NATIONAL NEWS

Biden Order Could Change How Colleges Handle Sex Misconduct

Mar 8, 2021, 7:56 AM | Updated: 7:57 am
President Joe Biden  (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)...
President Joe Biden (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is rethinking Trump administration policies that weakened how colleges and universities that get federal dollars handle sexual assault accusations on campus, according to administration officials.

Biden is set to sign an executive order on Monday directing the Department of Education to review policies implemented by Donald Trump’s administration, including changes to Title IX regulations that prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded institutions.

The new president focused on gender equity during his campaign and promised to strengthen Title IX if he won the White House. He also will sign a second executive order formally establishing the White House Gender Policy Council, according to two administration officials who briefed reporters on the plan. Biden’s transition team announced his plans to create the council before he took office.

The order directing the review of Title IX could pave the way to a major shift in how colleges handle allegations of sexual misconduct moving forward.

Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, in 2018 rescinded an Obama-era administration standard in cases of reported sexual assault from requiring a “preponderance of evidence” — meaning it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred — to “clear and convincing evidence.”

The DeVos changes reduced the liability of colleges and universities for investigating sexual misconduct claims and bolstered the due process rights of the accused, including the right to cross-examine their accusers through a third-party advocate at campus hearings.

Biden, as vice president, along with then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan in 2011 laid out the legal guidance of what was expected of college campuses in response to allegations of sexual violence on behalf of President Barack Obama’s administration.

With the Education Department review, Biden’s intent is to set policies that help ensure students have an environment that’s free from sexual harassment and without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, according to one White House official who briefed reporters on the orders.

The order establishing the Gender Policy Council comes after Trump disbanded an office specifically focused on women’s issues created during the Obama administration that was called the White House Council on Women and Girls.

While the new council is a resurrection of the Obama-era one, one administration official said that giving it a new name was acknowledgement that inequities can affect people of all genders. Still, the official said the council will primarily focus on issues facing women and girls because of “disproportionate barriers” they face.

The new council is tasked with helping push gender equity on the administration’s domestic and foreign policy efforts. Some of the issues the council will focus on include combating sexual harassment, addressing structural barriers to women’s participation in the workforce, decreasing gender wage and wealth gaps, addressing caregiving issues that have disproportionately impacted women and responding to gender-based violence.

The orders come as Biden plans to deliver remarks from the White House later Monday marking International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - APRIL 11:  Passengers check in at the ticket counter for Frontier Airlines Ap...
Ramishah Maruf, CNN

Frontier Airlines no longer has a customer service phone line

Customers who need flight information or want to make changes to travel plans can no longer call Frontier Airlines and speak to an agent, the company confirmed to CNN Saturday.
15 hours ago
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft atop is seen as Space X and NASA....
Ashley Strickland and Jackie Wattles, CNN

SpaceX launches tomato seeds, other supplies to International Space Station

SpaceX is carrying a fresh haul of supplies to the International Space Station this weekend after bad weather at the launch site forced the company to wave off its first attempt.
15 hours ago
Portland police car seen outside of Portland Police Department building....
Taylor Evans, KPTV

‘We were just talking to him’: 2 Portland men find their brother just after hit, injured by car

A 23-year-old Portland man is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle in southeast Portland on Sunday.
15 hours ago
Kari Lake on podium at election night event....
JONATHAN J. COOPER Associated Press

Lake seeks election records in suit against Arizona county

Kari Lake, the defeated Republican candidate for Arizona governor, has filed a public records lawsuit demanding Maricopa County hand over a variety of documents related to the election. Lake has refused to acknowledge that she lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs and has for weeks drawn attention to voters who said they experienced long lines and difficulties while voting on Election Day in Arizona's largest county. Her lawyer, Tim LaSota, says in the suit filed Wednesday that the county has not fulfilled public records requests filed on Nov. 15 and 16. The requests seek to identify voters who may have had trouble casting a ballot.
15 hours ago
A view of the Canadian flag during day one of the Platinum Jubilee Royal Tour of Canada on May 17, ...
Associated Press

Canada paramedic unknowingly treated daughter in fatal crash

 A Canadian paramedic who unknowingly treated her own daughter after a fatal crash brushed away tears as she remembered a beautiful girl who fought until the end. Jayme Erickson was called to the crash north of Calgary on Nov. 15 and sat with a seriously injured girl who was was extricated from the vehicle and taken to hospital, where she died. It wasn't until Erickson got home at the end of the day that she was met by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, who told her the patient was her 17-year-old daughter, Montana.
15 hours ago
Bodycam video released by authorities shows the good Samaritan trying to help the man on the tracks...
Tavleen Tarrant, CNN

Good Samaritan, NYPD officers rescue man from subway tracks moments before train arrives

A good Samaritan, who was at the right place at the right time, and a team of New York City officers who rushed on scene rescued a man who fell on the subway tracks just seconds before an incoming train arrived, police said.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Biden Order Could Change How Colleges Handle Sex Misconduct