betsy devos (copy)

Betsy DeVos, then-President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be Secretary of Education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Jan. 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C. 

Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos released final Title IX rules on May 6, updating rules regarding sexual misconduct.

"Too many students have lost access to their education because their school inadequately responded when a student filed a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault," DeVos said in a press release. "This new regulation requires schools to act in meaningful ways to support survivors of sexual misconduct, without sacrificing important safeguards to ensure a fair and transparent process. We can and must continue to fight sexual misconduct in our nation's schools, and this rule makes certain that fight continues."

With the new provisions, schools will only be responsible for sexual harassment or assault that occurs at school-affiliated events, and schools will be required to have live hearings during which the accuser and the accused may be cross-examined and challenged on the validity of their claims.

The new guidelines immediately faced criticism from some sexual assault survivor networks. 

Know Your IX, a self-described movement to empower “students to stop sexual violence,” wrote in an image in a tweet the new rule “makes it easier for schools to ignore cases of sexual violence and sweep sexual assault under the rug. Her rule says colleges are only required to act if you tell the right person, like your Title IX Coordinator or dean.”

Previous regulations stated any “responsible employee” that knew of sexual harassment or assault must report it to the university Title IX coordinator or other designee so necessary and appropriate actions could be taken to respond appropriately.

At Iowa State, those responsible employees included all university instructors, advisers, coaches, trainers and other athletic staff that interact with students, student affairs administrators, all residence hall staff, employees who work in offices that interact with students and all supervisors and university officials, according to the university’s Title IX webpage

Amber Davis, administrative specialist in the Office of Equal Opportunity, said the office is currently examining the new guidelines and will update Iowa State’s policies in a few weeks.

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