By the way, the feds also pushed super-broad speech codes for campuses this week

posted at 7:21 pm on May 15, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Bad news, kids, you could already be a harasser, according to the new definition. Perhaps nowhere in the nation is speech more potentially dangerous than on a college campus. Reason TV offers a great explanation:

Mona Charen gives some history on this issue, and the related loss of basic due process on campus:

In a 2011 letter to colleges, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) mandated that in cases of suspected sexual harassment or sexual assault, universities were to reduce the standard of proof to a more-likely-than-not standard. The new standard requires that fact finders believe only that there is a 50.01 percent chance that the charges are true.

I warned at the time that students falsely accused could see their lives upended and possibly destroyed. Clearly, if a student has committed a crime or serious offense, the university has a duty to investigate. But serious charges, which can blight careers, require serious guarantees of the rights of the accused. In a court of law, a defendant has the right to confront witnesses against him, the right to see any exculpatory evidence the state discovers, the right to be represented by counsel, and the presumption of innocence. In felony cases, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

No such safeguards are available to accused college students. As self-described feminist Judith Grossman discovered to her horror when her son was falsely accused of “non-consensual sex” by a former girlfriend, the Department of Education’s OCR “has obliterated the presumption of innocence that is so foundational to our traditions of justice.” Grossman recounted in the Wall Street Journal that her son was denied counsel, subjected to a two-hour-long inquisition, refused the opportunity to present evidence (in the form of e-mails from the former girlfriend and other documents), and denied the opportunity to question witnesses against him. Thanks to Grossman’s legal expertise and assistance, her son was eventually cleared. Other students are not so fortunate.

Despite court rulings that require harassment be defined as something more than speech that offends one person, the administration’s latest removes that safeguard.

In a letter sent yesterday to the University of Montana that explicitly states that it is intended as “a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country,” the Departments of Justice and Education have mandated a breathtakingly broad definition of sexual harassment that makes virtually every student in the United States a harasser while ignoring the First Amendment. The mandate applies to every college receiving federal funding—virtually every American institution of higher education nationwide, public or private.

The letter states that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’” including “verbal conduct” (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an “objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation”—if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished.

This result directly contradicts previous Department of Education guidance on sexual harassment. In 2003, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) stated that harassment “must include something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols or thoughts that some person finds offensive.” Further, the letter made clear that “OCR’s standards require that the conduct be evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position, considering all the circumstances, including the alleged victim’s age.”

But, hey, it’s not like campuses are a hotbed for blithely persecuting students for unpopular political speech or hate crime hoaxes, so everything should be cool.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Of course they did.

It’s part of that “Bill of Rights” that Democrats seem to hate so much.

Maybe we can just replace it with a photo of Obama and Jon Stewart.

tetriskid on May 15, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Obama, 44th President of the United States. first dictator, post Republic of the United States.

actions…….that is what proves it.

PappyD61 on May 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

…a more-likely-than-not standard. The new standard requires that fact finders believe only that there is a 50.01 percent chance that the charges are true.

What a field day for spite, jealousy or being angry a guy ignored you.

But serious charges, which can blight careers, require serious guarantees of the rights of the accused.

Charen makes an excellent point.

INC on May 15, 2013 at 7:29 PM

I wonder how many of those about to freak out would limit free speech for Muslims.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Here’s a clue. Don’t take fed $$ and you can say what you want.

Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, United States, is a co-educational liberal arts college known for being the first American college to prohibit in its charter all discrimination based on race, … Wikipedia

Gotta keep ‘em separated.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:35 PM

The analogy doesn’t work. There’s no conflict between Hillsdale College (a conservative place, BTW) policy and the Constitution or justice.

INC on May 15, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Immoral equivalence again.

INC on May 15, 2013 at 7:40 PM

…F R E E D O M…!

KOOLAID2 on May 15, 2013 at 7:41 PM

It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an “objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation”

So I understand that this may not be binding on other agencies, but I assume that it can be used as support for other things, like FCC complaints?

Anyone have a list of liberals’ favorite TV shows? I want to make sure they’re not saying anything objectionable.

malclave on May 15, 2013 at 7:42 PM

So the Affirmative Action Bake Sale is off?

Wethal on May 15, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I wonder how many of those about to freak out would limit free speech for Muslims.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

While we’re wondering, I wonder why you liberals are so devoid of integrity.

Is it a causal link, or just coincidence (approaching 1.0)?

If there is a causal link, does being a liberal lead to corruption, or does being dishonest lead to being a liberal?

malclave on May 15, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Why is speech being made a crime? For people who like to kill innocent babies, they sure do find adults to be emotionally fragile.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Don’t include me, I think they speak to little. The radicals need to be seen for what they are and the moderates need to prove that they are the majority. Instead we have have this hands off mentality leaving everyone in limbo.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Considering that so many in the Obama admin are university flunkies and lifers this is not surprising. They already helped to create the intolerant campuses as they exist today.

NotCoach on May 15, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Why is speech being made a crime?

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Because the democrats have to work hard to convince people that they’re victims so they stay on the plantation.

malclave on May 15, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Why is speech being made a crime? For people who like to kill innocent babies, they sure do find adults to be emotionally fragile.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM

A 15-year-old can walk into a pharmacy and buy Plan B without her parents knowing about it. Yet to protest that bad ruling is quickly becoming a “hate crime” because some view killing their children as a right and you might just offend the killer or potential killer by standing up for life.

We live in a pretty sick world. BTW, they actually interviewed a Gosnell supporter this afternoon. The attitude was a “so what” to the murders because of all the women he’s helped.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2013 at 7:56 PM

wonder how many of those about to freak out would limit free speech for Muslims.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

You’re a troll.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Because the democrats have to work hard to convince people that they’re victims so they stay on the plantation.

malclave on May 15, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Democrats can’t win a war of ideas. They can only demonize, curtail civil rights, steal elections, and otherwise chip away at society. Look at HotAirLiberal a textbook example of an idiot who never wins an argument but shows up to be as nasty and vile as possible.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2013 at 7:59 PM

The letter states that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’” including “verbal conduct” (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an “objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation”—if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished.

That is so insane it almost defies belief. It is essentially a requirement that one person read another’s person’s mind before speaking to them.

I wonder how many college kids who voted for Obama, or who urged their parents to do so, are going to feel when they get trampled under the boot of this tyrant and his idiocy. Was it worth losing your basic freedoms so you could be one of the “cool” kids and put an Obama bumper sticker on your car, or hang a Che poster in your dorm room?

AZCoyote on May 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I wonder how many of those about to freak out would limit free speech for Muslims.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

I’m freaking out, but it has nothing to do with Muslims, nor would I limit their ability to speak their mind. I’m happy to engage any blithering idiot in conversation, as this paragraph so amply demonstrates.

RationalIcthus on May 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Hmmmm, I don’t think “helped” means the same to me that it does them. And considering his income compared to the state of his facilities, I think question his motives.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM

So if Bruno Jr. is walking through the Student Union at his college and sees a poster advertising “The Vagina Monologues” he can be “offended” and bring a harassment suite against all of those associated with event, right?

Sweet!

Cloward and Piven here we go!

Spread the word! Conservative and libertarian kids can go wild every time a delicate sensibility is tweaked!!

The gift of unintended consequences!

Bruno Strozek on May 15, 2013 at 8:03 PM

The gift of unintended consequences!

Bruno Strozek on May 15, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Have you been paying attention to the IRS story?
//

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Speech: safe, legal, and rare.

tom daschle concerned on May 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

So if Bruno Jr. is walking through the Student Union at his college and sees a poster advertising “The Vagina Monologues” he can be “offended” and bring a harassment suite against all of those associated with event, right?

Bruno Strozek on May 15, 2013 at 8:03 PM

The administration will claim there is no merit, then turn around and charge him with harassment for filing a false complaint.

Liam on May 15, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Speech codes are tyranny’s hand maiden.

VorDaj on May 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Good practice divorce court. War on Men continues.

Little Boomer on May 15, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Who cares? It will be Blue on Blue crime at these lefty universities just like the feminist mouthbreather found out when her beta male son was brought before the kangaroo court. Let them find out the hard way, like the French did, when the revolution consumes its own.

Not our problem.

What we really need to do is Napsterize the entertainment industry and destroy the propaganda machine. Roll back the draconian copyright laws and let the pirates eat Hollywood alive. What kid doesn’t like free music and movies? We can do free stuff! :-D

Punchenko on May 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

I warned at the time that students falsely accused could see their lives upended and possibly destroyed. Clearly, if a student has committed a crime or serious offense, the university has a duty to investigate. But serious charges, which can blight careers, require serious guarantees of the rights of the accused. In a court of law, a defendant has the right to confront witnesses against him, the right to see any exculpatory evidence the state discovers, the right to be represented by counsel, and the presumption of innocence. In felony cases, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Huh Phoenix is sounding better and better.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Good practice divorce court. War on Men continues.

Little Boomer on May 15, 2013 at 8:11 PM

War on liberal beta males. The war doesn’t touch you if you marry a good girl from a good family and with good values. The war doesn’t touch if you send your kid down South or overseas for school.

Don’t feed the beast, stay local, reconnect with family, community, and provide for your family while being a man. Get rid of the TV and invest in some good reading. Even Robespierre, that pillar of the revolution, fell to his own folly. Their revolution consumes and destroys and will in time leave them in need of Emergency Financial Managers.

Guess who will be assigning the Emergency Financial Managers? US, LOL!

Punchenko on May 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I consider that any words coming from the mouths of libruls or dhimocrapts to be harassment.

Old Country Boy on May 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM

That is so insane it almost defies belief. It is essentially a requirement that one person read another’s person’s mind before speaking to them.

AZCoyote on May 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Actually, it’s even worse than that. It presumes that the offended party already read the mind of the offender, and read it accurately.

From the “party of science”.

runawayyyy on May 15, 2013 at 8:23 PM

I’M OFFENDED BY THE GOVERNMENT “SPEECH” CODE! NOW WHO DO I COMPLAIN TO?

GarandFan on May 15, 2013 at 8:26 PM

I’M OFFENDED BY THE GOVERNMENT “SPEECH” CODE! NOW WHO DO I COMPLAIN TO?

GarandFan on May 15, 2013 at 8:26 PM

The grammar teachers you apparently ignored?

… The radicals need to be seen for what they are and the moderates need to prove that they are the majority. …

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Bam!

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

The grammar teachers you apparently ignored?
May 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

When you have to go there you know you don’t have much.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

I wonder how many of those about to freak out would limit free speech for Muslims.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

… The radicals need to be seen for what they are and the moderates need to prove that they are the majority. …

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Bam!

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

I couldn’t follow the logic leading to the bam conclusion.

Axe on May 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

It also says a lot when someone is bothered more by someone’s grammar than the government’s and these universities’ overreach.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Bam!

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

I couldn’t follow the logic leading to the bam conclusion.

Axe on May 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

That is CH trying to prove he is a moderate and not a liberal. Fortunately most of us here pay attention.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Among the forms of expression now punishable on America’s campuses by order of the federal government are:

Any expression related to sexual topics that offends any person. This leaves a wide range of expressive activity—a campus performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” a presentation on safe sex practices, a debate about sexual morality, a discussion of gay marriage, or a classroom lecture on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita—subject to discipline.

Any sexually themed joke overheard by any person who finds that joke offensive for any reason.

Any request for dates or any flirtation that is not welcomed by the recipient of such a request or flirtation.

-Fire

Actually for the dimmest of wits this seems like a radical Muslim’s dream.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Axe on May 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Yeah, what does “Bam!” mean?

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 8:45 PM

That is CH trying to prove he is a moderate and not a liberal. Fortunately most of us here pay attention.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Let me know you can muster one iota of genuine discourse. So far all I hear from you in response to my even my most detailed comments are ad hominem.

How could you possibly think that I’m motivated by your approval? You’re either stupid or lying.

I’ve stated and restated. I don’t care if we agree or disagree. I’m probably not going to like you much. That’s not bias. That’s what it is to be a _______________ pick your term. (a-hole, prat, loser, etc.)

When you have to go there you know you don’t have much.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

You mean like your substantive retorts, adhomboy?

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Yeah, what does “Bam!” mean?

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 8:45 PM

I agree with your remark. Somehow CW finds this to be a false flag when most people here do not even agree with it.

How old are you people? Is this a geriatric blog? Yes, that’s an ageist question.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Crap. I should have probably been nice to Cindy Munford. She really really goes out of her way to really understand things and express herself clearly.

next time

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I would have liked to hear the Hamster’s take on the role of a woman’s reaction to sexual harassment as such found on a college campus, as she was raised with brothers. Do the feminists want a college campus where a young man never comes on in any way to a young woman? Or makes a rude remark? Are women in that situation to be seen as victims, without any recourse? Are they all defenseless flowers?

Do we want, and can we even have, a college campus where young men never make any rude remarks about young women?

Paul-Cincy on May 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Yeah, what does “Bam!” mean?

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 8:45 PM

I thought it meant “Case in point!” — or “Gotcha!” That’s how I would use Bam! If I used Bam! CW interpreted it as agreement, which makes more sense.

Axe on May 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Doh. There it is. :) Sorry, was typing.

Axe on May 15, 2013 at 8:55 PM

adhomboy?

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Heh. You’re hilarious. Do you know what irony means?

substantive

There’s another word that presents you with real issues.
You trolls are always a hoot.

Bam!!

Does that = substantive?

I will write that down. What you are really is pompous and just like most of the other trolls it is apparent that not only are you not liked here but your not even liked in that little world you call your real life.

I wonder how many of those about to freak out would limit free speech for Muslims.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Oh that is substance! ….now I get it.

Nothing fallacious there.<<<< That is sarcasm.
Just in case you did not get it.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

It also says a lot when someone is bothered more by someone’s grammar than the government’s and these universities’ overreach.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Yes, yes. I have expressed the breadth of my outrage just for you, sap.

Don’t be offended. But I believe that you did not graduate from a four year university. I don’t think you made it anywhere near a university. There are some for whom this would be an achievement in that it left them free time to do something. In your case, I suspect, you’re just an idiot.

That probably shades the way I deal with you. I’m pretty sure that’s some kind of prejudice, right? Maybe that will get me into the HotAir in-crowd.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Awwww I think someone has been offended.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

This is going to get good. Have to eat; back after dinner and a hump or two.

…so about 20 minutes

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Awwww I think someone has been offended.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

or flattered

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:01 PM

din din

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Poor CH called out for what it is and much like lights to roaches it scurries on.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Going no where in court. No where.

pat on May 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:50 PM

I can’t give you the average age of the folks here but I am careening to 60. I don’t think you should get upset that people didn’t immediately figure out your meaning, afterall, not everyone knows who Emeril Lagasse is.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Going no where in court. No where.

pat on May 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

They don’t care, they will make a lot of noise and pay a lot of lawyers.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Oh dear. I’m not upset. I’m just a jerk.

Also I got rebuffed on the humping until after I shower. UGH.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Don’t worry, your treatment of me was fine. I’m not easily offended and don’t require blind agreement with my views.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Thanks for sharing.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:17 PM

I’m a fed and a few weeks ago I received a message from GSA (ostensibly the part that manages the cars used for local travel) urging us to lobby our state governments to pass texting-while-driving laws. Sounds like a violation of federalism and the Tenth Amendment at least.

321mdl on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

321mdl on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Is that the first time you’ve received a suggestion like that?

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

The analogy doesn’t work. There’s no conflict between Hillsdale College (a conservative place, BTW) policy and the Constitution or justice.

INC on May 15, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Wow. The stupid is thick with this one. You morons are so hellbent about disagreeing with me that you miss the point. Hillsdale supports my comment perfectly. It is a great example of how to avoid Big Gov intrusion into your place of business.

Maybe you’ll get it when your state is deciding whether or not to accept fed imposed speed limit and BAC standards.

Now bend yourself over yourself.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Hot.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM

I’m a fed and a few weeks ago I received a message from GSA (ostensibly the part that manages the cars used for local travel) urging us to lobby our state governments to pass texting-while-driving laws. Sounds like a violation of federalism and the Tenth Amendment at least.

321mdl on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

…Thanks for sharing
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on May 15, 2013 at 9:27 PM

malclave on May 15, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I missed this earlier, sorry. There does seem to be a need to cultivate the victim mentality. I think this sort of thing almost always comes back to bite them.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Now bend yourself over yourself.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM

…contort your head up your anal passageway.

KOOLAID2 on May 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

I’m a fed and a few weeks ago I received a message from GSA (ostensibly the part that manages the cars used for local travel) urging us to lobby our state governments to pass texting-while-driving laws. Sounds like a violation of federalism and the Tenth Amendment at least.

321mdl on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

WHOA!

It would be great if more people in your position spoke up about the blurred lines that must be so common.

What was your reply? Probably best to bite your tongue if you want to keep your job. That’s not cowardly, it’s prudent.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

…contort your head up your anal passageway.

KOOLAID2 on May 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Nope, you’re not glomming on or anything.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:33 PM

I am incredibly troubled by this. As a former college residence administrator, the incidences of false accusations and he-said-she-said situations are far more than anecdotal. Removing the higher burden of proof will subject students, mostly male, to grave repercussions for innocent actions. My college had a policy that all lesser offenses by a victim were ignored (alcohol, drugs, visitation hour violations, etc.) if the victim accused someone of sexual assault. When caught, many of these victims would fabricate stories about sexual assault to avoid personal trouble. Lowering these standards makes me fear for the college male of tomorrow.

blammm on May 15, 2013 at 9:33 PM

That’s not cowardly, it’s prudent.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Yep, just ignore it. If he finds out that they know if he did or didn’t act on it, that’s a more interesting situation. He could be famous!!

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:34 PM

blammm on May 15, 2013 at 9:33 PM

It’s kind of weird that they would lower the standards for this or discrimination since there have been some very high profile cases of fraudulent accusations. Including on the part of faculty members.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 9:36 PM

I feel violated just reading these guidelines. Therefore, these guidelines ARE harrassment and must be removed from college campuses.

questionmark on May 15, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Bullsh!t.

A22holes.

profitsbeard on May 16, 2013 at 2:14 AM

I wonder how many of those about to freak out would limit free speech for Muslims.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

The issue with Muslims has never been their free speech.

I do tend to object to their free jihad…

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 16, 2013 at 3:31 AM

You know… It would be a lot easier for students and universities to comply with this edict if they had gender-segregated dormitories. Normal conversation could be construed as “sexual harassment” under the new rules. e.g.

“Did you see Jane Smith come to class in her pajamas today?”
“Yeah. Guess she was too busy with extra-curricular activities to get dressed today.”
“Yup. So anyways, Dr. Urchin is being a real hard-ass about those exams, huh?”
“Yup.”

In a gender segregated world, this conversation would not be considered sexual harassment. If Jane Smith lives in the same hall, perhaps the room next door, then it might be.

And yet, the strong push on universities is to make co-ed roommates, not just gender-integrated dormitories. Nuts.

DrUrchin on May 16, 2013 at 7:14 AM

The Democrats played with sexual harassment laws so much that “their” president got caught up in it and they had to claim his lies were “all about sex”.

bflat879 on May 16, 2013 at 7:35 AM

College women these days certainly aren’t demure little innocents. College men need to flood the complaint department with harrassment complaints that mirror the idiotic ones sure to be filed against them.

krome on May 16, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Sue the administration and the accuser for libel/slander. That puts it in a court of law with discovery. And, there the ‘reasonable man’ standard does apply.

GWB on May 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

The letter states that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as ‘any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’” including “verbal conduct” (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an “objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation”—if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished.

Step 1: Come up with or devise a new sexual activity and label it the “Constitution”.

Step 2: Claim any reference to the “Constitution” is a reference to this sexual term.

Step 3: Claim harassment if the “Constitution” is ever mentioned on campus.

Rinse & repeat for any conservative talking points or issues you’d rather avoid entirely or ban from campus.

This plan took me less than 15 seconds to devise; and can be used to implement speech bans on any topic you can imagine based on the letter from the Government.

Glad I’m not in college, you guys are doomed.

gekkobear on May 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM