“Progressive” Values On The Campus: Rape, Tolerated; Free Speech, Not So Much

Now does it make sense to you, Juanita?

Juanita Broadrick: Now does it make sense to you, Juanita?

If one wants to puzzle through how Democrats can simultaneously trumpet a “War on Women” while generating standard bearers like San Diego mayor Bob Filner (now up to 9 identified sexual harassment victims, and counting; the latest appears to be Marilyn Monroe), Anthony Weiner, and of course, ex-President Bill Clinton (recall Juanita Broadrick?) , one need only to examine the schizophrenic values being nurtured in our great liberal arts universities, with the encouragement of the values–challenged Obama administration.

In May, universities received an ominous letter from Departments of Justice and Education announcing new guidelines regarding “sexual harassment” on college campuses. The new standards prohibit “any unwelcome conduct of sexual nature” and  include “verbal” conduct, meaning free speech is now officially suspect…and no longer free. (But if you have been following the news lately, you know that in Barack Obama’s America, free speech is just a trading chip for “higher priorities.”)

The new standards apply to every college receiving federal funding. According to Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE, the government mandates  would allow a student to be charged with harassment if he asks another student out on a date and the target of his attentions deems that request “offensive.” Telling a sex joke could support a sexual harassment charge, as would using the word “fuck” in the presence of a female who resented it. FIRE points out that many presentations, debates, and expressions on campuses can now be censored as sexual harassment, citing campus performances of “The Vagina Monologues,” debates about sexual morality, and pro-con discussions on gay marriage as potential offenses.  Lukianoff, protesting that DOJ and DOE have now established speech codes that violate the First Amendment and completely ignore decades of legal precedent,says he is appalled at the attack on “free speech on campus from our own government.”

Appalled, yes, but certainly not surprised. The grip of political correctness is grasping for the throat of Free Speech in the Obama years, as the news media sits complacent and inert. FIRE is among those with the courage and determination to fight this blatant abuse of government power, but that does not diminish the seriousness of a Federal government that pays its election IOU’s to women’s rights groups by sacrificing free speech on campus.

But it’s worse even than that, for the modus operandi of this federal government, adopting the proclivities of its leader, is to speak loudly and carry a wet noodle. Just as the President is fond of making demands, ultimatums and condemnations, drawing lines and telling us to “make no mistake” about where he stands, and then following up with no tangible or meaningful action whatsoever, thus does his government fail to protect women’s bodies while trying to control what they hear. The 2011 federal Title IX investigation into Yale’s mind-blowing tolerance of rape on campus (it is referred to there as “non-consensual sex”) concluded  with a voluntary resolution that allowed Old Eli to avoid any disciplinary action for creating a “hostile sexual environment,” and this time we don’t mean allowing dirty limericks.

From a report by Jezebel:

“Yale has formally found sufficient evidence against six perpetrators of “nonconsensual sex” so far in 2013. Of these six perpetrators, only one was suspended, and only for one year. One is on “probation” (until he rapes again?), and four received “written reprimands.” To summarize: five out of these six “nonconsensual sex”-havers will graduate with a slap on the wrist (and an Ivy League diploma) or stay on campus, and the sixth can come back in a year. Hey: most of them were encouraged to seek counseling. That’s thoughtful. ‘It’s really irresponsible [for Yale] to let known perpetrators of rape stay on campus alongside the survivor and alongside other students who could potentially be victimized in the future,’ said Hannah Slater (’13 YSPH ’14). ‘They’re not making the campus a safer place.’

“This is why the Department of Education needs to actually enforce federal laws, [Alexandra Brodsky (’12 LAW ’16), one of the 16 students and alumni who filed a Title IX complaint against Yale] told us, citing a Change.org petition that might hopefully pressure the government into doing so. “Yale has gotten away with these exact same abuses in the past — the OCR let it off without a public non-compliance finding, despite evidence of many violations — why wouldn’t it continue in the same manner?”

Ah, yes, Change.org. Someday soon I will post about this brilliant but cynical innovation by the White House, encouraging toothless and wholly futile petitions to protest government wrongdoing as a ploy to create the comforting illusion that the government gives a damn. (There’s a Change.org petition about Justin Carter, too.) Meanwhile, Bill Clinton’s alma mater (and don’t think that’s a coincidence) has pushed the Sixties cant that “if it involves sex, it can’t be bad” to its absurd absolute: universities are teaching their students that actual rape is less of an offense to women than questioning whether health insurance should pay for birth control measures.

_______________________________

Pointer: Alexander Cheezem

Sources: Free Beacon,Washington Post, Jezebel, CNN, FIRE

Graphic: Sodahead

20 thoughts on ““Progressive” Values On The Campus: Rape, Tolerated; Free Speech, Not So Much

  1. Come on Jack. Yalies are the leaders of tomorrow.

    Pretty interesting that federal dollars make crimes on college campuses a federal concern. The Vagina Dialogues objectionable? That’s funny. Sounds like something from a Bush DOJ or Pat Robertson. How did that sneak in there?

    • Remember, that was FIRE’s example, intended as pointed irony. Obviously, such a rule would not be fairly and equally enforced, and the fact that a man was offended by “The Vagina Monologues” would, though falling under the vague description, clearly prompt a “get lost” response from the feminist-bullied administrations of these schools.

    • The Vagina Monologues objectionable? Come on, we have to be reasonable.

      Wait, no we don’t have to be reasonable. Not at all. Just offended.
      And a man has the ability to be just as unreasonably offended as a woman. I wonder how that’s going to play out?

  2. “Yale has formally found sufficient evidence against six perpetrators of “nonconsensual sex” so far in 2013. Of these six perpetrators, only one was suspended, and only for one year. One is on “probation” (until he rapes again?), and four received “written reprimands.” To summarize: five out of these six “nonconsensual sex”-havers will graduate with a slap on the wrist (and an Ivy League diploma) or stay on campus, and the sixth can come back in a year. Hey: most of them were encouraged to seek counseling. That’s thoughtful. ‘It’s really irresponsible [for Yale] to let known perpetrators of rape stay on campus alongside the survivor and alongside other students who could potentially be victimized in the future,’ said Hannah Slater (’13 YSPH ’14). ‘They’re not making the campus a safer place.’

    Can anyone explain why the university would directly handle a rape claim?

    I am certain that rape accusations in the Naval Academy at Annapolis would be handled by a general court-martial, not the Brigade of Midshipmen.

  3. The rape bits aren’t the only things disturbing in that report. For instance:

    A YC student brought a formal complaint charging a male YC student
    with acts of intimate partner violence against her.

    Update: The UWC found sufficient evidence to support the allegations of intimidation in the context of an intimate relationship. The respondent was given a written reprimand, was restricted from contacting the complainant, and was encouraged to seek counseling for anger management.

    Or:

    A Title IX Coordinator brought a formal complaint against a male YC
    student alleging that he had violated the sexual misconduct policy by making a recording of a sexual nature of a female YC student without her consent. The complaint also alleged that the male YC student lied to the fact finder during a formal investigation. The UWC found sufficient
    evidence to support the allegations. The respondent was given a written reprimand, was put on probation for two semesters, and was encouraged to seek alcohol counseling.

    —-

    Now, for the cases themselves…

    Case 1:

    Now, I sent you the incidents referenced in the Jezebel piece; I might as well append Yale’s summaries of them here as well. To wit:

    A YC student brought a formal complaint charging that a male YC
    student had nonconsensual sex with her.
    Update: The UWC found sufficient evidence that the respondent engaged in certain conduct of a sexual nature that was nonconsensual. In addition, the UWC found that the respondent violated the Yale College Code of General Conduct. The respondent was given a two-semester suspension, was placed on probation for the remainder of his time at the University, was restricted from contacting the complainant, and was encouraged to continue counseling for alcohol abuse, appropriate sexual behavior and the respectful treatment of others.

    —-

    Case 2:

    A YC student reported that a male YC student had nonconsensual sex with her.

    Update: The complainant filed a formal complaint with the UWC alleging that the respondent, in the context of an intimate relationship, engaged in certain nonconsensual acts during otherwise consensual sexual activity. The UWC found sufficient evidence to support the
    allegations. The respondent was placed on probation for the remainder
    of his time at the University and a number of measures were taken to
    restrict him from contacting the complainant.

    —-

    Case 3:

    A YC student reported that a male YC student had nonconsensual sex
    with her.

    Update: The complainant filed a formal complaint with the UWC alleging that the respondent, in the context of an intimate relationship, engaged in certain nonconsensual acts during otherwise consensual sexual activity. The UWC found sufficient evidence to support the allegations. The respondent was given a written reprimand, was restricted from contacting the complainant, was required to attend gender sensitivity training, and was encouraged to seek counseling.

    —-

    Case 4:

    A YC student reported that a male YC student had nonconsensual sex
    with her. The Title IX Coordinator and the Chair of the UWC informed the
    complainant about the options for formal and informal resolution and she declined to pursue the matter at this time. Nonetheless, the Title IX Coordinator met with the respondent and counseled him on appropriate conduct.

    Update: The complainant subsequently filed a formal complaint with the UWC. The UWC found sufficient evidence to support the allegation. The respondent was given a written reprimand.

    —-

    Case 5:

    A YC student brought a formal complaint to the UWC charging that two YC students had engaged in nonconsensual sex with her. The UWC found a violation of the University’s sexual misconduct policy. Written reprimands were issued to the respondents and measures were taken to
    limit contact between the parties.

    Update: The complainant reported a possible violation of the no-contact order by one of the respondents. The Title IX Coordinator investigated and found no violation of the order.

    —-

    Case 6:

    A YC student reported that two male YC students had nonconsensual
    sex with her.

    Update: The Chair of the UWC met with the female student and informed her of the options for filing a complaint. A preliminary investigation was begun but the female student declined to cooperate. Without this cooperation, the University determined that it could not, at this time, pursue a formal complaint.

    —-

    Now, that’s the *formal* complaints, which are the only ones that get an investigation and all. As you can tell, Jezebel’s summary isn’t entirely accurate given the last two (neither of those allegations of rape were substantiated by formal findings, although Case 5 involved a finding of violation of the college’s sex policy).

    Not that this isn’t more than horrifying enough anyway, mind. I just really, really dislike inaccurate information.

    There was also an *informal* complaint involving unwanted sexual contact, but Yale couldn’t have formally found sufficient evidence in it. Nonetheless, to quote:

    A YC student sought resolution of an informal complaint alleging that a
    male YC student had nonconsensual sex with her. The Chair of the UWC and a YC administrator counseled the respondent on appropriate conduct.

    —-

    The entire report — which I’ve read — is rather “interesting” this way. And disgusting.

        • Often, students are discouraged from involving the police. If no official charges are filed, then the university need not report it as ‘crime’ on their annual reports. Plus, the university then has the authority to ensure that only the ‘proper’ crimes and criminals are punished. Not to mention that without that authority, campus cops are nothing but glorified meter maids. One need only ask why the occupy protests encouraged the same behavior to find your answer. It’s retention of power, and face-saving, nothing more.

    • Also, on the “inaccuracies” part, change.org isn’t an innovation created by the White House. It’s a for-profit incorporated in Delaware, founded in 2007.

      Mind, it’s certainly been *used by* the White House… but it isn’t an innovation created by them.

  4. The sexual harassment policy being promoted by the DoJ is broader than the policies currently in place in the federal service academies like Annapolis and West Point. In the service academies, one of the wessential characteristics of sexual harassment is that it be “prejudicial to discipline and good order”. Nothing in the DoJ letter indicates that unwelcome conduct must be prejudicial to discipline and good order.

    I use the service academies as an example because they are allowed under Supreme Court precedent to adopt broader sexual harassment policies than civilian public universities.

    In Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981), the Supreme Court noted the “judicial deference… is at its apogee when legislative action under the congressional authority to raise and support armies and make rules and regulations for their governance is challenged.” Rostker, 453 U.S. at 70. Courts “[adhere] to [the] principle of deference in a variety of contexts [such as] where the constitutional rights of servicemen [are] implicated”” Weiss v. United States,510 U.S. 163 at 177 (1994) “Congress is permitted to legislate both with greater breadth and with greater flexibility when the statute governs military society.” Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733 at 755 “[T]he tests and limitations [associated with constitutional challenges] may differ because of the military context.” Weiss 510 U.S. at 177

    Thus, military policies have been upheld in situations where comparable civilian policies would be struck down. See e.g. Rostker, 453 U.S. 57 (sustaining male-only draft), Goldman v. Weinberger, 475 U.S. 503 (1986) (sustaining Air Force regulations prohibiting wearing yarmulkes while on duty)

    It therefore follows that public civilian universities can not enact a broader anti sexual harassment policy than the service academies. If a policy is too broad even for West Point, see Rostker, supra, then it is too broad for civilian public universities.

    And yet, the DoJ letter did not even require that the unwelcome conduct be prejudicial to discipline and good order. Nowhere does that phrase appear in the letter. In fact, it implies the service academies are violating Title IX by refusing to prohibit or punish conduct that is not prejudicial to discipline and good order.

    I make one more note. When people had concerns that the government’s measures against sand Nazi terror may infringe on our liberties, some people called them terrorist-lovers who hate America. Today, some people call critics of the DoJ letter women-haters, who want to defend a right to engage in sexual harassment or assault.

    How many supporters of the DoJ letter also believe that people concerned with our rights are terrorist-lovers? More importantly, how many supporters of the letter opposed those who called people terrorist-lovers merely because they had concerns about how the war is infringing on our rights?

  5. The larger problem is not the law but the ENFORCEMENT of the law. Unfortunately, campus crimes are usually handled by campus police, who are a real police department, headed by a real University Administrator.

    So the prosecution of crime is conducted in a manner of best interest to the School, not the victim. Sexual assault of women is just one area where crime is handled differently than a regular police department.

    The most famous recent example is how the accusation of Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation was handled by Penn State University Park Police. An eyewitness complaining about children being attacked in a school shower would have gone much further at a regular city.

    All these new laws or letters are the result of campus police not enforcing existing law…

    • But JJ, this, unlike Penn State/ Paterno/Sandusky, is an issue of the formal university process essentially allowing felonies to get by with a rap on the wrist. There’s no cover-up—just warped priorities and bizarre values.

      • Which is precisely the reason that, were I female and a student at ANY University, I would file charges, not a University complaint. Also note that while campus police departments are, indeed, real, actual police departments, they have no one to answer to than the university administrators. One could make the case that they are answerable to the local D.A. but until the D.A. pushes for the accountability, it isn’t going to happen.

        • Would the university police be responsible for handling the actual investigation?

          I know that a rape case from the USMA at West Point would not be investigated by the Academy’s military police (which is analogous to civilian university police), but by the Army CID, whose commander reports directly to the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army, thus bypassing the West Point administration.

          • Mike, University Police are much like the Military Police in that they are generally a uniformed-only whose sole purpose is to keep order. It is very unlikely that they would investigate any major crime, primarily because they do not have an investigative branch (Detectives). If, as some do, they claim to investigate, or if the Administrator to whom they report is claiming to investigate, they are probably lying. They do not possess the skill set to do so. Kinda make me wonder, however, why the local cops and prosecutors are not hearing about these rapes.

    • The most famous recent example is how the accusation of Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation was handled by Penn State University Park Police. An eyewitness complaining about children being attacked in a school shower would have gone much further at a regular city.

      I thought the criticism of Penn State is that they hid the conduct from the police.

  6. Criminal charges are entirely separate from internal disciplinary procedures at a college. Arrests or convictions in court, for instance, would not automatically expel or suspend a student. A separate investigation and decision would need to be made by school administers for any of these penalties to be applied.

    Based alone on the brief quotes from the disciplinary procedures from Yale, we simply do not have enough information to know if the victims also went to the police, or if not, their motivation for not doing so.

  7. Perhaps what scares me the most about all this is that one of the most despicable of all crimes- rape- has been downgraded in its offensiveness by the rechristening of it as “nonconsensual sex”. That’s like calling murder nonconsensual death! I can only wonder if that term isn’t waiting in the wings to be applied to those paramilitary neopolice that raid houses and retirement homes, killing on what seems to be the slightest excuse.

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