Well now it’s official. An organization of fraternities is lobbying Congress for the right to commit rape. (More)

Of course the frat boys don’t actually say that. They say this:

“If people commit criminal acts, they should be prosecuted and they should go to jail,” said Michael Greenberg, leader of 241-chapter Sigma Chi, one of many fraternities participating in the legislative push.

But what frat boys want is a federal law that bars campus authorities from taking any disciplinary action against students charged with rape, or against fraternities where rapes are committed:

The U.S. Education Department requires colleges to investigate complaints and discipline students found responsible for sexual assault. University disciplinary boards can take action, including suspensions or expulsions, far more quickly than courts and, unlike criminal proceedings, don’t require a finding “beyond a reasonable doubt.” To sanction a student, allegations must be found more likely than not to be true.

“Campus judicial proceedings: should be deferred “until completion of criminal adjudication (investigation and trial),” according to an e-mail sent to students selected to lobby for fraternities.

But data show that only 16% of rapes reported to police result in convictions. Indeed prosecutors rarely press charges in on-campus rape cases.

So “deferred ‘until completion of criminal adjudication'” really translates to “never disciplined at all.”

And even if there is a criminal conviction, the delay gives the campus rapist time to strike again:

Along with activists, Greek groups will be taking on many college administrators, who say they need campus proceedings to keep potentially dangerous students off their campuses before criminal cases are resolved.

“Imagine a situation where a young women is sexually assaulted, and it has to go through the state judicial process,” said Mark Koepsell, who heads the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, which represents faculty and administrators. “Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrator is walking around campus.”

The Washington-based Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, a trade group, will oppose the Greek group’s agenda.

“The criminal justice system has been a virtual failure in its ability to address sexual assault,” said Kevin Kruger, president of the group. “It’s a really, really, really bad idea.”

The frat boys complain that campus authorities apply the “preponderance of evidence” standard rather than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of criminal trials. But campus authorities can’t sentence a student to jail. At most, they can expel the student. That is a civil rather than a criminal remedy and “preponderance of evidence” is the norm for civil cases.

I’d like to think Congress will stand up to the frat boys. But most members of Congress used to be frat boys, so I guess we’ll see just how influential those communities of opportunity are.


Happy Thursday!