Sherry Warner-Seefeld, President
Sherry Warner-Seefeld, speaks out against false accusations of sexual assault on behalf of her son Caleb Warner who was falsely accused of sexual assault by a female student at the University of North Dakota. Mr. Warner was expelled from the North Dakota university system after he was found guilty in a university disciplinary hearing which used the preponderance of evidence standard. In spite of the fact that local law enforcement never arrested or charged Mr. Warner but instead, after a three month investigation, issued an arrest warrant against his accuser for filing a false police report, the University of North Dakota refused to rescind Warner’s expulsion. After Ms. Warner-Seefeld waged a tenacious and lengthy battle against the University of North Dakota to clear her son’s name, UND vacated all sanctions levied against Caleb Warner.
Through speaking, writing, and lobbying, Warner-Seefeld continues to draw attention to troubling occurrences of false accusations and dangers inherent in the use of a preponderance of evidence standard during university hearings, especially those which involve sexual assault allegations. Because of her belief in that constitutional protections should be applied equally and her zeal to see justice afforded to all, she has joined with other families in the creation of Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE).
Warner-Seefeld appeared on America Tonight, Al Jazeera America’s flagship show, speaking about “Sex Crimes on Campus.” She also participated in a national radio campaign conducted through Spence Media on behalf of SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments), appearing on programs such as the Dr. Laura Schlessinger Show, The Mike McConnell Show and WGN’s Free Talk Live. Seefeld also presented at the International Students of Liberty Conference.
In addition to teaching, Warner-Seefeld is involved in a variety of leadership roles in the North Dakota education community, including curriculum writing and teacher training. Warner-Seefeld has held governance positions in her local, state and national education associations. She is an author of social studies curriculum standards for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and most recently served on the ND Teacher–Principal Evaluation Support Systems Task Force.
Judith Grossman, an attorney who was admitted to practice in New York and California, has enjoyed a varied career in both government and the private sector. As counsel to a national trade association, Grossman has frequently testified before state legislative committees throughout the country. Her private law practice specialized in the field of employment discrimination.
This background made her especially prepared to assist in defending her son from false charges of sexual misconduct that were levied by a former girl friend more than two years after the breakup of their relationship. Although the small liberal arts college he attended ultimately failed to sustain the charges against her son, Ms. Grossman was astonished to encounter the lack of due process and fundamental fairness attendant the campus proceedings to which he was subjected.
Keenly aware that other students similarly situated were not all that likely to have an experienced attorney as a mother, Ms. Grossman decided to speak out on this issue. Her Op Ed article appearing in the Wall Street Journal generated considerable response and backlash, and, ultimately, led to her joining forces with her colleagues in the creation of FACE.
Allison Black Strange is a native of the Southeastern United States. Originally born in Birmingham, Alabama, Allison spent most of her early years being raised by her mother in Spartanburg, South Carolina. After graduating high school, she attended and graduated from The College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.) where she double-majored in French and Political Science. Allison married in 1986 and she and her husband have moved seventeen (17) times in twenty-eight (28) years of marriage, first with her husband’s career as a commissioned officer in the US Navy Nuclear Submarine force and then with Michelin North America. Together with their two children, they have lived in eight (8) different states and have gained tremendous respect for both the differences and the commonalities among the people in the various regions of the country.
In 1999, Allison completed an additional degree in Paralegal Studies and entered the work force as a Paralegal, a career which she very much enjoys. Having worked in several areas of the law, Immigration and Nationality Law has proven to be her true passion. The exposure to such a variety of different cultures, languages and customs has instilled in her an abiding appreciation for what others bring to the United States in their quests for the American Dream. She also enjoys the historical side of immigration to the United States including her own ancestors’ arrival in the American Colonies. As such, she currently serves as the Regent of a chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.
Allison’s affiliation with FACE is the result of her son’s February, 2012 expulsion from Auburn University [Auburn, Alabama] under false accusations of rape by his former girlfriend. Although he was never arrested, charged, tried or convicted of sexual assault, Auburn University’s student disciplinary committee, with the assistance of Auburn’s Title IX Coordinator and Auburn’s Assistant Director of Public Safety chose to make sure that his presence at Auburn ceased before he could prove his innocence. Blindsided by the absurdity of the process to which he was subjected and the blatant disregard for his Constitutionally-guaranteed right to due process, Allison and her son, Joshua, have taken up the banner to affect change in the way college administrators handle serious criminal matters to ensure the application of equal treatment and legal accountability by the accuser, the accused, the investigators and the college tribunal members.
Mr. James Taranto chronicled Josh’s story in the December 7, 2013 Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal. Currently, Allison and Joshua are undertaking efforts to further publish his story in print media and through meetings and speaking engagements with colleges and universities across the country.