From Perses institute
Public Comment — Registering College Students as Sex Offenders
Re: 83 Fed. Reg. 37,526 (August 1, 2018)
30 Day Notice of Action (copy attached)
Email Dispatch: Samantha.Opong@usdoj.gov; OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov
Dear Samantha Opong:
The Perses Institute is a global NGO that fosters gender balance and equality in institutions worldwide.
We respectfully submit comment on the agency’s proposed collection of information on Campus adjudications of sexual misconduct, and, any proposed agency action that may, intentionally or otherwise, gather information that pertains to the assembly of information (on policies or procedures or otherwise) that could be used to further the ability, of the public, to shame, punish or banish individual students, or other persons accused on college campuses of sexual misconduct.
We believe the agency’s proposed action exceeds its delegated authority and purpose under the enabling statute. 42 U.S.C. § 16911 (2018) The proposed action calls for the massive collection of hearsay information on sexual misconduct on campuses that may include large amounts of information (and misinformation), including personal information on accused persons, who have not been “convicted” of any crime or sexual offense. Campus adjudications of sexual misconduct are NOT criminal proceedings and do not have the due process protections of criminal proceedings, to insure the circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness of the proposed data collection, necessary to protect the privacy interests, or, substantive due process interests of persons accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses.
The Agency’s proposed action assembles information on methods used to shame, punish and banish accused individuals that would result, if made public, in punitive measures against accused individuals who have not had the benefit of due process of law in the adjudication of their alleged sexual misconduct. Although the purpose of the data collection by the agency may be academic to the agency, there is a real possibility that the information could be made public through many channels, with the agency proposing no safeguards to protect the substantive due process or privacy interests of the affected accused.