Student sues over masturbation assignment

by College Fix Staff on November 14, 2011

A student at Western Nevada College has filed a sexual harassment claim against the school, citing her experiences in Tom Kubistant’s Human Sexuality class. The student, Karen Royce, alleged that Kubistant instructed students to masturbate twice as often and keep detailed accounts of their sexual lives. According to The Arizona Republic:

Other journal assignments in Kubistant’s class included requiring female students to write “your views of your breasts and vulva,” and the instruction: “Your orgasms. Draw them!”

The term paper for the course requires students to write a 12- to 14-page sexual case study on themselves.

The project begins with a sex history — including a directive to reveal any instances of abuse — and continues through sexual values, arousal patterns and atypical issues such as fetishes.

When Royce asked Kubistant for an alternative assignment, she said, he again refused.

“He said I absolutely had to complete it as assigned or I would not pass the class,” she said in the complaint. “Then he inferred to the class that I had issues that (I) need to work out and this might be sexual freedom.”

Royce would like her tuition refunded, and has filed a complaint with the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. Mark Ghan, WNC vice president and general counsel, defended the instructor and his teaching methods:

Ghan said an independent investigator determined that Royce’s harassment allegation was unfounded.

“The conclusion is there’s no sexual harassment,” he said. “I’m not surprised, because sexual harassment in the law is unwelcome conduct. It’s not unwelcome conduct when you intentionally sign up for an elective course.”

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  • Dale Hobden

    now i could see if she was asked to masterbate in front of the class and they due a study on her and her orgasms. other wise i think its kinda hot and kinky

    • cornell

      This from a guy who can’t spell “do”.

      • radtx

        He should get together with Samuel, below, who can’t spell due. Perhaps between the two of them they could make one passable writer.

    • Maureen

      Would you do as you suggest? If you answer yes, perhaps we should send your name to BAU of the FBI since you will probably become another Ted Bundy.

  • festerphyle

    IF this an elective class, choose another. I’m sure if she has problems with the class, they’ll accomidate her with another. To file a legal complaint she must have some dammages. The only thing dammaged in the article seems to be her feelings and that doesn’t rise to the level of a court action.

    • CR

      Actually its not an elective. It is a REQUIRED transfer class needed for the counseling degree. She went to the teacher and asked for alternate assignments. He wouldn’t do it. Fuck him; he’s a perv.

      • Joe

        Why should he cater to he feelings of one person. It seems that happens all to much in this country, if she doesn’t like it she can go and drop the class, or grow upand get another feeling. The whole issue is that the syllabus of the class usually is an easy read. Which I’m sure she did not take the time, she took the class word of mouth, mom found out and said WTF, after reading the syllabus, she said I didn’t know mom saw dollar signs. Everybody is outraged but really could care less. You hypocrites and holyer than thous were no angles. Oh by the way I think the class could be taught with a little more “class”. It is still voluntary.

        • LP

          Joe,
          You need a spell checker, man, and so much more. Maybe you and Dale should be “dueing” some Jr. High grammar lessons together. Throwing commas around inappropriately doesn’t make the asininity written above appear any less pathetic. In fact, the attempt is so much more hopeless for the half baked effort to appear educated. If you are a high school graduate, perhaps you should take the chick’s lead and sue your school for malpractice. I’m just guessing, but I presume the pages are likely stuck together when the “professor” returns them to the dupes that actually handed research to him. Listen closely as you contemplate the idiocy of this college and the illiterate defenders. Shhh….hear it…the sizzling? That’s civilization like bacon in hot pan. “Are we not men? No, we are Devo, Devo.”

      • TJ

        Sounds to me like he’s collecting material for his own masturbation fantasies…..

        • Karen Royce

          You are probably right! What a visual!

      • Samuel

        In response to your naive comment CR, here is some information to enlighten you! I personally attend this college and KNOW for a fact that it is not a required class for a counseling degree because first off: 1. it is an elective, however it does count towards a degree if taken 2. Our college doesn’t offer a degree in counseling and 3. It isn’t required for an AA or AS degree. Also, there are over 100 students who have taken this course from all walks of life and walked away with a positive experience. As a matter of fact, the class fills up within days after the enrollment date do to its popularity. Do some research before you open your mouth.

      • michelle

        yes he is

      • Shane

        Actually, it is an elective in this college. I was in Karen’s class that semester. Bitch is crazy. Kubistant never did anything Karen claims he did.

    • Amanda

      The main issue I have, is that he commented on her complaint to the class. And then commented on the girl’s own sexuality. Part of studying Human Sexuality is recognizing that not every person is comfortable with it. While I understand not wanting to do it, and perhaps not wanting to give an alternative assignment, his conduct on the matter is more than a bit revolting. Making fun of her to the class is, honestly, a form of harassment.

      Now, is this a legal issue, or one for a college disciplinary action? I’m no legal expert, but I think there’s more to this story than we’re hearing. She could have dropped the course and then filed for a refund of tuition based on what had happened. I don’t think any good attorney would advice a law suit unless that had already been tried and nothing had happened.

      • Karen Royce

        Thanks Amanda…yes there will be a big story shortly…and the critics will be eating their words for breakfast. It is worse than I could have imagined. I don’t feel sorry for people who use their student as a personal resource.

      • angelatc (@AngelaTC)

        So, when a conservative business owner behaves inappropriately, it’s outrageous to think that the victim should simply find another job.

        But when a liberal college professor behaves inappropriately, it’s outrageous to think that the victim should simply find another class.

        I think the guy is a perv. Studying human sexuality is one thing, but demanding that students disclose private details about their own sex lives does nothing to further their own education. The guy is a teacher, not a counselor.

    • Maureen

      Isn’t that the definition of sexual harassment?

    • radtx

      You wouldn’t know this since you obviously slept through any colleges classes you may have taken because you misspelled tenses of damage twice, but if it’s after the drop date when the perv prof gives an assignment like this, you can’t drop the class and pick up another, or get your money back. The perv knew what he was doing by waiting until after the drop date.

  • sgt

    Hasn’t anyone who commented gone past kindergarten? … or just too dumb to learn how to spell correctly? Another possibility is that festerphyle and Dale Hobden are Mexican since they spell phonetically… :”(

    • Walker

      Agreed. Most of the contributors are supposedly products of our nation’s educational system, yet the clumsy grammar, syntax, and spelling imply very little was absorbed. How embarrassing.

    • AlwaysRIGHT

      That’s a personal pet peeve of mine, as well. Spelling and grammar errors are everywhere on any message board. Looks like most people are retarded. Seriously, they are making spelling/grammar mistakes that I could have caught/corrected when I was about 8 years old.

      • Sashland

        Lighten up spell freaks… this is just a comment board, not a term paper. Ever heard that one about trees / forest?

  • Michealle

    I agree with sgt — learn to spell. And as for whether she has a case, YES, she does! This ‘instructor’ must have a great time grading his assignments – sicko. It’s Western Nevada College, not The School For Sexual Exploration & Research. I am guessing it’s a STATE college, with state support. If I paid taxes there I would be furious that my money was going to this kinky oddball or to any other courses like it. I’m guessing the countries that are smoking us in education aren’t offering college courses in pathetic stuff like this.

    • W. Orrin Eldred

      Maybe we are lazy in a way, the reality is I am dyslixic and have never ever been able to spell well. Get a real life.

      • Michael Shepard

        There is always some moron who wants to seize on someones chance mistake of spelling or grammar to try and distract from the fact that the person is right. Liberals especially like this tactic, which is confusing to me since they are supposed to be the compassionate ones. Some people have learning disabilities, it does not make them stupid. Since when does education equal intelligence? You only have to look at the Senate to see plenty of educated idiots.

        • radtx

          Dyslexia has nothing to do with where to place a period, or capitalize the first word of a sentence, or capitalize a stand alone I. And Michael Shepard, “…chance mistake of spelling or grammar?” Are you kidding! Read for ten minutes. These aren’t occasional mistakes, like we all make. Heck, I’ve probably made a few here. We’re talking about people who have plenty of opinions but can’t begin to espouse them in written form, because their writing is so bad. It makes me ill the way our public schools pump out people like these who can’t write above a second or third grade level.

    • Mary L Allen

      Exactly what I was thinking. You said it well!

    • Karen Royce

      Yeah! Somebody gets it! The taxpayers will have more to complain about vey soon when the entire truth comes out.

  • Don Smith

    I would think that if the school would have clearly atated in the course description that this type of “study” material would be required, the student would have choosen something else. Still, if the description was just a simple one liner, like so many other college course descriptions, they should refund her tuition for the class.

  • Jennie

    What was the description of the course? Having to journal something so incredibly personal would not typically be expected, even in a Human Sexuality course. But if the course description clarified that the course would include journaling one’s own sexual activity, then the student would not have a case.

  • http://twitter.com/newclasstraitor IntellectualFraudsterLoather

    And then you wonder why college degrees in the social pseudosciences and humaninanities aren’t worth the paper they are printed on anymore.

  • EagleJennings

    And I was annoyed that I had to compose a ten page socialization review! I think, if this was not clearly outlined in the syllabus, it crosses MANY. Lines and the student has a case. Having said that, I see no educational value in this, syllabus or no.

  • karen royce

    I find it interesting that this article states that I have filed a lawsuit. The truth is I haven’t filed anything except a cpmplaint. Based on Mark Ghan, the college legal advisor, he states that an elective class is not protected under the college harassment policy, simply because it is “elective”. I find it difficult to understand that statement. If a student has no reason in his personal opinion, to be in the class, then the student does’t have any rights. I don’t think public colleges have authority to pick and choose what class a student has basic civil rights.
    Bottom line, my complaint is still about inaproppraite content for a freshman level social science class, it is against published faculty conduct policy and ethic codes established by the NSHE Board of Regents. If a licensed psychologist cannot ask these personal questions, why can a community college teacher in Carson City NV?

    • radtx

      Karen, Karen, Karen. You’ll soon learn that liberals don’t need or want facts; facts just interfere with their opinions.
      You hang tough because even liberal colleges can’t dictate where sexual harassment can or cannot take place. But it sounds like this perv will be looking for a job soon. And he’ll probably get it in an elementary school.

      • Kasey

        I’m glad to hear that this article was mistaken.. thank you for sharing Karen. However, “radtx” you sound ignorant. Blaming this class on liberals?

  • http://yahoo starz21

    i agree the guy is a perv thats not teaching them anything hes a sicko that needs to be fired. thats way to personal.

    • Joe

      So what is your point.

  • healthnut

    The school administration has gone from bad to worst in most states…the children are suppose to be in school to learn how to read, write, and math…AND what do we and our children get is nothing but PORN…and I believe from what I see that soon our children will be required to perform…Perverts are everywhere… schools…is the worst due to the fact that the majority of parents have placed their trusts in those teachers…Then there are coaches…bus drivers…other students…Parents with young children need to take their children away and home school them before it’s too late. Shameful and disgusting…

  • Joe

    The amazing thing is that there is usually more than one HS instructor at a college. This is a department through further diligence. It is not the only class. She got her feelings hurt because she did not get her way. By the way the whole class was required to do the assignment not just females. Equal operatunity harassment? Again I am libratiarian and a constutionalist. So don’t think this is comming from a liberal. If you don’t look at the whole story you can’t make a reasonable dicidion as to wats going on. You get to say errrrr I did not know that when it’s all over. She is upset she did not get her own way. She is past the drop date for classes. She did not read the syllabus. Oh well, take the hit, do the assignment or don’t. Retake the class next semester. Grow up. The school gave the ok for the class and he way it’s taught.

    • Tsiyr

      Oh so what your saying Joe, is he is not only a heterosexual pervert, but a bisexual pervert instead.

    • Karen Royce

      Hey Joe….were you there? seems like you are making assumptions based on false information. How do you know what I am upset over? Maybe you need to grow up and talk about subjects you know something about.

      • Kasey

        By responding to the people on this forum, you’re making yourself look stupid and ignorant. I was on your side – but let a judge see this forum… I changed my mind.

    • Mitch

      Joe, your thinking is as sloppy as your writing. If the syllabus says you’re required to denounce your parents and drown puppies, and some degenerate college administrator approves it, students can still refuse to perform outrageous and degrading acts. No college course should require that a student disclose sexual abuse or engage in sexual activity.

      Just to clarify, the words are spelled: “opportunity,” “libertarian,” “constitutionalist,” “coming,” “decision,” and “what’s.”

  • http://TheCollegeFix rickinkansas

    While I’m not to old to probably enjoy all the information ask for in the assignment it has no value other than to provide a teacher with his own perverted knowledge of what kids do what. I don’t believe any one other than your doctor or clergyman would ask these type of questions and then only if prompted by symthomatic problems stated by the person. This teacher is a freak,voyuer that kids shouldn’t be forced to have to put up with. If he had one of my kids in class and pulled this crap I’m afraid he would soon be listed MIA. Liberals can justify anything but God doesn’t rationaize.

    • Karen Royce

      Yes…definitely a freak!
      He deserves what he has coming!

  • RogerGA

    What kind of college offers a course on “human sexuality” unless it is part of a pre-med program? Are there not ways to study this topic without resorting to “VIP room” exercises? Are taxpayer dollars going to this school? Why do so many colleges believe it is necessary and beneficial to offer crap on their curricula? Meanwhile, college students in China, Japan, and India are doubling down on their engineering and math courses. You folks going $80K into debt to fund an undergrad education in the USA….you have my sympathy.

  • http://FOXNEWS pb1271

    if she is to stupid to ask about the class before she took it then no money back sorry now go masturbate/////

    • radtx

      Your logic sounds as stupid as your writing ability, but you’re “too” stupid to even realize it. Go back to second grade.

  • Betty

    I agree with Roger GA, I could not have said it better myself. As for all the others that see nothing wrong with having a class like this at any level in our schools sickens me. This is not something that will help our children learn a trade or profession to provide a good paying position at a company to support there familes or contribute anything worthwhile to society. How on earth do you think our forefathers made us the greatest Country on earth? It certainly wasn’t about the sexual body functions!! Get the Looneys out of our schools. In my opinion some should be put in jail, not our classrooms. Shame on the Schools for wasting tuition money on this kind of crude worthlessness. being taught to our children. By the way Karen Royce should not only get her money refunded but should receive compansation for the hassle of it all, and of course the School,Mark Gran, and the instructor Kubistant should all be fired and never be involved in any educational activities.

    • Karen Royce

      Thank you Betty…well said!

  • bighoss

    In the words of Colonel Bat Guano, that prof is a “deviated prevert”!

    For those who are puzzled by this observation, check out Dr. Strangelove and enjoy the greatest Cold War comedy flick of all time!

  • Linda

    He apparently gets off on reading this type of stuff..he’s a sicko. That type of information is personal, just plain NONE OF HIS BUSINESS!

    • Karen Royce

      A waste of our tax dollars for his reading pleasure.

  • rooster rogers

    Karen, while I may agree that such requirements for a college course might be highly questionable; anyone who cannot spell “appropriate” probably does not belong in college.

    • Karen Royce

      feel better dishing some insults? Rooster? another word for that is….

  • steven303

    Hi Karen,

    While I think masturbation is a positive thing I think this teacher is totally crazy and I am glad you dropped the class, I would also.

    Hope you win and keep us updated

    Steve

  • Neil Paige

    My own opinion, I think a class like this sounds awesome! I wish I had a class like this in college, it would have been a GPA booster. However, the professor is wrong for forcing the student to do something against what they feel comfortable doing and should have given an alternative. I hope she wins and receives her tuition back. The only question I have for Karen is:

    If you were enrolling in a class named “Human Sexuality”, what were you expecting it to be about ? What were you thinking about while choosing this elective course? There had to be a description of this course or even criticism of the professor on ratemyprofessor.com. That was something I made sure I did in college before scheduling a class for the upcoming semester.

    • Maggie

      I have taken a course in Human Sexuality and have never been asked or instructed to do anything remotely related to this. This class is required for some degrees and not necessarily based on the students performance or lack of but exploration and discussion of many different aspects of human sexuality. If you discover something about yourself ,that is usually a by product,not a necessity to pass this class.
      This professor sounds a bit suspect to me,even if he is only into
      a power trip.

  • nee43

    In reading many of these replies, it appears that most of you do not know what “sexual harrassment” is — at least as defined by our government. Quid Pro Quo sexual harrassment is “you give me something for something or you will be punished” (stated not technically, but so it is easier to understand). Hostile Environment sexual harrassment is “creating an environment where an “individual” is made to feel uncomfortable based on sex.” This can be very general situations; such as, learing at someone, telling jokes, remarking about someone’s clothes, etc. For those who are familiar with Hostile Environment, they believe it is measured on what the majority of others would consider as harrassment. Well, folks, there are court cases that have set the precedence that the activity “only” has to make the “individual” uncomfortable — not others. Whether this is an elective class on Human Sexuality or not, as I read the article, I immediately reacted to the instructor’s threat – quid pro quo. You either give me what I want in this assigment or I will fail you. Remember the subject of the assignment has to do with the individual’s “personal” sex life — not a study of others or a research paper. The instructor’s comments in front of the class would fall in the hostile environment realm – again referring to her sexuality personally. This was not a math assignment – you either do the problems assigned or else or making a statement in front of the class, such as, “you’re terrible in math and have no talent.” Sex is not involved.

    I spent many years training supervisors and managers regarding sexual harassment and how to avoid being brought into a suit — not only against the employee, but also the company. There’s many company (and a school is still a company doing business) that has paid out millions of dollars for permitting such infractions. This lady may have more of a case than you think. But I’m not the judge or jury who would make the decision.

  • Maggie

    Some of us just are not comfortable discussing our sex lives with people we have not developed trust with . Think about it. This guy could have this info on file and ,who knows, use it for reasons that are not educational or acceptable to many. An alternative should be available if this is a required course.

    • Mr D

      Maggie
      Not only will he have this information on file, but in this day and age he has a publisher out there that is waiting with a fist full of dollars for such personal and titilating information. I am a Prof. Emeritus from a small technical college that was full of big fish in a little pond. Professors and instructional staff that never held a job in the “real world”. They thought that they held the key to your success with their lofty ideas{ideals}. When in fact they were unemployable outside academia. I was graduating electromechanical technicians with a two year degree starting at twice the salary of a starting instructor at our institution requiring an MA in sumtin’.
      The technical faculty and staff were considered “Perfessers of a lesser god”
      Semper fi
      Mr D.
      P.S. This “professor”is nothing better than a pedophile, I personally would like to meet up with him in a “pub” sometime to discuss apropriate behavior arround undergraduates. I can bet there is an “A” for a lay to be had.

  • http://www.umsl.edu Robert Morgan

    If you have commented here supporting the Instructor in this class, then put your money where your mouth is and list your entire sexual history in a comment here.
    You probably read that and reply with indignation “No way, that’s none of your business, I’m not doing that!”.
    Well guess what? Welcome to Karen Royce’s world.
    To be perfectly honest, it sounds to me like the INSTRUCTOR has some sexual issues HE needs to work out. Forcing students to fulfill your sexual fantasy needs by living vicariously through their private sexual lives through papers they are forced under threat of failing to write, AND being paid by said students to do so, sounds like a recipe for putting some therapist’s kids thorough their own college in the required session fees alone.

    In another vein, how many sexual abuse survivors do you know that are comfortable discussing their past sexual abuse to a class of strangers? Who could?
    As an employee of the University of Missouri, I’ve learned through the required hours of sexual harassment training I take every year to keep my job that conduct such as this would get ME instantly fired, even if it was a ‘joke’ or ‘misunderstanding’. I wasn’t aware sexual harassment bordering on abuse was treated so permissively in Arizona.

    Karen, regardless of how your case resolves, I’d like to invite you to a highly-ranked, and above all safe and welcoming educational experience here at The University of Missouri-Saint Louis! Best of luck to you.

  • Heather W

    Wow, these classroom assignments are utterly inappropriate. Thousands of courses in “Human Sexuality” are taught around the nation and the world every day, and I doubt any of them besides this one uses the students own sexual histories and experiences as the material for the course. Rule number one of sex ed instruction is that you never use yourself as the example – and this would go for assignments of up and coming counselors as well. I hope this college fires this professor pronto. Utterly, completely inappropriate.

  • star

    I could have gotten an A+ in this class!

  • fauowl

    Suggestion to the student: turn in 12-14 pages suggesting the psuedo-professor try to perform a physically impossible act upon himself. Maybe that is his fantasy that he cannot fulfill.

    As far as grading the papers of the students, make sure he keeps both hands above the desk. No cheating allowed by placing one hand in your lap Prof. Pervert.

  • Kate

    Personally, I think the class sounds interesting and highly enlightening for someone going on to practice counseling or psychology. Human sexuality, while personal, is not something to fear and it sounds to me that the assignment was intended to help the students get a better understanding of themselves and their bodies in a way that makes them more knowledgeable, liberated, and comfortable with sex topics. And I have no issue with taxpayer money given to schools that teach about sex. Maybe if we all learned more about human sexuality and our bodies, and allowed ourselves to be comfortable discussing sexual matters, perhaps there would be healthier relationships, lower abuse rates, lower teen pregnancies rates, and lower abortion rates in this country.
    And for all the commentators who were quick to call the professor “a perv”, I also didn’t see any mention that the professor intended to read these journals. I’ve had many journal assignments in different schools where the professors only took a cursory glance to make sure one did the assignment, but did not read the personal entries within. These students are not children, they are adults. I see these assignments as a wonderful opportunity for growth and understanding; the topic is definitely worth learning about in school. Everyone can benefit from knowing what their body looks likes, how it functions, and what makes it feel good. I wholeheartedly believe that one should explore and discover one’s sexual likes and dislikes on one’s own, before a sexual partner provides, most likely erroneously, the lecture.

    And finally, the assignment about drawing one’s orgasm is pure genius.

    • Kasey

      I agree! I’ve taken a very similar course and enlightening is a great way to describe it.

  • Nicole

    Despite entertaining the idea that the man is, in fact, giving these assignments to provide himself with hours of free masturbatory material, I think the most disturbing part of requiring students to disclose essentially every detail of their sex lives in writing is that in our society, most things related to sex can still be very damaging to a person’s career or reputation. While I don’t think that things should be this way, it is reality for now. And while I think that many of the assignments described could be deeply liberating and beneficial to the students’ sexual maturation and fulfillment, I worry that there are not enough privacy protections in place to keep copies of their assignments from later being made public if any of these students wind up in the public eye. If these issues were discussed with a sex therapist, it would pretty much ruin that therapist’s life to disclose what was discussed to the public, but I am not sure the same would be true of a college professor. I would want to be very sure there are laws in place in the state mandating that any information disclosed to the professor remain 100% confidential before allowing impressionable and often impulsive young students to hand in such assignments. In addition, unless the syllabus was discussed with the class in detail before the college’s add/drop period ended, I think that requiring someone to disclose sexual information about themselves or fail the class definitely fits the definition of sexual harassment. But, if the students knew about all of the assignments on day 1 and could have dropped the class for a full refund at that time, I don’t think this young lady has much of a case.

  • http://TheCollegeFix rickinkansas

    Did the class desciption happen to mention that you would have to masturbate? Even if it’s not sexual harassment ,it’s certainly unethical. In the publics eye voyuerism may not be a crime but this is definately an underhanded way for the perv to get satisfaction at some one elses exspense.

  • Kasey

    I’ve taken a course that sounds almost identical to this one. The article says that the course is elective, and it’s called HUMAN SEXUALITY. If you’re not a sexual human, or human sexuality makes you uncomfortable, WHY take this course? I think that the class is a great way to familiarize students with normal versus abnormal sexuality and helps them become more comfortable with their own sexuality. It’s clearly not working for her, so she should stop going psycho to the government and simply take a different course. I can’t stand people who ignore their own and the rest of the world’s sexuality. Beyond that, I can’t stand it when people go straight to a lawsuit rather than trying to work it out. Sounds like she needs the course more than most people!!

  • Don Richards

    Kasey, I bet you also can’t stand people who don’t read the facts before they comment. Go back and try again.

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  • Cindy a

    I took his class and he is an amazing teacher, he doesn’t make anyone do anything in fact at the beginning of every semester he explains what will be taught in the class and he gives people a chance to drop during the refund period. He doesn’t even make anyone do anything his class is an elective course… There is a syllabus