Buzz

Miami’s Farmer School of Business is hosting conservative columnist George Will tomorrow, and many on the campus aren’t happy about it.

Will, as readers of The College Fix may know, penned a column back in June where he questioned the oft-cited “1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college” figure, and said that “Colleges become the victims of progressivism.”

The Miami Student reports:

“It is only midway through the first semester at Miami University and there have already been a handful of sexual assaults reported. This is, of course, not even a fraction of the number of unreported cases our campus has seen,” co-president of Feminists Working on Real Democracy (F-Word) Rebecca Clark said. “And let us not forget the ‘The Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape’ flier that was passed around two years ago that was barely acknowledged by the administration.”

“Where are these words now that Mr. Will is still scheduled to speak on campus, and being paid $48,000 — more than many people make in a year — to do so?” Clark said. “We feel that bringing Mr. Will in to speak is just another way the university continues to ignore how rape culture is present on not only this campus, but other college campuses nationwide.”

Only $48,000? Why, that’s pennies compared to what Hillary Clinton charges for a speech.

Nevertheless, many want Miami to do what Scripps College in Claremont, California did a couple weeks back — disinvite Mr. Will.

Many Miami students, faculty and staff have signed a petition which notes that Will’s appearance on campus “sends the wrong message to both current and future students about the tolerance or rape culture at Miami.”

Is the right message, then, perpetuating a phony figure so that some can … feel better?

Will is right about colleges becoming “victims of progressivism.” Maybe he can title his Miami lecture (if he remains invited) “Facts Over Feelings.”

Read the full article.

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UPDATED

The Penn Democrats wrote an op-ed in defense of “reproductive rights” for the Daily Pennsylvanian, arguing that women have the right to employer-paid abortion drugs and that abortion-clinic safety rules are “unnecessary.” Fair enough.

But these defenders of bodily integrity make a curious case for their contention that America’s abortion laws are “decades behind many other countries”:

While European countries provide free access to contraceptives and encourage comprehensive sex education, in America, women’s health care autonomy is limited by the religious and moral views of others.

The Penn Democrats are either woefully ignorant of Europe’s abortion laws or masters of omission, because America is far more permissive of abortion than most of Europe.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Cynthia Allen made this point in a Tuesday column on the Texas governor’s race, pitting pro-life Republican Greg Abbott against Democrat Wendy Davis, who made her name on a filibuster of a Texas bill to ban late-term abortions:

In Western Europe — a bastion of liberalism that many progressive policymakers look to with admiration — abortion laws are far more restrictive than those in the U.S.

In Germany, women seeking first-trimester abortions are subject to a mandatory three-day waiting period and a counseling session. Abortions after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are forbidden except in cases of grave threat to the mother’s physical or mental health. France’s laws are similar.

Other nations like the Netherlands, which requires a five-day wait, and the United Kingdom make abortion illegal after viability, generally considered to be between 22 and 24 weeks.

Davis’ absolutist position on abortion puts her to the left of the Netherlands, home of legalized prostitution, marijuana bars and physician-assisted suicide.

Are the Penn Democrats saying they’d rather have stricter laws on surgical abortion in tandem with wide access to birth control? Probably not, because then they would sound like Republican Rep. Cory Gardner in the Colorado Senate race.

Read the Daily Pennsylvanian op-ed.

CORRECTION: The original article incorrectly said Rep. Cory Gardner was a candidate in the Colorado governor’s race. He is a candidate in the Senate race. The article has been updated to reflect this.

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Colgate University is bragging that it’s not “scrambling to create programs to educate students and administrators about” affirmative consent, because since 2010 it’s offered a student-led program teaching both sexual partners “to enthusiastically agree to every step of a sexual encounter.”

If that program mentions alcohol’s role in regretted sexual encounters, misunderstandings and campus tribunals that seek a predetermined result, it’s not apparent in an NBCNews.com video feature on Colgate’s “Yes Means Yes” program.

There’s also no mention of alcohol in the full NBCNews.com writeup about the Colgate program. Only one quote, from Yes Means Yes student facilitator Emily Hawkins, hints at the underlying factor that drives so much confusion over consent – keep in mind she’s excluding sexual assault here:

“I think people have less-than-proud moments, sex they wish they wouldn’t have had. That’s the kind of sex we’re trying to prevent, too.”

Campus Reform notes that the program now counts as physical education credit, which may explain why “the makeup of the class has become far more diverse,” as NBCNews.com said.

Still, only a third of participants were men in the class that NBCNews.com visited, and one of the male leaders laments in the video that so few men are attending. Maybe because they don’t want to be called rapists for not wanting constant jabbering during sex:

But some, including several students in Hawkins’ seminar, worry that talking too much will ruin the mood. …

Hawkins said she’s “hardened to that argument.” If you feel too awkward to have that honest conversation, she said, “maybe you shouldn’t be having sex with that person.”

From how the student leaders describe it, Colgate’s program is intended primarily to ensure that students have awesome sex:

As students detailed their preferences and fantasies that Wednesday night, the room was thick with sexual tension. Hawkins said people constantly tell her all they want to do afterwards is go home and have sex.

What a heartwarming message. And you get PE credit for it!

Read the full NBCNews.com writeup.

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A year after the anonymous messaging app Yik Yak debuted at Wake Forest University, students are giving it mixed reviews, the Old Gold & Black reports:

“Yik Yak is garbage,” said junior, Dakota Lee. “It rebuilds the walls that anti-bullying campaigns have spent years tearing down, and promotes general campus division.”

Still, some Wake students feel the app is harmless. “Yik Yak gives complete attention to the words being said without judging the person who says them,” said junior, Jack Hickman.

But according to many students, the bad outweighs the good.

“I had to delete Yik Yak,” said senior, Daniel Buchen. “I felt like for every insightful comment, I had to read through 12 personal attacks on people and organizations. And I hated thinking people I go to school with are that shallow and petty.”

The paper quotes an op-ed from The Collegian at Kenyon College, picked up by the Huffington Post, which used rape-culture language to describe Yik Yak. The author is speaking about a theft of “Take Back the Night” supplies from the campus women’s center following a “threat” on Yik Yak:

[I'm] Scared because for reasons I can’t explain, women are being targeted with a vulgarity and vigor that I can’t believe is happening on a campus that I thought was respectful, thoughtful, and safe. …

When you turn to a platform like Yik Yak, I don’t think you actually care about change. You care about making your victims feel as small and as unsafe as possible. And it’s working.

Read the Old Gold & Black article and Kenyon Collegian article.

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IMAGE: Yik Yak

 

“The number of federal investigations into how colleges handle sexual violence reports has jumped 50 percent in the past six months,” the Washington Post reports:

On May 1, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights released the first public list of colleges and universities under scrutiny for possible violations of federal law in their responses to sexual violence allegations.

At the time, 59 cases were pending at 55 schools. As of this week, 89 cases are pending at 85 schools.

In other news, the number of lawsuits filed against universities in recent years alleging due process and other violations in adjudicating sexual assault has hit a new high as well, reaching 44 as of Oct. 8, according to a tally kept by A Voice for Male Students.

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h/t: Drudge Report

It’s shocking to think that parents can pay anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 a year to send their child to college and yet not have the right to find out how their kid is doing in school. But that’s the law.

There’s largely no such thing as back-to-school nights or parent-teacher conferences at colleges because the federal government apparently needs to protect wide-eyed young students from their concerned parents.

“Under the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or Ferpa, professors cannot speak about the academic performance of any college student without the student’s prior consent,” notes John J. Miller in the Wall Street Journal, adding that because of the law, professors are alsoforbidden to discuss grades with prospective employers. We’re banned from describing classroom habits with potential internship sponsors. And we can’t review test scores with moms and dads. It doesn’t matter who pays the tuition.”

The end result does a disservice to both students and parents. Consider the benefits at a college that does allow such interaction.

“My school is different: Hillsdale College refuses to accept federal aid so it doesn’t have to comply with Ferpa. We also see parents as partners. Meeting them serves the interests of our students and makes me a better professor,” explains Miller, a journalism professor at the small, private liberal-arts university in southern Michigan.

He goes on to describe how he will spend today – meeting with parents in 10-minute intervals at Hillsdale’s annual Parents Weekend:

Think of it like speed dating, except that I’ll hand out syllabi rather than phone numbers, though I’ll hand out those as well, in case parents ever want to call me. I’ll also describe my courses and explain what I hope to achieve. …

After we go over classroom performance, the conversation usually opens up. We discuss the interests and aptitudes of students and what these may suggest about vocations and careers. For a small liberal-arts college like mine, where we not only brag about small professor-student ratios but also believe in their value, these sorts of interactions are an important part of how we accomplish our mission. …

Last year, I met the parents of a promising senior. They told me something that triggered a thought. So I called a professional acquaintance and urged him to meet the student over Christmas break. Today, she is working for him. If Ferpa had regulated parent-teacher conversations on my campus, the encounter that made her current success possible probably would not have happened.

Many of my students grumble about parent-teacher conferences, thinking that they hark back to coddling in elementary school. This is an understandable frustration. At college, students want to taste the freedoms of adulthood, and perhaps even escape the clutches of “helicopter parents” who still think they should sign homework slips.

Yet the occasional overbearing parent is much better than an ever-present nanny state that tries to dictate the relationships between professors and parents from the remote precincts of the Education Department.

Read the full article.

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IMAGE: GrafixTek/Flickr