Bombshell report reveals Trump administration is changing sexual assault rules at colleges. To protect the accused.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

The proposed rules would dramatically change protections and rights for victims.

A shocking new report on proposed college campus rule changes could dramatically alter America’s approach to sexual assault — in a way that undermines the rights and protections of victims.

According to proposed rule changes from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the changes would raise the bar for what constitutes sexual harassment or assault to “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.”


Even more disturbing, the proposed changes would allow the accused to “confront” their accusers in cross-examinations and mediated dialogue and have access to evidence even in situations where that evidence would not be used as part of a criminal or disciplinary situation.

Earlier rules outlined in 2011 by the Obama Administration sought to avoid such mediations, even when both parties agreed to them, because of the obvious risk of emotional harm and legal liabilities placed upon victims of harassment or assault.

Many of the changes are aimed at undoing advances made during the Obama presidency.

Like so many moves made under President Trump’s watch, the proposed rule changes seem to have as much to do with attacking Obama’s legacy as they do with enacting actual policy.

In the draft obtained exclusively by The New York Times, DeVos writes that “The lack of clear regulatory standards has contributed to processes that have not been fair to all parties involved, that have lacked appropriate procedural protections, and that have undermined confidence in the reliability of the outcomes of investigations of sexual harassment allegations.”

Recent studies from the Department of Education show that reports of sexual harassment and assault are unbelievably low, in 2015, 89 percent of American colleges reported zero cases of rape.

That flies in the face of more widely accepted studies which estimate that 20 percent of all women experience sexual assault on college campuses.

In other words, to score political points against President Obama’s legacy, the Trump Administration is going out of its way to protect the rights of those accused of sexual harassment and assault.

This is a shocking change. And the only way to stop the Trump White House is to demand they back down.

So far, the Education Department is denying The New York Times report. But as The Times notes, if the Education Department’s draft rules are approved by Betsy DeVos, they would not require congressional approval.

Instead, the rule changes only require a “public comment period” before they are backed by the force of law.

Whether or not these are the final rules proposed by the Trump White House, it’s clear they are not moving in the direction of protecting men and women who have survived assault or been victims of harassment.

If we want to stop these changes from becoming law it’s up to everyone to let the White House know that the changes are unacceptable. The rules put into place by the Obama White House in 2011 may not be perfect but these changes are perfectly wrong.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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