The CUNY Board of Trustees has approved an amendment to the University bylaws on Sexual Misconduct. The changes to Article XV of CUNY’s Bylaws ensure compliance to federal Title IX revisions that went into effect in August.
The amendment’s revision, which was passed at the Board’s Monday meeting, allows students who have been accused of sexual misconduct to request open hearings for sexual assault and stalking charges, where previously open hearings for sexual violence claims were banned.
Under the amendment, respondents and victims of misconduct claims may request to cross-examine each other. The amendment also prohibits the introduction of previous history of sexual violence as evidence.
CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct was revised on Aug. 14, after New York State and the New York City Board of Education lost a lawsuit against the U.S. Board of Education. The lawsuit protested federal revisions to Title IX made by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The American Civil Liberties Union also lost a lawsuit regarding the revisions only last week, alleging that the amendments tighten the definition of sexual harassment and lessen schools’ responsibilities to respond to accusations.
Up until now, the policy changes were not codified by University Bylaws, which are the “highest source of policy” at CUNY, according to CUNY’s website. The Board’s Monday night approval was a formal declaration of the previously implemented law.