Former vice president Joe Biden urged more than 800 activists on a Friday phone call to pressure their universities and the Trump administration to uphold protections for rape victims.
"This Administration does not speak for the American people on this issue," Biden said on the call, according to a readout obtained exclusively by BuzzFeed News. He told the activists, many of whom are students, to "demand — of your college president, your provost, your deans — demand that they step up. They know we're right. This is no time to turn back.”
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Thursday in a speech that the department intends to revoke Title IX guidance on how schools should deal with sexual assault that was issued by the Obama administration. DeVos took no questions from reporters assembled at the speech. The department told BuzzFeed News that it has no timeline on when the overhaul process — which will include a notice-and-comment period for the public to submit their suggestions on the topic — will begin, but confirmed that a major 2011 directive will be rolled back.
Biden, the original sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act as senator, made combating campus sexual assault a hallmark of his work as vice president. He personally announced the 2011 guidance at an event held at the University of New Hampshire.
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