College Rape Accusations and the Presumption of Male Guilt

Pressured by the Obama administration, universities abandon any pretense of due process in sexual assault cases.

PETER BERKOWITZ

Late August and early September bring recent high school graduates, bright and eager, to campuses around the country. Carefully planned orientation sessions will impress upon freshmen the paramount importance of sensitivity, of avoiding offensive words and ideas, and—notwithstanding that in recent years approximately 55% of matriculating freshmen nationally have been female—the urgency of maintaining a campus atmosphere friendly to women.

But parents who might expect this orientation to include an introduction to the moral and political purposes of liberal education—including respect for liberty of thought and discussion, and due process of law—will be sorely disappointed.

The neglect at freshmen orientation of the aim of liberal education and how it undergirds and is undergirded by the principles of freedom is not an accident. It is emblematic of college as a whole. Our universities impair liberal education not only by what they teach and do not teach in classrooms but also by the illiberal rules they promulgate to regulate speech and conduct outside of class.

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