UA students react to DeVos' plans to change how campus sex assau - Tucson News Now

UA students react to DeVos' plans to change how campus sex assaults are handled

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

"One rape is one too many. One assault is one too many. One aggressive act of harassment is one too many. One person denied due process is one too many," Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos said. 

In an announcement Thursday, Sept. 7 DeVos plans to change the way sexual assault allegations are handled on college and university campuses. She calls the current Obama Administration rules a “failed system”. She would like to see more protections in place for those accused.

Tucson News Now spoke to students on the University of Arizona Campus to see what they think of the announcement. 

“I was taken without any of my consent.”

At a Spring Fling party inside a Fraternity House on the U of A campus, a sophomore student, who asked to remain anonymous, told Tucson News Now she was raped. That night still haunts her to this day.

“It leaves you in a state of shock. It’s like your brain has been re-wired. Still at the University today, I go around thinking that everyone I see is the man who assaulted me. It’s scary,” the woman said.

She took a rape kit and reported the assault to both campus police and the Tucson Police Department. While the investigation is still on-going, the man responsible continues to attend class at the U of A. This woman told us she strongly disagrees with Betsy DeVos’ proposal to change the way sexual assaults are handled on campus – adding that she’d like to see harsher penalties.

“I’d want them to be taken care of as in, expulsion, suspension – their actions need to have consequences because it’s not fair to the victims.”

Tucson News Now also spoke to other U of A students on Thursday, with mixed reaction to Devos’s announcement.

"I think things can get blown out of proportion a lot of time, for the one that is accused, so I think protection against them is definitely needed - I agree with what she said,” U of A Senior, Casey Cole said.

"It sounds like she's more leaning towards the accuser rather than sympathizing with the victim. The fact that she's even considering that is a little scary,” UA Sophomore, Jessica Neill said.

While DeVos didn't detail how the rules will change, she said her office will seek feedback from the public and universities to develop the new rules. Meanwhile the survivor said she worries the new rules may make other victims scared to come forward.

“My fear with the victims is that they won’t feel safe on campus. I know I don’t feel safe on my campus. I’m just concerned that the accusers will just be given a slap on the wrist.”

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