Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

College runs amok

The dankprofessor makes few recommendations re particular colleges and universities, but here comes one of the few. If one is seeking to attend a college of the absurd, Colorado College of Colorado Springs should be on the top of your list.

I just published a post on how Colorado College had demeaned and degraded two of their hockey players in regards to these students alleged violation of their so-called sexual misconduct policy.

Now the powers that be at CC have found two students guilty of violating their policy on violence. Finding these students guilty of violating their violence policy is absurd since these students did not engage in any act of violence. This latest Colorado College absurdity is spelled out by FIRE in their recent press release. Fortunately FIRE has come to the assistance of the two students. Components of this farce are presented in the context of the following excerpts from the FIRE press release.

Two students at Colorado College were found guilty of violating the school’s conduct code regarding “violence” after they distributed a satirical flyer mocking a publication of the Feminist and Gender Studies program. As part of their punishment, student Chris Robinson and a second student have been required to hold a campus forum discussing issues brought up by their satirical publication…

In early 2008, Colorado College’s “Feminist and Gender Studies Interns” distributed a flyer called “The Monthly Rag.” The flyer included a reference to “male castration,” an announcement about a lecture on “feminist porn” by a “world-famous prostitute and porn star,” an explanation of “packing” (pretending to have a phallus), and a quotation from The Bitch Manifesto.

As a parody of “The Monthly Rag,” Robinson and a second student, who wishes to remain nameless, distributed a flyer in February called “The Monthly Bag” under the pseudonym “The Coalition of Some Dudes.” The flyer included references to “chainsaw etiquette,” the shooting range of a sniper rifle, a quotation regarding a sexual position from the website menshealth.com, and a quotation about “female violence and abuse” of men from the website batteredmen.com.

Shortly thereafter, Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste sent out a campus-wide email about “The Monthly Bag,” stating that “The flyers include threatening and demeaning content, which is categorically unacceptable in this community… Anonymous acts meant to demean and intimidate others are not [welcome].” The e-mail asked the authors of “The Monthly Bag” to come forward. When they did less than an hour later, they were charged with violating the college’s values of respect and integrity…

Two weeks after their hearing before the student conduct committee, Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students Mike Edmonds finally wrote to the “Coalition of Some Dudes” students on March 25, stating that they had been found guilty of “violating the student code of conduct policy on violence” and that as a punishment, they would be required to hold a forum to “discuss issues and questions raised” by “The Monthly Bag.” Although Edmonds acknowledged that the intent of the publication was to satirize “The Monthly Rag,” he wrote that “in the climate in which we find ourselves today, violence-or implied violence-of any kind cannot be tolerated on a college campus.” Apparently, according to Edmonds, “the juxtaposition of weaponry and sexuality” in an anonymous parody made students subjectively feel threatened by chainsaws or rifles.

“Not only has Colorado College wrongly punished students for expression that any reasonable person would easily recognize as parody that threatens no one, but according to Edmonds’s standard, countless movies, songs, and other artistic endeavors that ‘juxtapose weaponry and sexuality’ are inappropriate for the adult students of Colorado College,” Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, said. “Colorado College must live up to its own promises of free expression and allow its students to engage in robust debate and satire-even when some members of the campus community may feel offended.”

The dankprofessor’s read on this is that one can’t speak of violence unless there has been a victim of violence. And if one has been violently victimized then one should contact the criminal justice system, i.e., call the police. Obviously, the CC administration has conflated being offended with being violently violated. Taking their belief system seriously opens up a Pandora’s box when it comes to issues of freedom of speech; freedom of speech simply would no longer be.

But one should not view the CC perspective as if it was idiosyncratic. Such is not idiosyncratic since advocates of anti-sex puritanical feminism have advocated just such a perspective. Such was the advocacy of feminists Andrea Dworkin and Catherine Mackinnon particularly when a writer wrote about fantasies of raping MacKinnon and Mackinnon equated it with actual rape. Such blatantly conflated words and deeds. Or more precisely text and deeds. To get a more complete picture of Mackinnon’s ideas on words and deeds, see her book ONLY WORDS.

Bottom line for students and for sane faculty- stay away from Colorado College.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008

April 1, 2008 - Posted by | Colorado College, ethics, feminism, higher education, rape, sex, speech, violence

1 Comment »

  1. [...] College persists in persecution of CC students I have previously posted on the absurd decision of the Colorado College administration to persecute Colorado College [...]

    Pingback by Colorado College persists in persecution of CC students « Dankprofessor’s Weblog | April 28, 2008 | Reply


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