Letter from Communications

By Guest Contributor

To the Editor,

While well intentioned, last week’s editorial in the Campus relied upon several incorrect assumptions and a misreading of the chronology of key events relating to the John Doe case currently before the Federal District Court.

The editorial stated repeatedly that Middlebury College “accepted” or “relied upon” the SIT investigation when permitting John Doe to attend the College last spring semester. This is incorrect. As clearly indicated in the sworn affidavits filed publicly and provided to the Campus, Middlebury never accepted the findings of the previous investigation. In fact, in December of 2014, before we learned of the outcome of the SIT hearing, we were contacted by representatives of the original complainant. We initiated our own investigation of the alleged sexual assault less than two weeks after we received evidence from that complainant.

At no time before or after that point did we feel bound to accept investigatory results or a determination by another institution. However, we did then and do now believe that investigations and sanctions against a Middlebury student must adhere to our own basic standards of fairness and appropriate process. That’s a principle, not a “massive oversight,” as the editorial stated.

Bill Burger
Vice President for Communications