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Insight and Perspective on UM and MSU Cases

BuckChi's picture
February 26, 2014 at 12:56pm

As someone who works in Higher Education and has had interactions with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), I wanted to provide some perspective to the situation.

The OCR investigates civil rights (obviously) and Title IX violations that may or may not occurred to students, faculty, or staff at an institution. Title IX violations (in the case involving UM) deal with violations against protected groups, in this case gender. Many times, the cases stem from student judicial processes and the removal of a student from the university.

It is very hard to determine exactly what is being investigated here, but the crux of the argument would need to be bias by the school in its judicial process on the bases of gender. This is where it gets a little tricky. This bias could be claimed both ways. Though it would be a stretch, It is not entirely out of the realm of possibilities that Gibbons lawyers/camp have filled this protest, claiming he was unfairly treated as a man in a sexual assault case. He could be looking to recoup the money he spent in the interim between the allegation and his removal from school, which would fit the "timeliness" aspect of the claim. (I am unsure about recouping tuition, as he was probably on scholarship). I am not saying this is the case, however, without more specifics of the case, it cannot be ruled out.

Additionally, cases with the Department of Education and OCR are not entirely uncommon. It does not take much smoke for the OCR to come looking. In fact, if you did some digging, I bet you would find a handful of times in the last 5 years that the Dept. of Ed and/or the OCR looked into Ohio State. I really caution people from linking the MSU case with the UM case because the MSU case could be about a host of other things completely unrelated to a sexual assault case.

My point is these cases my not be as nefarious as they appear/are being made to appear. Take these reports with a grain of salt and know this process is common, to a certain extent.


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MordenoftheSith's picture

While this is a very reasoned argument, I would contend that we wouldn't have to dig to find out investigations into OSU as ESPiN would have jumped all over it already and force-fed that nation 10 different stories by now... even if the investigation was 5 years old.

If you only knew the POWER of the Dark Side.

Squirrel Master's picture

Just being nitpicky because really I didn't read the whole post, its not MU (its UM) unless you are referring to Monsters University.

personally, I think the whole situation is awful and just needs to get fixed whether its the Office of Civil Rights or someone else that needs to do it.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
BuckChi's picture

That damn dyslexia. Fixed to UM

kholmes's picture

Here is the actual letter that OCR sent to the U of M so you can see that it does specify the investigation is as a result of a report of an assault made by a female student. The interesting thing in the letter is it asks for all sorts of data and policies only from 2011-2012 academic year on. The Gibbons incident occurred in 2009 so the focus appears to be mainly on the time after the Dept of Education mandated that universities apply Title IX in a certain way to sexual assault cases. This makes it look like the focus will be on how the university implemented policies after this mandate and how they were applied to these cases. It seems that the investigation does not look to consider the period of 2009-2011 before the mandate since it doesnt even ask for UM to provide the policies in place at that time. It will likely still involve the Gibbons case but focusing on how it was handled from 2011 on.