ohio state university

Because there is such a dearth of diversity — and discussions about it — at universities across the land, Ohio State will play host to the twenty-first National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning this coming Monday and Tuesday.

Valerie Lee, OSU vice provost and chief diversity officer at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, certainly earned her lengthy title by nabbing the conference:

“The (conference) has become an invaluable source to help keep Ohio State at the forefront of inclusive excellence, providing students and professionals in all walks of life a way to learn best practices, address relevant topics, and understand differing perspectives on diversity.”

The Lantern reports:

“We try to offer our attendees a number of different sessions … things that are very pertinent to today’s world as far as what’s affecting us and where are we going in regards to diversity, race and learning,” Taylor said.

Monday will be a preconference day full of training sessions, and this will be the third year it has been with the conference.

One of these sessions will be hosted by Debby Irving, the author of “Waking Up White,” and she will be the featured speaker of her sessions. According to the book’s website, the book looks critically at racism in the country and how to properly talk about it.

Tuesday will be the conference day and will feature 20 sessions that will be announced at the event, Taylor said.

A majority of attendees will be from Big Ten states, Taylor said, adding that in the past, there have been attendees from states as far California and Texas.

“In a university of this size, it is not only a microcosm of the United States but is a microcosm of the globe. Because of that scope, that breadth, it is important to not only engage, understand, but also show respect for people of other cultures,” Taylor said.

“How to properly talk” about race and racism certainly sounds intriguing. Any takers that “properly” means “how Ms. Irving — and (racial) progressives — want you to talk about it”?

Being that Ms. Irving dubs herself a “racial justice educator and writer,” and based on the reviews of her book noted above, it’s probably a safe bet.

Read the full article.

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Last summer The College Fix’s Greg Piper reported on the “carnival of sexual horrors” that is — re: was — the Ohio State marching band.

The band director, Jon Waters, was canned from his position for “sexual assault” … for his failure “to adequately stop” the “sexualized culture” within the band.

This was amid claims the band had “been like th[at] for decades.”

Waters sued the school for lack of due process and gender discrimination; a U.S. district judge dismissed the former, but allowed the latter back on April 24.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Waters alleged in his lawsuit that female OSU employees in similar situations were allowed to keep their jobs and correct any concerns the school had. That wasn’t the case for Waters, he believes, because of his gender.

“As for Mr. Waters’ sole remaining claim, that he was terminated because he is a man, we look forward to providing the factual support to enable early dismissal of that claim as well at the next opportunity presented by the proceedings,” OSU spokesman Chris Davey told the Associated Press.

Waters’ attorney, David Axelrod (not that David Axelrod), said he was “pleased” with the judge’s decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

“We’ve said all along that Jon was treated very unfairly by Ohio State, and we’re anxious to start talking to the witnesses and getting to the truth,” Axelrod told the AP.

The Examiner’s Ashe Schow notes that Waters’ firing “conveniently coincided with an investigation by the Department of Education for Title IX investigations.”

Read the full article.

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IMAGE: photographer/Flickr

Perhaps this is more about survey phrasing, but it’s telling: Ohio State University has unusually low sexual-assault rates, at least compared to the popular but problematic 1-in-5 statistic.

The Lantern‘s “Scarlet Scoop” program says that a student government survey of more than 600 undergrads found that about 10 percent reported “someone trying to have intercourse against their will,” while  8 percent said “that actually happened.”

A plurality of students – 2 in 5 – said they were the victims of fondling, kissing, or rubbing against “private areas” or that someone tried to take off their clothes against their wishes.

It’s unclear whether the attempted and completed sexual-assault answers overlap at all, or whether the reported assault attempts were not completed, in which case the completed or attempted assaults would be 18 percent – closer to the 1-in-5 ur-stat.

The student government’s survey, which was apparently released three weeks ago but not reported until Thursday, doesn’t clarify.

OSUsexassault.TheLantern.screenshot

Students themselves showed the ambiguity that’s often involved with sexual activity in their survey answers:

About 1-2% of students selected “unsure” to one or more of the options. One student explained: “I never said out loud that I didn’t want to but didn’t actually want to so I don’t think that it counts but I’m not sure.” Another student explained uncertainty with, “I don’t know what constitutes permission.” Many explained that they had been drugged or were too intoxicated to remember what happened, but are still unsure as to whether consent was given. Similarly, 75% of those who reported victimization to a form of sexual violence reported that their perpetrator did the act by catching them off guard, or ignoring non-verbal cues or facial expressions, and 56% said that their perpetrator took advantage of them when they were too drunk, high, asleep, or in a poor state of consciousness. 88% of these acts of sexual violence were completed or attempted by a male and 11% of these acts of sexual violence were completed or attempted by a female.

Those responses pointing to “non-verbal cues or facial expressions” as evidence against consent are particularly interesting, because the “yes means yes” standard for consent that so many schools are considering doesn’t necessarily mandate verbal consent.

Though the student government recommends the school adopt the yes-means-yes standard, it doesn’t clarify whether consent should be required verbally or whether cues are OK (page 16):

We believe that Ohio State should eliminate any doubt about presence of consent by codifying a “yes means yes”, explicit and ongoing consent policy, within our Student Code of Conduct. A lack of a verbal/physical “no” should not and does not equate to a mutual agreement to proceed with sexual activity—students don’t always understand this, but we can help them to. In the recent Code Review (2012) language was adjusted to be clearer about consent, but an Affirmative Consent policy would further remove ambiguity.

This isn’t the first time OSU’s stats have been called much lower than the 1-in-5 ur-stat: Using the White House’s own estimates for underreporting, one professor said the school’s rate was closer to 3.1 percent completed rape as of its 2014 year-end report.

Greg Piper is an assistant editor at The College Fix. (@GregPiper)

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IMAGE: The Lantern screenshot

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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