Political Perspectives: Betsy DeVos is back with another controversy

Political perspectives is a column that focuses on providing different opinions on important political issues from UNCW students.

Genevieve Guenther

Political perspectives is a column that focuses on providing different opinions on important political issues from UNCW students.

Kristen Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

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Editor’s Note: Kristen Rodriguez is a freshman at UNCW majoring in Political Science with a minor in International Relations. Kristen is a contributing writer for The Seahawk and writes many of the pieces featured in Political Perspectives. All opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Kristen may be found on Twitter @kristen_rodd. All suggestions and inquires may be sent via email to kr4157@uncw.edu. 

Betsy DeVos has been the center of multiple controversies since she was confirmed as Secretary of Education. People were outraged by her lack of educational experience and her inability to properly answer questions during her confirmation hearings.

The latest in controversies surrounding DeVos is her decision to revise the guidelines put into place by the Obama administration to guide college campuses in how to manage sexual assault allegations.

DeVos’s stance on Title IX is that it denies due process to the accused. In her statement at George Mason University, DeVos spoke out on the injustice that is given to those who are falsely accused of sexual assault. She spoke of victims she had spoken to who had recounted their struggles finding peace with the turn their lives had taken because of the system set in place by Title IX.

She claims that “the truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students.” DeVos has not discussed how she plans on changing Title IX specifically, but what we do know is that her main concern with it is the lack of due-process for the accused.

Critics of DeVos’s stance on Title IX include former Vice President Joe Biden, who in a statement on Facebook said that DeVos’s intentions to rewrite Title IX’s guidelines “is a step in the wrong direction,” and that “any change that weakens Title IX protections will be devastating.” People all over the country are viewing it as another move by the Trump administration to remove Obama-era actions.

There are also many who say that this action is another demonstration of “favoritism for the rights of rapists under the guise of fairness” as stated by Annie E. Clark, executive director of End Rape on Campus.

No matter what your stance is, it is a core value of our nation to have due process in any legal situation. Betsy DeVos is very unpopular with so many people and is the center of many controversies involving the Trump administration, but on the issue of Title IX she is receiving a lot of mixed opinions.

There are Democrats who agree that the guidelines should be made fairer to avoid the false accusations of sexual misconduct, for it has the potential to destroy the future of those accused.

Betsy DeVos is taking a stance that many will disapprove of in a way that many others will take the wrong way. There are those who will also disapprove of her statements based off her record and won’t give her a fair chance to do what she believes is right.

How does one go about creating fairness for something as sensitive as sexual assault? The only thing to do now is wait to see how she will play this out and whether she is as dedicated to the cause as she wants to appear to be.