I want to make a few things much more clear about the arguments being presented in favor of the COS Task Force-'girls should have the balls to be grilled by the men they accuse' recommendations.
First of all, the argument that criminal trial-level standards of evidence and due process is unsound for the following, very simple reason:
COS hearings are not criminal trials and do not mete out criminal penalties.
The United States itself recognizes the need for different standards of evidence in the distinction between criminal and civil trials—if you can remember, OJ was acquitted in his criminal trial but was found guilty in the civil trial because the standard for proof was lower. COS hearings aren't equivalent to criminal trials; they aren't even equivalent to civil trials. They are part of the administration of a private institution, and both the standards for evidence and the available forms of discipline reflect that vast difference.
Secondly, while I believe an argument can be made (though I would not myself make it) that COS hearings do not provide enough rights and protection to the accused, that is not a sufficient condition, even if true, for the system to be replaced by state or local agents. The alcohol policy, intending as it does to at least limit underage drinking, is clearly magnitudes more ineffective than COS's handling of sexual assault cases, yet I don't hear anyone crying out that we should replace our alcohol abuse procedures with local or state intervention. While the Task Force did not make the recommendation to bring in state or local agents, some of the commenters in support of their recommendations did.
Thirdly, it is absurd and disgusting to me to talk only about how a sexual assault accusation affects only the life of the male student who is accused, as if sexual assault does not have the capacity to gravely and permanently damage the life of the actual victim. The panic any talk of sexual assault and especially the discipline thereof raises among many men on this campus and the inevitable wave of self-righteous tirades about their infringed rights tells a lot, I think.
A lot of these arguments proceed from the position that frivolous or malicious sexual assault accusations are a much more likely and much greater danger to the campus than the actual fact of sexual assault itself. That is incredible to me—these arguments ask us to believe that the number of cases of false accusations significantly outweighs the number of actual sexual assaults. Actually to be more precise, they ask us to believe that
(# of false accusations)*(damage of single false accusation) >> (# of actual sexual assaults)*(damage of single sexual assault)
I don't believe that, not even for a moment.
Edit: I realize that it may appear that the second and third points of this post refer to the actual recommendations of the Task Force. They do not. They refer to the whole discourse (on this blog and elsewhere) concerning the appropriateness of COS's policies regarding sexual assault. While the Task Force did not recommend the use of local or state law enforcement to investigate or discipline sexual abuse on campus, others have and I was responding to them. Additionally, my third point was not meant to refer to the Task Force's specific recommendations, but to the type of rhetoric that is often used (by others) to support changes in the way COS adjudicates sexual assault cases.