To Revoke or Not: Colleges That Gave Cosby Honors Face a Tough Question by Sydney Ember and Colin Moynihan [New York Times]
Few people in American history have been recognized by universities as often as Mr. Cosby, whose publicist once estimated that the entertainer had collected more than 100 honorary degrees. The New York Times, in a quick search, found nearly 60. But now, as dozens of women have come forward to accuse Mr. Cosby of sexual assault, colleges across the country are confronting the question of what to do when someone who has been honored falls from grace.[more inside]
When a female student sued the University of Oregon over their manipulation of the punishment of three basketball players for gangraping her in order to allow them to compete in the NCAA Tournament, the university came up with a novel defense strategy: they released her records from the campus health center from when she sought therapy after the rape to their legal team. Without either consent from the student or a legal order opening the records to discovery. The scariest part: they may very well be in the legal clear. [more inside]
Rape on the Campus by Zoë Heller [New York Review of Books]
"Few would disagree that the systems for preventing and prosecuting sexual assault on US campuses are in need of change. But the efficacy and fairness of recent reforms that focus on making college grievance procedures more favorable to complainants and on codifying strict new definitions of sexual consent remain highly questionable."
Nudging College Students to Prevent Rape and Sexual Assault: Would serial offenders have a harder time if more men and women felt personally responsible for stopping them?
An unusual feature of residential life at Pomona was the "sponsor program," wherein two sophomores (one male and one female) are assigned to live in every freshmen hall. Sponsors didn't enforce rules like residence advisors. Indeed, sponsors often used their upperclassmen friends to get fake IDs or knowledge of local liquor stores to help their new freshmen friends to obtain alcohol. But part of sponsor training involved being taught how to help or intervene in circumstances as varied as clinical depression, alcohol poisoning, an eating disorder, or a drug addiction. For the most part, you avoided butting into anyone's business on campus, even if that person was breaking rules. But you also did your best to prevent anything catastrophic from happening, being just slightly older and wiser. Even a light touch could accomplish a lot. "Dude, you're drunk. Leave her alone. Eat this pizza.""Don't get raped" education is tired and unhelpful. "Don't rape people" education is (many claim) pie-in-the-sky idealism. What if the education focused on bystanders instead? Conor Friedersdorf writes about his own undergraduate experience and whether something like it might be expanded to other colleges.
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf) that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
A nine-month investigation by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that student victims of sexual assaults "face a depressing litany of barriers that often either assure their silence or leave them feeling victimized a second time." [more inside]
Men Can Stop Rape is part of a growing movement to stop rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence by focusing on educating men. There are efforts to change the climate on college campuses and curriculum at Haverford, Tulane, Kansas State, Idaho State, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, University of Minnesota, University of Maine, Portland State, Harvard, University of Rochester, University of Delaware, Franklin and Marshall, and Colorado State, to name a few. Want to start your own? Here's how. Not in college? There's [more inside]
I hope you have your consent forms. According to page 23 of The 2003-2004 Colby Sawyer Student Handbook, students accused of date rape are expected to provide "evidence of unequivocal consent" to defend themselves from the charge. The handbook does not state what constitutes "evidence of unequivocal consent".
"It's really like rape" say lawyers for a college student who sued Arco Media (makers of "Wild Party Girls Video") and won 5 million dollars. From what I was able to find, alcohol was not forced down her throat (she used intoxication as part of her defense) so I am having a difficult time seeing where the "rape" part comes in.