Sean Hackett - HC '20Sean Hackett is a sophomore in Hopper College, tentatively majoring in Physics & Philosophy. He previously served on the International Development Center and now enters his first semester as head of the Education Center. Originally from Guilford, Connecticut, Sean has conducted policy research with the CT Department of Education. Last summer, he interned with an education NGO in Kuala Lumpur, developing software for native Malay speakers to learn English. Sean is a FOOT leader and enjoys taking hiking trips whenever possible. In his free time, he often participates in hackathons and plays squash.
This could be you.
The Education Center will examine questions surrounding Title IX policy. Primarily, we will be looking at the standard of proof used in Title IX hearings. From 2011 to last fall, universities were required to use the “preponderance of evidence” standard. Under Betsy DeVos, the “clear and convincing” standard was made acceptable. Aside from these, there is an array of lower and higher standards, including “significant evidence” and “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Determining which of these is appropriate will require answering several interesting questions about the role of institutions of higher education. What obligations do universities have to their students? Are these private institutions, when holding Title IX hearings, state actors, as Jed Rubenfeld argues? Are Title IX hearings akin to civil cases in the US court system, which use the “preponderance of evidence standard?” Is it fair to draw comparisons between on-campus hearings and the US court system? Given that campus sexual assault is a weighty and ever-pressing issue, we hope to produce research which can inform current public discourse.