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USGA Signs on to Letter Asking DeVos to Reconsider Title IX Changes

Glenn Rohrbacker, Editor in Chief

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The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) at the University of New Haven is signing a letter expressing concern over proposed revisions to Title IX guidelines for universities.

The letter, which is addressed to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, has already been signed by over 200 student government presidents across the country – USGA President Nicolette Angelli has joined the group.

“Hopefully during the notice and comment period (which we’ve been told to expect in January), Secretary DeVos will actively solicit student feedback overall,” Angelli said.

The letter says the proposed revisions will place “an undue burden” on victims of sexual assault.

In addition, the letter says: “Our concern is that this progress will be impeded by the new guidelines under your consideration, namely, raising the burden of proof necessary for launching investigation proceedings. Without clear, unwavering commitment from elected officials and government  leaders, yourself chief among them, it will be too easy for school administrators to prioritize the avoidance of bad publicity over holding perpetrators responsible for their actions.”

The letter also asks the federal government to reconsider the changes and to continue upholding the spirit of past guidelines.

USA Today reported that DeVos announced in September that “she would replace the current approach to addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses with ‘a workable, effective and fair system’ that more explicitly takes into account the rights of the accused.”

USGA passed a resolution last month to sign the letter, with only three “no” votes, according to USGA officers.

While USGA is supportive of the original letter, Angelli said, “we see this letter as only the beginning.”

Angelli said the university will craft an additional letter, with more detailed concerns, early next week.

“We have decided, as a student government, that we can also share our direct feedback about the impact of these guidelines that have not only an impact on our students, but many individual campuses across the nation,” she said.

Students may contribute to that letter at a meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11 in Buckman 120. Administration officials will also be in attendance.

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USGA Signs on to Letter Asking DeVos to Reconsider Title IX Changes