Remember the University of Cincinnati student who was given a zero for using the term “biological women” on a paper about trans athletes competing in women’s sports?
Though Olivia Krolczyk never named her professor, this past week The Cincinnati Enquirer did — and scored an interview with her in the process.
Melanie Rose Nipper, an adjunct in the U. Cincinnati Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department, confirmed Krolczyk’s “sequence of events” but added “her review of the [paper] idea and Krolczyk’s language was a routine element of her duties as a professor.”
In other words, “when a student uses ‘an outdated terminology'” Nipper (pictured) said “she feels it is necessary to correct those mistakes.
“Not a zero for the course,” Nipper said, “a zero for an assignment.”
Nipper believes classrooms “should be places for debate and discussion,” but like too many supposed free speech advocates she added a caveat: “That ends when ‘you are, intentionally or unintentionally, participating in a systemic harm of some kind.'”
Such “harm” includes transphobia and white supremacy, Nipper said.
On her paper, Krolczyk was informed by Nipper via written comment that “This is unacceptable based on the community, the marginalized individuals that are at stake, and also the foundations of the course.”
Nipper noted Krolczyk’s zero wasn’t permanent — she’d “happily regrade” the student’s paper after a rewrite and would forego all late penalties.
Nipper said she cried when she saw Krolczyk’s TikTok video about the issue, and said “It’s a lot, right? It’s a lot to handle.”
Nipper repeatedly mentioned [Ohio’s] SB 83 [see here], saying it, coupled with increased anti-academia discourse, has created a “chilling effect,” and limits the future “other academics, friends, peers that I’ve had from a variety of different cohorts, feel they’ll be able to have in this country.”
“We’ve seen historically in other countries what happens when laws like this can take effect. The way that they are connected to larger societal, cultural movements towards authoritarianism,” Nipper said.
Asked whether she would have still earned her degree and gone into teaching knowing today’s political environment, Nipper didn’t hesitate. “Yeah. Because it’s important.
“Not all students feel seen in academia. And that’s really the effort of WGSS (Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies) classes, to have your students feel seen, the marginalized ones in particular, and feel respected.”
According to her Linkedin profile, Nipper is “a passionate advocate for DEI, education, media literacy, and new media in general,” and has “multiple years” of experience “building corporate DEI strategy and curriculum.”
UPDATE: According to a report by Fox News.com, Krolczyk got a different professor to “re-grade” her original paper proposal and ended up getting an “A” in the class. Krolczyk told OutKick that “So far, a new professor has graded my work and nothing has happened with [Nipper], that I know of.”
IMAGE: Melanie Nipper/Facebook screencap