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OPINION

LETTER: Professional response needed for reports of rape on campus

Chris Hertig
Spring Garden Township

Recently there has been an outpouring of criticism over how colleges handle reported rapes. Students accused of sexual assault are often under the jurisdiction of campus disciplinary procedures. While this is appropriate in many cases, these quasi-judicial proceedings must operate in a fair and professional manner. Their decisions have grave impact upon the accused, the accuser and the campus community. They may also bleed over into civil suits or criminal trials.

Penn State York student Michelle Lin on campus following her night class, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Proceedings administered by an arrogant dean without a foundation in due process are a recipe for disaster. Yet it’s a common scenario.

I propose that colleges assess very carefully their student judicial/ investigative processes. Campus police can play a significant role in training deans and others on investigation, evidence collection, interviewing, testifying, etc. They can embed due process within the campus administration.

This also aids career development for students working in residence life.

It’s a “win, win, win” scenario.

Works for me.

CHRIS HERTIG

Spring Garden Township