A group of 28 Harvard Law professors has spoken out against Harvard’s new sexual harassment and assault policy.
The Department of Education is investigating Harvard College to determine whether its approach to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault is adequate. Recently, the Department threatened to withhold funds from any post-secondary institution that fails to properly address complaints of sexual assault. In response, Harvard adopted new procedures.
The Harvard Law faculty members criticized the new procedures for discriminating against accused students. The faculty argued that the policy “lack[s] the most basic elements of fairness and due process.” The professors state that the new procedures make a single Harvard administrative office judge and jury of accused students. The faculty has argued the procedures infringe on the rights of the accused by giving no right to representation, no opportunity to confront witnesses—no adequate opportunity to present a defense.
Harvard students have expressed mixed opinions about the new policy. One Harvard junior said, “I wonder how far you can push the line before someone gets unfairly slapped with a label. It’s life-changing to have the label of rapist put on you.”