On January 16-17, 2020, Dysart Willis Houchin & Hubbard associate attorney Meredith Pace was part of a two-day lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., advocating about the perceived shortcomings of Title IX across college campuses. The lobbying effort conducted by Ms. Pace and others comes on the eve of anticipated federal regulations adjusting procedures for how colleges and universities must conduct Title IX investigations.

 

Ms. Pace and other citizen lobbyists with the organization Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (“SAVE”) conducted approximately sixty meetings with various lawmakers at the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, raising awareness about the broken system that currently controls how investigations of sexual assaults on college campuses are conducted. The lobbying effort by SAVE did not favor either the accuser or the accused but instead sought to educate legislators about the inquitable process that disenfranchises all parties involved in these cases.

 

For two days, the message from Ms. Pace and other advocates from SAVE was clear: neither complainants or accused students are happy with the current structure of college sexual assault investigations which deprive both sides the rights they deserve. SAVE’s message was captioned: “Reining in the Campus Kangaroo Courts and Restoring Fairness on College Campus” and urged lawmakers to implement due process rights for students by enacting fair and uniform policies at colleges and universities across the country.

 

With experience in both Title IX investigations and criminal defense, Ms. Pace was able to share how many students, accusers and accused alike, find themselves trying to navigate unfair and confusing rules and procedures which often conflict with legal standards and practices. As Ms. Pace stressed, the first step in reform is to push legislators for implementation of fair, uniform policies for the investigation of sexual assault allegations on campuses.

 

Dysart Willis Houchin & Hubbard represents students in Title IX investigations and student disciplinary actions. If you have questions about how our attorneys can help, contact our office.