Presidents sign letter opposing rule change

By Nayyab Rai - Staff Reporter



Fifty of Washington`s col- lege presidents, including Highline`s Dr. John Mosby, have asked the Department of Education to not change the sexual assault policy the department already has in place.

"The agreement is in re- sponse to the new regulations provided by the Department of Education under Secretary De- Vos governing the way colleges and universities around the country handle sexual harass- ment and assault," Dr. Mosby said.

U.S. Department of Educa- tion Secretary Betsy DeVos has created a new policy where the accused of sexual crimes have more rights.

The college presidents have written a letter asking her to not enforce it.

"Given that the new guide- lines narrow the definition of sexual harassment and, conse- quently raise the bar for schools to provide harassment and assault claims, I'm concerned this will create an environment where survivors will fail to be heard and report less," Dr. Mos- by said.

"During a meeting with oth- er Washington state presidents,

creating a letter/response to [the] Department of Education was recommended," Dr. Mosby said.

The recommendation let- ter for the sexual assault poli- cy for colleges was thought of and created during the college president`s monthly meeting, where all the presidents gath- er together and talk about how to improve their colleges.

According to an article in the New York Times, the policy that DeVos has proposed leans more to the accused. It gives them more of a chance to defend themselves if they are accused of sexual harassment/assault.

The policies that DeVos wants lets the accused have more rights. It is to help even out the playing field in sexual harassment and assault cases, DeVos said, according to the article.

With the new policies from DeVos, the accusers need ir- refutable proof that they were harassed or attacked, mak- ing it much more difficult for them to come forward and tell their stories.

"The new guidelines nar- row the definition of sexual harassment and allow schools to raise the bar for prov- ing harassment and assault claims," Dr. Mosby said.

"Highline will continue to follow the guidelines re- quired by the Department of Education and address any allegations of sexual assault throughout Title IX process," Dr. Mosby said.

Title IX is part of the Ed- ucation Amendments of 1972. It banned schools from dis- criminating on the basis of gender, no matter the reason.

Dr. Mosby said that a new policy should help Highline students, staff, and faculty be able to understand what sex- ual harassment/assault really is.

"My hope is the policy will provide [a] clear definition of sexual harassment and as- sault, along with guidelines to support a fair process for all parties involved," Dr. Mosby said.

With sexual assault being so common at campuses all over, Highline`s Public Safety and Emergency Management are working to help victims through their attacks.

"When an assault is re- ported, we have to be careful, because we need the victim`s permission to go forward with anything," said Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management David Menke.

"If a victim does not allow for us to bring charges against the accused, then we cannot in any way engage with the accused," Menke said. "We cannot treat him any differ- ently from another student."

When a student does not allow us to intervene, they also forego any court protec- tions, he said.

"It really just depends on how far the victim is willing to go, they might want to have a restraining order and not arrest him, or just let him go completely," Menke said.

"Violence Against Wom- en Act (VALA) and the Clery Act were created with good intentions. They do sort of lean towards the victims, but they are intended to protect them from any further trau- ma," said Associate Director of Public Safety and Emer- gency Management Francesca Fender.

Whenever violent crime is committed, Public Safety is required to report to campus. "We put in the Clery log,

where all violent crimes are reported, because this way people can choose whether or not they wish to come here," Menke said.

Highline itself does not have many assaults. One rape reported was last year, accord- ing to the Clery Act Crime Statistics for the college.

"However, those are only the ones that have been re- ported," Menke said.

"It is rather unfortunate for victims to not report their attacks, because it allows the attacker to go free, and may- be somewhere else. This way, they can attack anyone and no one would be the wiser," Menke said.

"I completely, 100 percent agree with the President Mos- by on his idea. If victims get too afraid to talk because of the lack of evidence, then sex- ual crimes will run rampant," Menke said.

"It is so difficult to get solid evidence of the attack, unless it was reported right away, and not many victims say that they were attacked the minute after they were," Menke said.

If you are ever sexually harassed or assaulted, go to Public Safety in Building 6, first floor and/or call 911.

Presidents sign letter opposing rule change

Fifty of Washington`s col- lege presidents, including Highline`s Dr. John Mosb...


Restorative practices aims to heal wounds

As the student walks toward the front of the classroom, he knows he is in trou...


Vet. Services hopes for more space, resources

Most students wouldn't know it by the campus website or even signs around camp...

Seminar sheds light on racist origins of the West

The American west coast values it's progressive ideals, but these ideals are f...


Science includes people of every race

Highline Chemistry Pro- fessor Lauren Wugalter blew up some stuff, and also bl...


Tigers and jaguars and people, oh my!

The futures of jaguars and ti- gers are going to be determined by the people o...

Wrestling heads to Clackamas

Highline competed in the Las Vegas Invitational this past weekend. The Invitat...


Thunderbirds defeat Olympic 70-67

Following the team's first loss of the season, the Thunder- birds were able to...


Lady T-Birds start season with loss

The Lady T-Birds opened their season in pre-conference play, this past weekend...


Club Fair next Tuesday

If you want to join a club at Highline but have questions, visit the Club Fair next Tuesday. The fair will take place in the Mt. Constance room in Building 8. The fair will occur from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, and will have representatives from many of the clubs on campus.

Help with Transfer Portfolio

Students who are planning on transferring to a four-year school but need help with their personal statement essay can attend a seminar on Thursday, Feb. 1. The event will take place in the MESA Center in Building 25 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Students who want their portfolios reviewed by a representative from surrounding colleges will have that opportunity on Thursday, Feb. 8. The event will take place in the Mt. Constance room from 1:30-4 p.m. Students must register by Jan. 25. You can register in Building 6 in the Transfer Center, or online at bit.ly/tprd-wtr18.

Women's Programs giving tree brings gifts to children

The annual Women’s Program Giving Tree raised enough contributions to help 27 families, which helped give gifts to 70 children. The Women Program and WorkFirst Services Office sponsored the event in December.

Academic Success Centers open house

The Academic Success Centers is holding an open house today from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on floor 6 of the Library. Students will be able to inquire about AANAPISI, the Math Resource Center, MESA, Puente, the Tutoring Center, Umoja, and the Writing Center. The Academic Success Centers offers help on assignments, and has tutoring services.

Campus View will offer students a close comfort

It's more than just Christmas

Holiday events brighten your month

Lady T-Birds look for first win

FW city councilman defends appeal of excessive force

Visiting professor hopes to share language, culture

Des Moines still needs its food bank

Symphonies get in the spirit

Wrestling heads to Clackamas

Seminar sheds light on racist origins of the West

Transit station could mean more local development

Faith and intellect can add up

Ballet dances classic

Thunderbirds defeat Olympic 70-67

Science includes people of every race

Day celebrates indigenous people

The man who changed the war

Smash Bros revamp and Fallout 76 crash

Lady T-Birds start season with loss

Tigers and jaguars and people, oh my!