At the end of the day, everyone wants their rights. This is a clear indication of that.

From the FIRE blog:

NEW SURVEY: Vast majority of students want due process rights that colleges refuse to provide

A new survey from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education finds that a vast majority of college students support fundamental due process protections in campus disciplinary hearings in order to ensure they are fair. Most top college and universities, however, fail to provide them.

The survey of student attitudes builds on FIRE’s “Spotlight on Due Process” report, released last year, which found that the overwhelming majority of America’s top universities fail to provide students accused of serious misconduct with even the most basic elements of fair procedure.

FIRE’s new survey, “Proceeding Accordingly: What Students Think about Due Process on Campus,” found that 85 percent of students think their accused classmates should be considered innocent until proven guilty. According to last year’s due process report, however, less than 30 percent of America’s top universities guarantee students that protection. Similarly, 8 in 10 students surveyed think students accused of breaking the law should be allowed to have a lawyer in campus disciplinary proceedings, but very few top colleges and universities allow active assistance from an attorney.

“There’s a vast gulf between the robust protections that students want and to which they are morally entitled, and the meager protections that most colleges actually provide,” said Samantha Harris, FIRE’s vice president of policy research. “Campus proceedings can have permanent, life-altering consequences. It’s time for colleges and universities to start listening to their students and providing safeguards that reflect the seriousness of these processes.”

The survey measures student support for due process protections in three scenarios: when a student allegedly breaks a rule, drinks alcohol under the age of 21, and engages in sexual misconduct. Support for protections under each scenario varies by gender and political affiliation.

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