The University of Chicago may have won some points by refusing to adopt "safe spaces" and "trigger warnings" for incoming freshmen, but its foray into social-justice activism still needs some work. Namely, its treatment of those accused of sexual assault.
A male student, identified in court documents as John Doe, is suing UC after it found an accuser's claims "meritless," yet continued to punish and investigate him. Doe says in his lawsuit that UC removed him from a physics lab where he worked with his accuser even after her complaint was found meritless.
The school also rejected Doe's Title IX complaint claiming his accuser's friend retaliated against him, in violation of school policy. The school also adjudicated a second complaint from the accuser, even though she had already proven herself to be untrustworthy, and failed to acknowledge how her second complaint was also in violation of the anti-retaliation policy.
The lawsuit alleges that the original accusations against Doe from his accuser were proven false through her "own public writings, which UC possesses."
UC appeared to be, for some reason, hell bent on punishing Doe, to the point that when adjudicating the accuser's second complaint, it used its 2015 student manual to hold Doe accountable for conduct that occurred in 2013.
"It was impossible for John Doe to know whether his consensual physical encounters with Jane Doe in 2013 might violate subsequently created stringent mandates in UC's 2015 Manual," Doe's lawsuit said.
Doe believes the school is using the updated manual "because it contains provisions less favorable to male students."
Doe's lawsuit also says that UC allowed the accuser to bring forth her second complaint against him — which he calls retaliation — but denied him from bringing forward a retaliation claim. Doe had sought outside legal advice on how to get his accuser to stop "publishing false statements about him." The accuser was able to use this to get her second complaint adjudicated.
"Jane Doe initiated and consented to all contact with John Doe," the lawsuit said, meaning her "sole motivation for filing the sexual assault allegation was retaliation."
Doe said UC created "a gender biased, hostile environment against males, like John Doe, based in part on UC's pattern and practice of investigating and disciplining male students who accept physical contact initiated by female students, retaliating against male students, and providing female students preferential treatment under its Title IX policies."
One of Doe's attorneys, Eric Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Ball, declined to discuss the case publicly "until the litigation is resolved."
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.