Friday, March 1, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Sexual Paranoia: Why Professors Are Becoming Scared of Their Students
By Heritage Foundation @ 3:54 PM :: 4748 Views :: Higher Education

Why Professors Are Becoming Scared of Their Students

by Andrew Kloster, Elijah Coryell, Daily Signal, June 22, 2015

Professor Edward Schlosser (a pseudonym) recently wrote a provocatively titled piece: “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me.”  The professor discusses identity politics and the culture of offense that has grown on college campuses.

And if Northwestern University School of Communication professor Laura Kipnis and the aftermath of her Title IX investigation at Northwestern University has taught us anything, it is that even discussing sensitive issues in the abstract could make you the target of campus censors.

In a February 27th essay published in The Chronicle entitled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe,” Kipnis reflected on the growing unease among university faculty when it comes to knowing the limits of free expression, both in classroom instruction and in student-teacher relationships.

Her comments included reference to publicly available details regarding recent Title IX sexual harassment investigations and lawsuits between Northwestern faculty and students. She was generally critical of a culture of fear on campus (“In the post-Title IX landscape, sexual panic rules”) and argued that the “new codes [of sexual conduct] sweeping American campuses aren’t just a striking abridgment of everyone’s freedom, they’re also intellectually embarrassing.”

And (who could have seen this coming?), soon after publication, two students filed Title IX complaints against her, asserting that her essay represented a “retaliation,” and that it had a “chilling effect” on students’ willingness to report sexual harassment on campus.  She later wrote about this incident as well.

Thankfully, Northwestern recently exonerated Kipnis, but the poor treatment she endured over the course of her lengthy investigation has made onlookers take pause.

Although Kipnis was informed of the complaints filed against her, it would be days before she would learn the nature of the charges levied against her. She would not have the right to have an attorney present during the investigation proceedings. (Although she was allowed a “faculty-support person”—as long as that person didn’t speak.) Moreover, when interviewed by  the investigating lawyers, she was not permitted to even record their sessions. Transparency need not be a priority when you are the judge, jury and prosecutor.

There is a simply poetic absurdity about the fact that—in writing a critical appraisal of the confusing sexual mores and consequent harassment investigations—Kipnis herself was accused of “retaliating” and found herself the subject of a sexual harassment investigation.

To compound the irony, after innocuously questioning the legitimacy of Kipnis’ investigation in a Faculty Senate meeting, Kipnis’ “support person” received his own Title IX complaint. Nowadays, even discussing sexual assault procedures can get you labeled a sexual harasser. Advocating for due process protections for those accused of potentially heinous acts can itself put you in the line of fire.

The irony now is that the terms “free speech” and “due process” are being turned on their heads, particularly by university professors themselves.

Last year, two students at University of California-Santa Barbara had their anti-abortion signs stolen by, and were themselves assaulted by, professor Mireille Miller-Young, who has since been sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and 10 hours of anger-management classes.

Miller-Young defended her actions as an exercise of free expression, and likened herself to a “conscientious objector.” (One might also recall the case of Mona Eltahawy, a journalist arrested for vandalizing pro-Israel subway ads. Caught on tape, Eltahawy repeatedly called her vandalism and assault of the videotaper, “freedom of expression.”)   Whether vandalizing student displays, stealing student newspapers or attempting to silence dissent from the left-wing consensus, the sham defense is so often “but we are just expressing ourselves, too.”

If we are to take seriously the safety of our campus communities, basic principles of due process and free speech must be protected. Fundamentally, the first step must be to wrest these concepts back from those who deploy them dishonestly and irresponsibly. And until campus culture is changed to eliminate the identity politics and thin-skins that professor Schlosser identifies, things will only get worse.

---30---

Related:

 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT