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Insight and Perspective on UM and MSU Cases

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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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