Under the current system at UNC, if an accuser simply files a sexual assault claim through the university but doesn't go to the police, the accused student has no right to outside counsel. "Neither a licensed attorney nor a person who has passed a state bar examination may serve as the investigator or defense counsel or be present during proceedings." If the accuser has simultaneously filed a criminal charge, "the accused student may be accompanied to the hearing by a licensed attorney who may confer with the student during the hearing so long as the attorney does not address the hearing panel, those hearing the appeal, or other parties or witnesses, and so long as the attorney does not delay or disrupt the proceeding." [emphasis added] And in either case, the right of the accused student to present evidence to clear his name is severely limited by a clause that prohibits presentation of evidence that "does not otherwise infringe the rights of other students." This is the procedure that Dean Manning had considered unfairly tilted against the accuser.There's a mistake in that quote... evidence is only ALLOWED (not prohibited) if it "does not otherwise infringe the rights of other students."
More importantly, the new policy removes accusations of sexual assault from the UNC Honor Code, and treats them differently. Under the Honor Code, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, just as in a criminal trial. But now, sexual assault accusations only need to be proven "by a preponderance of the evidence." That is, the most serious charges only need to be shown to be 50.1% likely to be true.
A male student at UNC can be expelled, have is educational career and his life destroyed, on the flimsiest of evidence and without the benefit of legal counsel. How could any man choose to put himself into such a situation? How could any parents allow their sons to be put into such situations? Did we learn nothing from the recent events at Duke?
To be fair, this is not unique to UNC. The Tarheels are merely the first school to go on record as complying with the Obama administration's mandate.
As one commenter on Minding the Campus said, "How in the world do you teach an 18year old boy that he has to protect himself from any woman he meets...that at the whim of a partner his life can be ruin?"