The legal relationship between a university and its students continues to evolve. Prior to the 1960s, courts did not intrude into universities’ monitoring and disciplining of student misconduct. However, after the 1960s, courts intervened more frequently to limit university discretion in monitoring and disciplining student misconduct, which allowed students to enjoy greater individual freedoms on campus.
The increased judicial interference in the university-student relationship necessarily diminished the university’s unilateral authority to monitor and discipline students. This trend introduced a particularly difficult question: when can a student hold a university responsible for failing to protect that student from harm caused by another student? The framework courts apply in answering this question differs depending on if the injurious student-on-student misconduct qualifies as discriminatory.
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