As UNC’s handling of sexual assault cases continues to be examined, Duke University has taken steps to toughen its own sanctioning in such cases — naming expulsion as the recommended punishment for perpetrators.
Duke Student Government President Stefani Jones said the change will affect only the panel that deals out sanctions for those students who have already been found guilty of sexual assault by Duke’s Office of Student Conduct.
She said the panel is not obligated to expel students under the new guidelines, but expulsion — rather than suspension — has become the standard punishment.
“What this change does is alter the standard sanction for sexual assault so that expulsion becomes the rule for perpetrators, rather than the exception,” Jones said.
“Panels can still decide to not expel a student if they are found responsible, but it would come under stricter scrutiny and could be subject to appeal to the Appellate Board.”
Christi Hurt, UNC’s interim Title IX coordinator, said there is nothing in the University’s current sexual assault policy that names a recommended punishment for assault cases.
She said the policy outlines a range of sanctions, including expulsion.
The Sexual Assault Task Force appointed in May has been working throughout the summer to make recommendations on revising the University’s sexual assault policy.
Hurt, chairwoman of the task force, said the group has not yet begun to discuss sanctions.