By Paulina Pineda | Arizona Capitol Times
Rep. Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale, has introduced legislation to address what he believes to be disciplinary proceedings at colleges and universities that are unfair and skewed against accused students.
The bill, H2028, requires college and university students undergoing disciplinary proceedings involving an allegation of a crime to be represented by a lawyer. If the student can’t afford one, the bill mandates the college or university to provide the student with legal counsel.
The bill also says an accused student has the “right to confront” his or her accuser.
Disciplinary proceedings at the college or university level are separate from criminal charges that may be brought by state prosecutors.
Lawrence said the bill, which he said was brought to him by a constituent, would allow for a fairer disciplinary process.
“When accusations of offenses, primarily sexual offenses, are raised against a student, that student has no opportunity to question the accuser nor has an attorney present unless they pay for it. And if they can’t pay for it, there’s no attorney,” Lawrence said.