College sued for Title IX investigation against student
Macalester College was sued last February by a former student who accused the college of violating his right to due process and failing to provide him reasonable accommodations for his disabilities. The student, Alec Scott Jackson ’18, was being investigated by the college for an alleged case of sexual assault, and the lawsuit charged Jackson’s rights were violated during that disciplinary process. Jackson’s appeal for a restraining order against Macalester, which would have prevented them from carrying out his investigation while the suit was pending, was denied, and Jackson withdrew the lawsuit a few days later. Jackson no longer attends Macalester College.
Berge v. University of Minnesota, Case No. A10-131
Berge and a female student went to a local bar with other students. Unaccustomed to drinking alcohol, she fell ill, and Berge accompanied her to her apartment. She later claimed that Berge sexually assaulted her, while Berge claimed that she consented to the sexual encounter.
The woman reported the incident to local police, but she did not file charges. The dispute was brought before the Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB).
Berge attempted to present evidence that he would lose $206,000 in scholarship awards if he were suspended, but the board chairman refused to allow the information. The CCSB suspended Berge from the university for two years.
Berge took the decision to the Provost’s Appeal Committee, which found that the CCSB had violated Berge’s due-process rights by prohibiting him “from presenting relevant testimony detailing the financial and personal effects of potential sanctions.”
Then the Provost decided to reverse the decision of the Appeal Committee, and to reinstate the decision of the CCSB.
A University of St. Thomas student was not charged in a sexual encounter with a fellow freshman in her dorm room, but the private Catholic school, after its own investigation, suspended him for more than a year.