so it seems, a University personnel actually has to be proven guilty. We call that double standards.
It is absolutely astounding to me that the Office of Student Affairs would bring this up for approval by students in two consecutive years, yet there is no such policy in place for KU employees. The point of the proposed change was to protect students that have been raped or sexually assaulted. It was to ensure they would not have to see their charged attacker in class.
This man, supposedly, raped his 20-year old daughter, a woman the same age as many of the women that the Office of Student Affairs, and the University as a whole, wishes to protect. How can we hold students to a higher standard of conduct than University personnel? Administrators would like to keep a student from class for rape charges, but the same would not hold true for a professor? This seems just a bit off. The University desperately needs to rewrite its personnel policies before getting involved in the off-campus actions of its students.
Aaron Harris is a senior majoring in journalism and history