This article was originally published by Jake Goldberg on Students Advocating for Students.
Last week, many members of the media were praising the University of Chicago (UC) for taking a firm stance in defense of free speech on their campus. While protecting free speech is clearly something the University of Chicago takes seriously, granting all of its students due process rights may not be as high up on the school’s priority list. In the midst of receiving highly favorable reviews, the University of Chicago was simultaneously being sued by a male student. Identified as John Doe in his lawsuit, the male student is claiming that the University of Chicago violated his rights while investigating him for misconduct. Two female students, whose names are listed as Jane Doe and Jane Roe, are also mentioned within the lawsuit.

According to the Cook County Record, John Doe claims the school infringed upon his rights in five different ways. First, he claims that UC removed him from a physics class, which Jane Doe was in as well, even after Jane Doe’s complaint against him was determined to be “meritless.” Second, John alleges that the school refused to investigate a complaint that he raised against Jane Roe for allegations that she allegedly made in violation of UC’s anti-retaliation provisions. Third, John claims that UC investigated Jane Doe’s claims despite the fact that “Jane Doe’s own public writings,” which UC possessed, proved that these “allegations against John Doe [were] undeniably false.” Fourth, John believes that UC wrongfully did not classify Jane Doe’s complaint as a violation of the school’s anti-retaliation policies. Fifth, John alleges that UC violated Title IX provisions against “selective enforcement” by engaging in proceedings against him based on his gender. Additional arguments were also levied in John Doe’s lawsuit against UC.

Selectively enforcing school policies is a major violation of a student’s right to be fairly judged and disciplined by his/her institution. Title IX does not allow schools to carry out their disciplinary policies in a way that discriminates upon gender. If John Doe’s allegations are proven true, then UC’s current approbation will quickly devolve into reprobation. This case ought to be closely followed, as there are still many questions to be answered. One thing, however, is certain. John Doe is lucky that one of his attorneys is Eric Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Ball, who does outstanding work in these types of cases.