ohio state university

Anti-Israel activists at Ohio State University couldn’t follow the rules when they turned in a divestment petition for the 2015 student government election, so they did the next best thing: complain their way to getting a special election.

The Lantern reports that OSU Divest organizers forgot to put “the name of the [petition] circulator on every page,” which is a requirement under student government election bylaws. The Judicial Panel refused to put it on the ballot.

Organizers took Bill Clinton’s advice to Lisa Simpson: “If things don’t go your way, just keep complaining until your dreams come true.”

A rally was held in front of the Ohio Union prior to the Judicial Panel’s decision to create a special election on Wednesday, and was attended by approximately 40 people.

At the rally, organized by OSU Divest, students delivered speeches and shared their feelings on the subject.

The speeches touched on the apartheid that occurred in South Africa from 1948 through 1994, drawing parallels to the current events occurring in Israel and Palestine.

It’s not a done deal yet – the General Assembly has to sign off on the special election, which would take place March 30-April 1:

“To ensure fairness and student representation in this case, the Judicial Panel is instituting a special election as the only body charged with handling the entirety of undergraduate student elections,” the Judical [sic] Panel said in the [news] release.

The student president and vice president have already “expressed their concerns about OSU Divest’s voice being blocked,” the panel said.

Read the story.

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IMAGE: Wikia

By now you’ve most likely heard about the Legislature-approved bill in California that would have universities “adopt ‘affirmative consent’ language in their definitions of consensual sex.” Basically, the legislation, which awaits the governor’s signature, defines consent as “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.”

If you think this measure is likely to cause a plethora of headaches, you’re not alone.

But this didn’t stop Ohio State University from one-upping California. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Hans Bader notes:

Ohio State’s sexual-assault policy, which effectively turns some welcome touching into “sexual assault,” may be the product of its recent Resolution Agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (where I used to work) to resolve a Title IX complaint over its procedures for handling cases of sexual harassment and assault. That agreement, on page 6, requires the University to “provide consistent definitions of and guidance about the University terms ‘sexual harassment,’ ‘consent,’ ‘sexual violence,’ ‘sexual assault,’ and ‘sexual misconduct.’” It is possible that Ohio State will broaden its already overbroad “sexual assault” definition even further: Some officials at Ohio State, like its Student Wellness Center, advocate defining all sex or “kissing” without “verbal,” “enthusiastic” consent as “sexual assault.”

Ohio State applies an impractical “agreement” requirement to not just sex, but also to a much broader category of “touching” that is sexual (or perhaps romantic?) in nature. First, it states that “sexual assault is any form of non-consensual sexual activity. Sexual assault includes all unwanted sexual acts from intimidation to touching to various forms of penetration and rape.” Then, it states that “Consent is a knowing and voluntary verbal or non-verbal agreement between both parties to participate in each and every sexual act. . .Conduct will be considered “non-consensual” if no clear consent . . . is given. . . .Effective consent can be given by words or actions so long as the words or actions create a mutual understanding between both parties regarding the conditions of the sexual activity–ask, ‘do both of us understand and agree regarding the who, what, where, when, why, and how this sexual activity will take place?’”

Or, to put it another way as Rick Moran notes, “If you kiss a girl without permission, that is considered a sexual assault — even if the girl liked it.”

Read the full article here.

h/t to PJ Media.

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Isn’t this a great example of pointless, PR-driven policymaking today?

The Lantern reports that Ohio State University has yet to punish anyone for violating its smoking ban, imposed at the beginning of the year – not because people stopped smoking on campus, but because no one enforces it:

Though some students might be under the impression that those breaking the policy could face fines, the punishment isn’t enforced by University Police. OSU Human Resources and the Student Conduct Board handle that instead. …

[Peter Shields, deputy director of the Wexner Medical Center James Comprehensive Cancer Center,] said the committee that created the ban didn’t even think about a formal enforcement policy.

“It wasn’t even a discussion,“ Shields said. “When it comes up in a meeting, everyone looks at each other and says, ‘Yeah, no, let’s just move on.’” . [emphasis added]

Oh, and there’s not really a way to measure whether people are smoking less on campus:

Part of the plan for tracking effectiveness is a cigarette butt cleanup, where the university will compare numbers from last year. Shields said this might also prove inconclusive without multiple years of data. [emphasis added]

Obligatory man-on-the-street interview:

Some students, like Joe Cipollone, a first-year in accounting, said they have not felt the full effect of the ban.

“I’m gonna be honest, I’ve smoked on the campus and I never had anyone tell me to not smoke,” Cipollone said. “I’ve never had anyone actually enforce it.”

In contrast, Tulane University gives violators a $25 fine, The Lantern says.

Read the full story here.

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Not to downplay the seriousness of people exposing and gratifying themselves in public, but police at Ohio State University appear to have a very low threshold for “public indecency.”

The Lantern reports:

A 62-year-old man was advised to leave the Welcome Week concert for public indecency Friday.

Two plainclothes officers saw that the man had his hand inside of his pocket and appeared to be moving it while he was watching girls dance nearby, according to a University Police report. When the man saw a uniformed officer nearby, he untucked his shirt and kept his hand in his pocket.

When the officers approached the man and asked for his ID, they realized he had come in contact with police in 2013 when he made female students feel uncomfortable in the Ohio Union. The man tried to speak in sign language but the officers were unable to communicate with him, so they asked him to leave the area.

So an elderly deaf man who somehow made women “uncomfortable” in the past and “appears to be moving” his hand in his pocket is a threat. At least officers didn’t arrest him.

To read the rest of The Lantern’s blotter, click here.

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IMAGE: KaPo Shop/Flickr

Nobody’s story matches up in Ohio State University’s investigation into how thoroughly the school pushed to change the marching band’s “sexualized” culture before the band director was fired, The Lantern reports.

As The College Fix previously noted, a two-month investigation found that Director Jonathan Waters “would not address alcohol abuse” by band members and tolerated the band’s degrading sexual “tricks” like making one female member “imitate a sexual act” on her brother’s lap.

The problem is that the school’s former Title IX coordinator, the compliance chief and Waters himself can’t even agree on what happened at a meeting to discuss a sexual harassment complaint, The Lantern says:

“The very purpose of the meeting was to support Ms. [Andrea] Goldblum, as the Title IX coordinator, in ensuring that Title IX requirements were followed,” [compliance chief Gates] Garrity-Rokous said. 

Goldblum, however, said Garrity-Rokous constantly spoke over her during the meeting, preventing any real Title IX progress from happening. That kind of behavior was common for Garrity-Rokous, she said. …

After the meeting, Goldblum said Garrity-Rokous spoke down to her and told her she had been too aggressive.

“Gates said to me in a very condescending tone, ‘Andrea, you’ve never been a federal prosecutor like I was, so you don’t understand how to do these things,’” she said.

But Garrity-Rokous said those weren’t his words. 

“I did not use the quoted language, and my tone was consistent with my intent to help her improve her effectiveness in her new role,” he said.

And Waters said Tuesday he remembered the meeting as more of a meet-and-greet with Garrity-Rokous and Goldblum, rather than a chance to address any major sexual harassment concerns.

What kind of guidance the school gave Waters on appropriate band behavior has become a pivotal issue as he seeks to formally “clear his name,” but the school has refused to help him, which could lead Waters to sue OSU, The Lantern said.

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IMAGE: Photographer/Flickr

Ohio State is making a strong case that it’s the university equivalent of the neo-pagan orgy “Christmas Critters” episode of South Park.

First it came out that a psychology class was teaching students that atheists are smarter than Christians, and now the Ohio State marching band’s heavily “sexualized” culture has gotten its director fired.

A two-month investigation revealed a veritable carnival of sexual horrors practiced in the marching band and tolerated by band director Jonathan Waters (not the flamboyant director of Hairspray), The Columbus Dispatch reports:

Rookies were forced to perform “tricks” on command. In one case, a female student was told to imitate a sexual act on the laps of other band members, including her brother.

Several witnesses said that students performed a “flying 69” on tour buses, in which band members hung from the luggage racks and posed in a sexual position. Waters was on the bus when that happened as recently as last fall, according to Pam Bork, a band volunteer who quit last year.

Bork, who volunteered as a health official, reportedly told Waters on the bus, “If I have to hear the word penis or vagina one more time, I’m going to scream.” Bork quit soon after because Waters would not address alcohol abuse on that trip, she told investigators.

The school’s official investigation report catalogued in eye-popping detail band practices that would make Bob Saget blush:

  • The “tricks” section of the report (page 7) lists what sexually depraved actions the nicknamed rookies took “either on command or at their own volition”
  • An incredibly lewd “Rookie Exam” given to new band members (see in particular pages 15-20)
  • An “unofficial” marching band songbook with rewritten lyrics full to the brim with graphic sexual slurs and practices (some of which could be considered homophobic or misogynistic)


The fired director has his supporters, with some saying the band has been like this for decades, the Dispatch said:

Diana Gilmore was among those who found the punishment unfair. She said similar behavior has been part of the band since at least the 1970s, when her husband was a photographer for the band. She traveled on the tour bus and said she saw lewd behavior. She still has a photo of band members on the field raising middle fingers to the camera as her husband snapped a shot.

“This has been going on. Waters did not start this –– it’s a culture that’s been going on for a long time under everybody,” said Gilmore, whose husband, V. Scott, has since died.

For a quick rundown of the most objectionable parts of the exhibits, see this Deadspin article. The full Dispatch article is here.

UPDATE: The school has released a statement saying that, besides Waters’ firing, it appointed “Betty Montgomery, former Ohio Attorney General, to lead an independent task force, reporting directly to President [Michael] Drake and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to review this matter in its entirety.”

Drake also speaks on video in the statement, noting he joined the school only three weeks ago.

h/t Daily Caller

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IMAGES: Photographer/Flickr, Investigation report screenshot