Yale

The Yale Daily News has a must-read deep dive into one sexual-assault investigation at the school, using documents handed over by the accusing student that are supposed to remain confidential.

Regular College Fix readers will notice that it sounds an awful lot like Occidental College’s botched investigation that’s now the subject of a lawsuit against the school by the accused student.

The main difference is that Yale’s sexual-misconduct committee (also the subject of criticism from former Yale student Patrick Witt in a recent op-ed) sided with the accused student – but the final decision must come from a Yale College dean, whom the Daily News says has missed his “timeline” this week for ruling in the case.

A few pertinent points:

  • The accusing student waited 13 months to file a complaint
  • The parties had a previous sexual relationship they had promised to end, but the male still had “strong feelings” for her
  • “Anticipating that she would become more intoxicated,” the accuser kept texting the accused
  • “I mean … sex is awesome, and I might try to get it from you. But I shouldn’t. I don’t think,” she wrote
  • “[T]he male student interpreted the female student’s texts as ‘ambivalence,’ not an explicit refusal of a sexual encounter”
  • Though she described herself as “hammered” earlier in the evening, the male said she was “enthusiastic” and they had sex twice that night and once in the morning
  • She didn’t recall sending most of the texts

And in another strong parallel to the Occidental case:

While the complainant said she was upset with the events of March 22, she did not initially consider the encounter to be an instance of sexual misconduct. A few days later, however, the complainant was surprised when her friends said the respondent’s actions constituted rape because her level of intoxication rendered her unable to give consent. …

[Thirteen months later, over] the course of the next few days, the female student met with a SHARE counselor and Pamela Schirmeister, the Title IX coordinator for Yale College at the time.

She decided to file a formal complaint.

While the paper rightly focuses on Yale’s failure to meet its own stated timelines for investigation, what really stands out is the assigned fact-finder’s correct analysis of the pertinent question:

“It is undisputed that she was highly intoxicated that night,” Berkman wrote. “The more complex and central question for this committee is whether this level of intoxication caused [her] to ‘lack the ability to make or act on considered decisions to engage in sexual activity.’”

The sexual-misconduct committee came to similar conclusions, and the accusing student said she was “floored” they sided with the accused.

Let’s see if the top Yale official agrees – eventually.

Read the Daily News story.

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It’s not just so-called survivors who are speaking out by name about their alleged assaults – it’s those accused of assault.

Former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt, now a Harvard law student, shared his story about how an “informal complaint” by an ex-girlfriend “nearly ruined” his life, in the Boston Globe – and why Harvard’s new policy (blasted by its own law faculty) is so dangerous:

[Yale’s then-newly-created University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct] summoned me to appear and styled the meeting as a form of mediation. Its chairman, a professor with no prior experience handling dispute resolution, told me that I could have a faculty adviser present but no lawyer, and instructed me to avoid my accuser, who, by that point, I had neither seen nor spoken to in weeks. The committee imposed an “expectation of confidentiality” on me so as to prevent any form of “retaliation” against my accuser.

I would say more about what the accusation itself entailed if indeed I had such information. Under the informal complaint process, specific accusations are not disclosed to the accused, no fact-finding takes place, and no record is taken of the alleged misconduct. For the committee to issue an informal complaint, an accuser need only bring an accusation that, if substantiated, would constitute a violation of university policy concerning sexual misconduct. The informal “process” begins and ends at the point of accusation; the truth of the claim is immaterial.

He goes on to state that Yale pretty much lied to him about the consequences of this “informal complaint” – Witt’s post-graduation job offer was rescinded and his potential Rhodes Scholarship became untenable following an “anonymous tip”:

I cannot begin to describe how exasperatingly difficult it has been to try to explain to people what an informal complaint is and how there was never any evidence — nor any effort made to discover evidence — to substantiate the claim made by my accuser. My summer employer and the NFL certainly couldn’t understand it, and the media flat out didn’t care — the words “informal complaint” were all that was needed to establish my guilt in their eyes.

Read his full Globe op-ed.

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Global women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was  rejected by Brandeis University as a graduation speaker last May because of her criticism of Islam – which is certainly justified after she suffered female genital mutilation and a forced marriage at the hands of that religion – is again under fire from self righteous campus activists.

Apparently any criticism of Islam is immediately dubbed “hate speech.”

Now she is set to give a talk at Yale University on Monday, invited after the brouhaha at Brandeis by student conservatives at Yale who are interested in hearing her out.

Predictably, the Muslim student group at Yale and its many politically correct supporters have decried the visit and even tried to force the conservative students to limit what Hirsi Ali could talk about, or at the very least have a pro-Muslim speaker on hand who could offer counterpoints.

Really, do Muslim campus guest speakers have to have Jews at all their talks for counterpoints?

At any rate, the controversy has been covered by the Yale Daily News, National Review and other news outlets, and perhaps the best part of these reports are not the articles themselves, but the quips at the end in the comments section. Without further ado, here’s a highlight reel:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her stupid white male Christian privilege.

No surprise that the Muslim student groups are attacking a person who has spoken out against female genital mutilation.

Good lord — this is Yale. I was under the impression that this was an institution where we chose to embrace free speech. Though many students on this campus may disagree with Hirsi Ali’s views on Islam, I would like to believe that as a Harvard fellow, award-winning journalist, and former Member of Parliament, we might all be able to learn something from her.

Once you begin to realize that the Muslim Students Association was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood, then this whole mess makes more sense.

Never, never, never give as much as a millimetre to the totalitarian ideology that is truly Islam.

What’s hilarious is that these supposed “best and brightest” fail to see the hypocrisy in their calling for censorship while saying they’re upholding free speech and diversity of opinion.

The Muslim group wants Hirsi Ali to “…speak only to her personal experiences …” Fine. She could still enlighten with personal experience of genital mutilation and death threats.

The Yale Buckley Program members, who invited Hirsi Ali, have pledged to allow her to speak – despite the protest and without a counterpoint speaker. Score one for Lux et Veritas.

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There’s been an outpouring of “solidarity” on college campuses across the nation for Michael Brown, even as new data and reports reveal that the initial narrative — that an innocent black teenager was murdered by an angry white cop — is a far cry from reality.

At recent observances at the University of Georgia, UCLA and Yale, for example, students marched in protest or posed for pictures en masse with their hands up and “don’t shoot” signs. Some students suggested the recent incident is by no means isolated, and is more indicative of a pattern of violence by white cops against black victims.

The gathering in Georgia, for example, aimed to express “solidarity” with Brown, and discussed other matters such as “issues of inequality,” and “unrest over acts of violence committed toward minority groups,” The Red and Black student newspaper reports.

At UCLA on Thursday, the call to students declared “Come out with your fellow Bruins and take a stand as a community against police brutality and the extra-judicial killings of young men and women throughout this country. We’re tired of turning on the news and scrolling through our Facebook feeds and hearing of another Black or Brown individual being senselessly executed.” (Emphasis added.)

On Tuesday, students at Yale held a Michael Brown-themed rally in New Haven, Connecticut. The image under the headline shows signs with the slogans “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and the more head-scratching “Murder Is Illegal.” Aside from the “no, really?” aspect of the latter, it clearly pre-determines the outcome of what happened in Ferguson: Officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown.

Art student Henry Chapman came right out and said as much (emphasis added):

… the violent outbursts of some protesters in Ferguson and the looting didn’t make a difference to him – murder is still murder, he said.

“The real issue here is structural racism,” he said. “And the real looting is the structural looting of minorities.”

Another student, Dolores Colon, believed Wilson would be found innocent — not because he acted justifiably, but because “If you are of color, you get the hammer.” She added, “It’s a double standard. (People of color) suffer at the hands of people who are there to protect them.”

The rallies come even as news reports now indicate Brown was shot from the front, and not killed execution-style from behind as initial reports suggested. What’s more, the incident — which has prompted more than a week of riots and unrest in Missouri — has brought renewed scrutiny on crime statistics.

USA Today notes that out of an average of 400 police shootings per year across the US, ninety-six of the victims are black.

Despite the paper’s attempt at a gasp-inducing first sentence (“Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012 …”) note that this is twenty-four percent of the total. While that’s almost double the percentage of the African-American population in the US (13%), it fails to take into account the large disproportionate (violent) crime rate of that population. As such, is that 24 percent actually “out of balance?”

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has written extensively on race and crime, and many of her articles debunk the left-wing conventional wisdom about race “disproportionality” with regards to policing and incarceration.

On Wednesday, in a segment about the media coverage of the Brown shooting and Ferguson protests, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly pointed out that the 400 shootings per year figure is out of an average of approximately 12 million police arrests per year.

Left-wing MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who had taken on O’Reilly a year ago about race and crime stats and gotten some basic facts wrong, made an interesting comment after his correction:

But never fear, white America, because we also overestimated the number of white murder victims killed by black assailants in total. According to data from the FBI, as far as we know, there were only 447 white victims killed by black offenders in 2010. That is in a country of over 200 million white people.

It should be noted that if Hayes’ figure is correct, that actually would be roughly half of the yearly average for the previous ten years of 2000-2009. Nevertheless, it would be refreshing if liberals and the media looked at the actual statistics and applied Hayes’ “never fear” attitude to situations like that of Michael Brown.

(College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this article.)

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. You can follow him on Twitter @ColossusRhodey.

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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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Apparently because all the big issues surrounding us today are resolved, the National Science Foundation is shelling out $202,000 to study Wikipedia’s “systematic gender bias.” The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The government has awarded two grants for collaborative research to professors at Yale University and New York University to study what the researchers describe as “systematic gender bias” in the online encyclopedia.

“Wikipedia was launched in 2001 and has since become the world’s single most important reference tool and information clearinghouse,” the grant states. “Unlike traditional encyclopedias, which are controlled by experts, Wikipedia was supposed to have democratized knowledge.”

“Under-representation of female scholars and associated scholarship reduces the quality and completeness of Wikipedia, imposing significant costs on the millions of readers who rely on it,” it said. “The findings from this research should clarify where in the complex chain of knowledge gender disparities arise.

“Imposing significant costs” on readers …? Really? Aren’t facts facts and knowledge knowledge, no matter who contributes? Apparently not:

[“Media technologist” Deanna] Zandt argues that Wikipedia is biased because the majority of its editors are “young, white, child-free men.”

“It’s not enough to sit back and hope for the best when finding sexist, racist, homophobic, trans*phobic, etc., language or information on Wikipedia,” she said. “In order to fix it, we need lots of different kinds of people to jump in and start editing Wikipedia, too.”

One of the examples of Wikipedia’s “gender bias,” cited by The New York Times’ Noam Cohen, is that the episode synopses for Sex in the City aren’t nearly as long and detailed as those for The Sopranos.

Well! Count me sold on this grant, then!

Read the full article here.

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