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In 2011, the Obama Administration introduced the Dear Colleague Letter (“DCL” or “Letter”), which drastically reshaped the nature and scope of Title IX and redefined how sex-based discrimination is viewed and addressed on college campuses around the country. While the overall intent of the Letter was to address historical mishandlings of sexual misconduct on the part of victims, including sexual assault in higher education, many commentators have expressed the concern that the guidelines aggressively pursued this end without considering several sweeping impacts. Where Title IX used to be a means for providing equal access to education through government oversight, through the Letter, critics have argued that it is more aptly characterized as guidance that has shaped college campuses into courtrooms. Specifically, the Letter set forth broad definitions of what constitutes sexual misconduct, as well as required implementation of new procedures for investigating said claims. This ambiguous guidance resulted in inadequate protections for all students involved in the Title IX process.

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