- A former Columbia University student's lawsuit against the school has been revived in federal appeals court, on the grounds that the school violated several Title IX rules in adjudicating the issue.
- The plaintiff alleges the institution declined interviewing witnesses, failed to disclose judicial hearing due process and ignored evidence of consent made by a female accuser.
- Columbia's decision, made on the grounds of 'unreasonable pressure for sexual activity' over the course of weeks by the male student to the female student, could be a temporary gender bias, a violation of Title IX law.
This case could create new precedent for students accused of sexual assault or misconduct, and new considerations for universities to take in handling such cases. Just as universities are drafting policies to ensure that reporting and processing of sexual assault charges are timely and fair, previous lawsuits and the weight of this decision could prompt similar reaction for insuring rights for the accused.
Schools like the University of Texas at Austin have strengthened public safety resources for assault response, but policies on judicial affairs and infrastructure for fair proceedings remain largely underdeveloped, and are targets for similar lawsuits from accused students.