Betsy DeVos announces plans to revoke sexual assault reporting guidelines days after CSUF introduces new website for reports

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Just over a week after Cal State Fullerton’s Title IX office announced the launch of its website and online reporting tool for sexual assault, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced her intentions to revoke the Obama-era guidelines on sexual assault reporting.

DeVos announced that her department would be revising Title IX Thursday at George Mason University, but in an interview with CBS News clarified her intentions to rescind the new policies altogether.

“Well, (rescinding the Obama-era guidelines is) the intention, and we’ve begun the process to do so,” DeVos said. “It really is a process not an event, but it is the intention to move beyond that and move toward a better way.”

The Department of Education will begin developing new guidelines to protect sexual assault victims as well as the accused.

“Any perceived offense can be turned into a full-blown Title IX investigation. If everything is harassment than nothing is,” DeVos said.

During her speech, DeVos condemned sexual assault but claimed that the current system was failing survivors.

“Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach is a disservice to everyone involved, and that is why we must do better,” DeVos said.

In an Aug. 30. press release, CSUF Title IX coordinator Mary Becerra and Vice President for Student Affairs Berenecea Johnson Eanes, Ph.D., called the new website’s online reporting tool “especially exciting” due to its ability to allow CSUF “students, faculty, staff and third parties to report incidents of sex or gender based discrimination – including harassment, retaliation, sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, and stalking – from their computer or mobile device.”

CSUF’s website is still up, and features the school’s logo stylized into the “It’s on Us” campaign to report sexual assault’s logo, as well as contact info for the Title IX office and links to where students can file a complaint online. The website also features links to campus, local and national resources for victims, as well as Title IX training registration options for students, faculty and staff.

It’s unclear whether or not DeVos’ intent to rescind the 2011 guidelines will allow the website to continue to provide those options.

The Title IX office and the CSUF WoMen’s Center were not able to provide a comment as of this writing.

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