Yale University

Yale University’s new report on campus sexual misconduct shows how the school is investigating accused students based on “hearsay,” giving unusually light punishments for supposed assaults and even punishing those it exonerates, according to a professor who co-wrote a book about the Duke University lacrosse rape case.

The twice-annual report – created under an agreement between Yale and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights – illustrates that Yale’s procedures for dealing with complaints of sexual misconduct are “transparently rigged,” Brooklyn College history professor K.C. Johnson told The College Fix.

The University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC) report covers January through June and also updates cases that were unresolved in previous reports. It describes 64 complaints, compared to 70 for the previous report covering July through December.

The vast majority are classified as “sexual assault” and all but a handful involve undergraduates.

Many Varieties of ‘Assault’  – and Non-Reciprocal Oral Sex Recommended

The UWC’s formal process, its informal process and the Title IX coordinator handled similar numbers of sexual-assault complaints, though the coordinator handled the vast majority of sexual-harassment complaints.

The descriptions of the formal complaints span a few male-on-female scenarios without consent: “touching of a sexual nature”; “sexual intercourse”; “sexual activities”; and “certain acts without her consent during otherwise consensual sexual activity.” Only one says a female alleged the male “sexually assaulted” her.

Punishments included suspensions, restricted contact, “sexual consent training,” withheld degrees, and, in two updated cases, men who were expelled. But eight of the 13 formal complaints are listed as “pending,” and in just two did the school lack “sufficient evidence” against the accused.

Yale University LibraryThe informal complaints more often list “unwanted advances” or “unwanted communications,” and punishments tend toward counseling and restricted contact. Only one out of 12 remains pending. The 25 cases handled by the Title IX coordinator were far more varied, involving same-gender complaints, complaints against Yale faculty, staff, contractors and non-Yale students, allegations of “unwanted attention” and touching, and many “inappropriate comments.”

All but one of the 18 cases referred to the Yale Police Department ended with police giving the accuser “information on safety and victim services.”

Confusion over how Yale defines “nonconsensual sex” led the school last fall to release “scenarios” that would result in punishment, but some of them – which include a trigger warning and gender-neutral names for couples – are less than straightforward.

One suggests that sexual partners, who may both be drunk, must pay close attention to each other’s nonverbal cues, like showing less interest in sex than the other person, or risk penalties from “multi-semester suspension to expulsion.” Another counsels students not to reciprocate oral sex without getting “unambiguous agreement,” which could lead to a “reprimand.”

UWC Chair David Post, from the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, declined to comment specifically on the group’s work, instead providing UWC procedural materials to The College Fix. Yale’s communications office has not responded to questions.

Exonerated Student Punished, Lighter Penalty Suggests ‘Assault’ Was Not

The new report shows the public how Yale’s process is rigid and does not allow for a fair trial for the accused, Brooklyn College’s Johnson told The College Fix.

“Few people … would argue that a student’s due process rights are respected” under Yale’s complaint process, Johnson said by email. An accused male “can’t cross-examine his accuser, he has limited discovery rights, he can’t have a lawyer representing him in the process, and he can be branded a rapist based on a 50.01% belief in guilt by the disciplinary panel,” a lower legal standard known as preponderance of the evidence.

The UWC, which can vote on whether to move a complaint forward or not, is made up of 30 faculty, students and managerial or professional employees, according to Post. A background in law or law enforcement is not required to serve on the committee and any questions must be asked and approved by the hearing panel.

KC-Johnson-brooklyn.Biersaufer.WMCJohnson noted several irregularities in an essay for Minding the Campus, a Manhattan Institute project.

The informal process was used in seven assault cases this past semester, and zero in the previous report, Johnson said. He called it a “Scarlet Letter” approach in which an accused student’s inability to present evidence makes it “almost impossible” to avoid “being branded a rapist,” but the penalties are more limited, Johnson said.

One of the two accused students found “not culpable” – meaning Yale judged it “more likely than not he was the subject of a false allegation” – was still punished, Johnson noted.

The one-way no-contact order means that “if the two happen to enroll in the same course, the accused student would need to drop the class; or if the two happened to be assigned to the same dorm, the accused student would have to move,” Johnson said.

“In the several years” of the Yale reports, “there never has been any indication that Yale has punished even one student for filing a false claim of sexual assault,” Johnson said.

Yale also appears to have an “extraordinarily broad” definition of sexual assault, as shown by a lighter punishment – a one-year suspension – given to one student found guilty, Johnson said. The punishment “strongly suggests that his actual offense was not ‘sexual assault’” and yet the finding will likely prevent him from getting “any job that involves a background check that would access his college transcript.”

Even worse for another student was Yale expelling him after his accuser went to an administrator but declined to file a formal complaint, Johnson said: Yale continued the case, relying on the “hearsay” of the administrator to the Title IX coordinator.

And in one “Orwellian” example in the report, Johnson said, the Title IX coordinator is pursuing an accused student as a “serial rapist … even though none of the females he allegedly raped have filed a complaint, or have even been identified.”

Why Harvard Doesn’t Use ‘Affirmative Consent’

Following Yale’s lead, Harvard University recently set up its own Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution. Harvard declined to comment to The College Fix but provided an article from the Harvard Gazette, the school’s official news outlet.

The new office is tasked with investigating “sexual misconduct complaints against students, ranging from persistent or pervasive harassment in a lab environment, for instance, to a rape,” Mia Karvonides, the school’s Title IX officer and former Office of Civil Rights lawyer, told the Gazette.

The Gazette pressed Karvonides on why Harvard didn’t adopt an “affirmative consent” standard for sexual relations, the subject of a California bill. She responded that “there is no standard definition of affirmative consent” and the only school to have anything close is Antioch College, where “consent is given step by step at every point of engagement during an intimate encounter.”

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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Former Yale University Professor William Deresiewicz, who taught there from 1998 to 2008, has some advice for the nation’s elite college students: transfer to a public university.

“Is there anything that I can do, a lot of young people have written to ask me, to avoid becoming an out-of-touch, entitled little shit? I don’t have a satisfying answer, short of telling them to transfer to a public university,” writes Deresiewicz in a lengthy New Republic piece published Monday. It has garnered 33,000 social media shares so far.

“Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it,” he wrote.

Deresiewicz’s column, titled “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League,” is clearly sympathetic to progressive causes – prone to bemoaning alleged white privilege, the rich, and other perceived social inequalities.

He blames elite institutions for causing income inequality, criticizes their increasingly demanding college entrance requirements, and accuses them of largely just serving the upper class.

He argued affirmative action should be based on class instead of race, and suggests competition and fear of failure is stunting Ivy League students’ growth.

“So extreme are the admission standards now that kids who manage to get into elite colleges have, by definition, never experienced anything but success. The prospect of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them,” he wrote. “The cost of falling short, even temporarily, becomes not merely practical, but existential. The result is a violent aversion to risk. You have no margin for error, so you avoid the possibility that you will ever make an error. Once, a student at Pomona told me that she’d love to have a chance to think about the things she’s studying, only she doesn’t have the time. I asked her if she had ever considered not trying to get an A in every class. She looked at me as if I had made an indecent suggestion.”

Read the full article.

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A young, homosexual Yale University professor who died inside a jail cell last November - prompting members of the Yale community to march in protest, accuse officers of police brutality, and demand “accountability” – had actually succumbed to a methamphetamine overdose and heart attack, according to authorities.

“Samuel See died of acute methamphetamine and amphetamine intoxication with recent myocardial infarction,” reports The Courant, citing the medical examiner. “His death was ruled an accident.”

In December, in the wake of See’s death, roughly 40 protestors chanted “justice for Sam See” and “police accountability” as they marched through the Yale campus, the Yale Daily News reported, adding the group sought an independent investigation into the English professor’s arrest and incarceration.

See, whose academic specialties were British and American modernist literature and sexual orientation studies, was on leave during the Fall 2013 semester. During his spare time, See was also reportedly a male escort who loved sex and being with men.

See had been arrested Nov. 23 after a domestic altercation with his estranged husband. As police attempted to arrest See, he fought with officers and suffered minor injuries. He was found unresponsive in his jail cell the next morning.

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Yale University this weekend hosted an event to discuss whether humans are any better than animals and, at the crux of the debate, foster the notion that some nonhuman animals deserve personhood.

Called “Personhood Beyond The Human,” the three-day conference boasted a variety of professors from numerous big-name universities, including a keynote address by Princeton University professor and infamous bioethicist Peter Singer, who has been known to support infanticide and bestiality. Singer spoke on “Who is a person? A Non-Speciesist Answer,” according to the event’s agenda.

Other professors who added to the debate, according to the agenda, included:

Lori Gruen, a philosophy, feminist, gender and sexuality studies professor at Wesleyan University, whose talk was titled “Rethinking Personhood: Recognizing sameness and valuing difference”;

Wynn Schwartz, a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School, spoke on “What is a Person and How Can We Be Sure?”;

Robert C. Jones, an assistant philosophy professor at Chico State University, provided his insights on the topic: “What Might a Species-Free Ethics Look Like?”;

and University of Connecticut Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Jessica Rubin, who posited: “How can we practically advance rights for non-human animals?”;

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and Yale Animal Rights Group, the conference aimed to tackle ethical ramifications for animals that exhibit “awareness, intentionality, creativity, symbolic communication, and the other characteristics of ‘personhood,’ ” the institute’s website states.

“A growing body of research shows that many nonhuman animals, especially great apes, dolphins and whales, and elephants, have self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, symbolic communication, and the other characteristics of ‘personhood,’ ” the website states. “If at least some animals are psychological persons isn’t it time to extend the legal protection of ‘human rights’ from our species to all beings with those characteristics?”

 

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“There were seven reported cases of street violence in New Haven this November that could be linked to the ‘knockout game,’ ” The Yale Daily News reported today, citing a Nov. 21 email from Yale Police Chief, Ronnell Higgins.

This alert follows a wave of “knockout” attacks around the country, in which assailants have targeted random individuals for assault.

The New Haven Police Department is also “preparing to arrest one individual in response to the Church Street ‘knockout’ incident that occurred on Nov. 17,” the paper reports.

In response to the police department’s warning, a Yale spokesperson downplayed the attacks, claiming the email was meant to be precautionary. And New Haven Police cannot say for certain whether the wave of recent attacks is related to the “knockout game.”

Read more.

 

 

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harvardantipornHarvard University’s annual Sex Week festivities this week made national headlines, including a write up on National Review Online by Alec Torres, who noted the programing offered “18 titillating and ostensibly educational lectures and workshops.”

“One gem of the week was a Monday-night event entitled ‘Feel the Good Vibrations,’ a workshop to teach interested students about sex toys and how they work,” Torres reports. “At ‘How to Lose Your Virginity,’ students were able to explore ‘why our sex-crazed society cherishes this so-called precious gift’ while learning about ‘the myths and misogyny surrounding a rite of passage that many obssesses [sic] about but few truly understand.’ The event offered free beverages and a ‘reusable V-Card.’ ”

“Likewise ‘#FutureSex: How technology will change your sex life,’ the final event of the busy week, will discuss how ‘sex and technology are co-evolving’ when ‘romance is just a click, poke, or swipe away.’ ”

And while people across the country raised eyebrows at some of the silliness and vulgarity taking place at one of the nation’s most preeminent institutions of higher education, some Harvard students simultaneously took part in a far more important, more dignified version of Sex Week, albeit a far less noticed one.

Harvard’s White Ribbon Against Pornography Week ran this week, and featured panels such as: The Homewrecker: Pornography, Relationships, and the Family; Hookup Culture: Slavery or Freedom?; Pornography in Society: How Did We Get Here?; Collateral Damage: How Pornography Affects Women; and True Manhood In An Age of Empty Indulgence.

The weeklong series of talks, which included notable speakers such as Dr. Peter Kreeft, was co-sponsored by Harvard Daughters of Isabella and Knights of Columbus; Harvard College Faith and Action; Harvard College Anscombe Society; and the Harvard Catholic Student Association.

Attempts by The College Fix to reach Harvard College Anscombe Society members this week were unsuccessful. Regardless, the weeklong series of anti-porn seminars are a positive sign of hope in the wake of a never-ending onslaught of smut coming from college campuses, in which graphic and gratuitous sexual seminars and events of all sorts are much the norm. One need only search The Fix for terms such as sex, porn, naked or orgasm if one wants the salacious details.

But take heart – more good news from the Ivy League this week comes by way of Yale University, which debuted an inaugural pro-life conference. Or by way of Princeton University, which hosted a speaker who defended the definition of marriage as a union between man and woman.

The campus counterculture today is alive and in full swing, and it’s the conservative students who are leading the charge.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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