Save Us From the saVE Act

You might think that the following snippet is from The Onion.  Oh, that it were.

A new law proposed in the Senate would require universities to have stricter policies against sexual harassment and have mandatory relationship training–and some free speech groups say there are problems with the law.

Earlier this month, Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced the Campus Sexual Violence Act (The Campus saVE Act) which would require universities to enforce new disciplinary guidelines against crimes of sexual violence. The law would amend the existing Clery Act, passed in 1990, which requires universities to report all crimes committed on campus.

While the law attempts to define and combat all manners of sexual harassment, it would also require all incoming freshman and university employees to attend mandatory classes on dating and healthy relationships.

There’s really one reaction appropriate for something like this.

What’s sad is that the only critic quoted in this story offers the flimsiest reason for opposing this:

Will Creeley, the director of legal and public advocacy at The Foundation For Individuals Rights in Education, is concerned that the law will not give fair treatment to those accused.

“Our biggest problem with the Campus saVE Act is the fact that it would require schools to enforce a preponderance of the evidence standard of proof in adjudicating certain grievances at the campus level. That’s worrying,” he said.

So you have no issue with the federal government telling universities what kind of classes they are mandated to provide incoming freshman?  That isn’t your biggest problem?

Naturally anyone opposed to this bit of legislation will be accused of being unconcerned with violence against women, much as supporters of the Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Morrison were derided as uncaring misogynists.  But this kind of bill just signifies two annoying trends with the federal government: stepping into areas over which it should have no authority, and trying to implement legislation that is all feel-good pablum but which will do nothing to ameliorate the problem.  Does anyone with a modicum of common sense believe that these programs would do anything to mitigate sexual assault on campus?  And are these same busybodies as concerned with educating college students about abstinence and refraining from sexual behavior?  I’m sure if the federal government attempted to lay down a mandate that all incoming college freshmen had to enroll in abstinence classes these same people supporting this law would be going bonkers.

H/t: John Miller.

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