Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Students bare all for UP nude centennial run

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on the naked oblation run at the University of the Philippines.  The run has been an annual event at the UP, but this year according to Armand Padilla, a fraternity alumnus, the new run was a part of the University’s centennial celebration with the blessing of the University’s centennial committee.

The Times gave the impression that the nudity was engaged in only by fraternity members.  But such was not the case as indicated by the following photo-

up111392402fsthvp_ph

View other photos of the run within the environs of UP.  The pictures do speak for themselves in terms of the success of this event.

And the dankprofessor cannot help but note that our last posting reported that the University of New Hampshire terminated its Freshman camp because of the nude rituals of the camp counselors.  Truly we have two different worlds here with the Philippines being eons “ahead” of New Hampshire.  It seems that it was only a few years ago that the Philippines was dominated by the sexually repressive Marcos.  Better to have public nudity than closeted shoe fetishes.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | exhibitionism, higher education, nudity, University of the Philippines | , , | Leave a comment

UNH Freshman camp abolished because of counselor nudity

Freshman camp at the University of New Hampshire is no more.  Such is a result of freshman camp counselors, both male and female counselors, getting naked.

The New Hampshire Union Leader quoted a UNH disciplinary report in the following terms-

Counselors got naked for campers on two occasions: during a skit and when campers were departing on a bus, the report says. In the second incident, female counselors lifted their shirts for campers, while several male counselors mooned campers and other male counselors stood by naked, with only socks or hats covering themselves.

In addition, one counselor urinated on herself during a talent show skit, the report says.

“The counselors all wildly clapped and cheered” in response to the urination, the report says.

Although UNH faculty members attend portions of the three-night, four-day camp, none were on hand for any of the antics that led to the camp’s closure.

The disciplinary report indicated that counselor nudity was nothing new going back as far as 2004.  The report also expressed concern that counselor nudity could potentially be considered as a form of sexual harassment.  Although no harassment charges had been filed or represented a clear and present danger of filing, the powers that be felt that the prudent thing to do was to close the camp down.

Anne Lawing, UNH’s senior assistant vice president for student affairs said “the university is replacing freshman camp with an as-yet-undecided program that will focus on leadership skills and healthy involvement in campus life.

Freshman camp is not funded by UNH, but UNH has the final say as to the continuance of Freshman camp.

As for students who attended Freshman camp this past summer, one camper framed the situation in the following terms in a letter to Union Leader.

I was very taken aback by the above article as I have myself went to camp this past summer. The activities that took place may have gotten slightly out of hand, but were not like this article describes. I got to know many of the counselors personally and I highly doubt that they would not want to cooperate with the administration and devise a board to side step the university. I met the people I feel most comfortable with today at camp and I truly believe it is because the counselors were able to help break the ice by acting foolish themselves so we might all have something to talk about.

And another student commented-

I would wonder exactly what kind of reporting goes on at the Union Leader, reading this newspaper. Being an alcohol/substance free student at UNH for the fall 2007 Semester I attended, I cannnot agree with much of what this article has to say. I attended freshman camp, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had at UNH. The counselors were supportive, friendly, helpful…for someone like me, who is not good in social situation, and doesn’t do well with crowds, I had thought that Freshman Camp would not be at all for me. Furthermore, I can report NO nudity whatsoever during my stay at the camp. There were certainly suggestive themes to some of the activities, but that is not only a fact of life, but a very unavoidable fact of life at university. If anything, the camp prepared those who attended for the real side of UNH and most college campuses – the truth that sex and substances are ubiquitous and common throughout the post-secondary education system in this country, and no amount of conservative right-wing narrow-mindedness can change that. I would question the responsible journalism of this article as it seems that no priority was given whatsoever to interviewing those who attended this organization, those who were responsible for its administration, or indeed anyone except those responsible for its end. As an attendant of UNH and Freshman Camp 2007, I am both offended and disgusted that reporting has fallen to this level of mud-slinging one-sided opinion-based slander.
– Travis Gates, Pembroke

Clearly, Freshman camp had much to offer.  Such camps help students to transition to entirely new environs.  And very importantly, these students when they arrive on campus, already have friends which helps to make this transition a little less difficult.

The dankprofessor cannot read the minds of the counselors as to their motivations for engaging in the reported nudity antics.  However, given that these behaviors had been going on for a number of years, such can be viewed as social bonding rituals, rituals which function to differentiate group members from the larger society and then make the exiting process a little less difficult.

No matter that the antics did not include any sexual contact, Freshman camp had to go.  We have two different worlds here- the world of the young at heart and the world of the prudent and the conservative. And for the prudent and conservative, it may have been that their final judgment was based on fear of sexual harassment suits; that some anonymous other at some future time may be offended and decide to sue.  If such be the case, how terribly sad that the legalists and the lawyer possessed play such a pervasive role in campus life.

Oh, and let us not forget that the antics of the Freshman camp were nothing compared to the booze based bonding rituals of university based fraternities and sororities throughout the United States.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | ethics, exhibitionism, higher education, nudity, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics, University of New Hampshire | , | 2 Comments

UM prostitution case becomes fodder for anti-Semites

As more becomes known about the University of Michigan consensual prostitution case between UM Professor Yaron Z. Eliav and an anonymous UM law student, the uglier the case becomes.  And the ugliness has nothing to do with prostitution per se but how this situation is being employed by those wishing to promulgate an anti-Semitic agenda.

It turns out that Professor Eliav is a Jean and Samuel Frankel Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature & Jewish History of Late Antiquity in the UM Department of Near Eastern Studies. 

And along with the fact that Eliav is from or has spent some time in Israel is enough for some anti-Semites (specifically the zionistout blog) to view the Eliav alleged attack on the anonymous sex worker as being reflective of Jewish Israeli attitudes toward Gentile women.

The zionistout blog appears to assume that Professor Eliav is an Orthodox Jew and they hold that Orthodox Jews are major promulgators of prostitution both in Israel and in various western countries.  For them Israel has become a major venue of international sex trafficking and sexual slavery of non-Jewsih women and consequently has withheld support for more stringent measures against international sex trafficking.

So now Professor Eliav has become a possible pawn in another attempt to employ a conspiracy of the genre of the Protocols of Elders of Zion to delegitimate the State Of Israel.

Of course caught in the middle of a fiasco that should have never happened is the University of Michigan.  The dankprofessor cannot speculate as to UM future actions other than that they will state that they can’t comment on personnel matters.  Of course, if prostitution was not illegal,
and it should not be illegal, then the Eliav case would be just another routine case of domestic violence, certainly not a case which would get national and international attention

And it also should be noted that the the zionistout blog assumes that the student sex worker is not Jewish.  How do they know that such is the case?  Of course, if she was Jewish their whole scenario about Jews in Israeli recruiting Gentile women into sexual slavery becomes an irrelevancy.

December 14, 2008 Posted by | anti-semitism, coercing women, consensual relationships, ethics, fraternization, higher education, Israel, prostitution, sex, sex offenders, sex work, sexual policing, sexual politics, University of Michigan | | Leave a comment

UM professor and student consensual prostitution

The Ann Arbor News reports that a University of Michigan Professor of Near Eastern Studies and a UM law student have both plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of using a computer to commit a crime.
 
Now the University of Michigan is investigating tenured Professor Yaron Eliev to determine if the professor paid the law student for sexual acts after meeting her online.
 
Both the professor and student were originally “charged with prostitution/accosting and solicitation, misdemeanors punishable by up to 93 days in jail.”
 
The encounter between the professor and the student came to the attention of the police when the student went to the police and reported she was assaulted by the professor after they met in a hotel room.

The student told police she was advertising sex acts online via Craigslist to help pay tuition costs. For an in-state student, U-M Law School tuition is $41,500 a year; out-of-state students pay $44,500.

The student told police she reluctantly agreed to allow Eliav to strike her buttocks with a belt, but got upset when he slapped her in the face twice, reports said. She said she suffered vision problems afterward, but did not have any lasting injuries.

The rarity of how the case began – with a law student showing up at the police department’s front desk to report she was assaulted while committing a crime herself – was not lost on investigators.

“Perhaps she should have cracked a legal textbook before coming in to the police station to talk about this,” Ann Arbor Detective Sgt. Richard Kinsey said.

Both she and Eliav told police they didn’t have intercourse, but engaged in other sex acts, and he paid her $300, according to police reports.

When he was interviewed by police, Eliav said he responded to the online ad because he was interested in experimenting sexually. He said he complied when she told him to stop certain activities and admitted to slapping her face, but said it was “like a game,” reports said.

Eliav also called the woman a willing participant and said they hugged at the end of the encounter, reports said.

It appears Eliav knew the woman was a law school student, but it not clear from the police reports whether he knew that going into the encounter. He told investigators the money he paid the woman was simply “a token,” and called her “a bored college student.”

The law school is also reviewing the matter, said UM spokesperson Kelly Cunningham, adding that student confidentiality rules prevent her from saying more.
Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Steven Hiller said prosecutors didn’t charge Eliav with assault because they didn’t feel they could prove that crime.

“In order to prove a case of assault and battery, you have to prove (nonconsensual) physical contact beyond a reasonable doubt, and based on the circumstances, we did not feel we could prove that,” Hiller said.

Police reports also indicate the student admitted to arranging money-for-sex deals with about eight or nine men in April and May, saying she needed the money for tuition.

The student said she advertised online and got to her appointments using hourly rental cars available on campus through Zipcar, according to police reports.

This is a bizarre case but in part reflects the dominant university perspective that the privacy of a female student must always be protected in a sexually related case.  And the Ann Arbor News as well does not provide the identity of the student-prostitute.  Part of the bizarreness is that in cases involving prostitution the identity  of the prostitute becomes public but not that of the so-called john.  So it is fair to ask, why the Ann Arbor news protects the identity of the student-prostitute but not the john professor?

In any case, a key question is whether this case should fall under the purview of the University of Michigan.  The dankprofessor believes that such should not be the case if both parties did not use their university positions to facilitate the encounter.  However, the university can make their case for an investigation since the activities of the professor and student were criminal even though criminal charges are seldom brought against those involved in prostitution.  Note in the case of Eliot Spitzer, the call girl never faced a criminal charge.

So the university is operating in a rather gray area.  I do not think the university should be operating at all in this area since I do not think prostitution should be treated as a crime.  And, of course, if the university would find it very difficult to take any actions against this professor since he is tenured.  As to their taking actions against the student, the public will probably never know what the university does since she is shielded from being identified.

And the university cannot apply a consensual relationships policy to take actions against the professor since UM policy covers only situations where there is a supervisory relationship.

And regular dankprofessor blog readers should note that the University of New Mexico Linda Chavez case is of another genre since the off campus sex work of Professor Chavez was not illegal.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, prostitution, sex, sex work, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, University of Michigan | Leave a comment

Consideration of a consensual affair at Warwick University

The UK’s Telegraph reported on December 7 that

Warwick University is considering its stance in the wake of the romance between the law professor Istvan Pogany, 57, and a mature student in her 30s.

The human rights expert began a relationship with the woman following the death of his wife.
The affair started in 2007 and the pair travelled abroad on holiday together. When the couple informed the university about their relationship, it advised the professor not to flaunt the affair or mark her papers.

The student fell pregnant in earlier this year and agonised over whether to have an abortion.
She is said to have cancelled a series of appointments before finally going through with a surgical termination and taking the remains home in a conical flask for a proper burial.

The burial is said to have taken place in the professor’s back garden at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The affair led to an internet gossip campaign among students and staff and two website petitions, one praising Professor Pogany as a brilliant academic and another that accused him of abusing his position of power. Both online petitions have been removed.

The Hungarian-born lecturer, who teaches Human Rights and international law, is currently abroad on arranged study leave and is not due back to Warwick University until the beginning of January. When contacted for comment, he answered in Hungarian.
The student said: “I just want to put this behind me.”

In a statement, Warwick University said: “The university is aware of a relationship between Professor Pogany and a student. We are aware that some institutions within the UK are moving towards the establishment of a code of conduct in respect of such matters and this is also presently under review at Warwick.

“We are mindful that the people involved are both adults and the university has to take this into account in the way it responds both to the situation itself, and also to enquiries about that situation.

“We take our responsibilities to both our students and staff very seriously.
“We are seeking to support and advise both the student and the member of staff. It is not possible to for us comment further without breaching the privacy of those individuals concerned.”

Such represents a most unfortunate and sad situation.  Except for the most committed romantics, I think we all know that love affairs can have rather bitter endings, endings that can plague the parties to these affairs for many a year, even in some cases for a life time.  On the other hand, I think we all know that there are love affairs that last for a life time at least in the sense of evolving into marriage and domesticity or just domesticity.

As for Warwick University (re)considering its stance in the wake of the romance between the law professor Istvan Pogany, 57, and a mature student in her 30s, the dankprofessor asks what is there to reconsider?

Warwick’s present stance is reflected in their statement-
“We are mindful that the people involved are both adults and the university has to take this into account in the way it responds both to the situation itself, and also to enquiries about that situation.”

Yes, they are adults and consenting adults.  The parties to this relationship I am sure have many regrets.  But Warwick should have no regrets.  They have no responsibility for a student and professor who are both adults and choose to have an affair.  If they should assume responsibility and develop more than a laissez faire policy on student professor consensual relationships then they will open
up a Pandora’s box for regulating the intimate lives of their constituents and subjecting themselves to a plethora of lawsuits.  Such represents the American away and hopefully UK universities can avoid going the American way.

Also, it is interesting to note that Warwick in this press report is not treating both parties as adults.  They
name the professor but the student is nameless.  If both are responsible adults, shouldn’t both of their names be employed?

What also irks the dankprofessor is that this story was featured on the blog victimsover18  moderated by
John Heard who devotes his blog to highlighting “the fact that sexual assault and abuse occurs with people over 18 as well as under 18″. 

Of course, Heard is correct that sexual abuse occurs with those over and under 18, but the problem is that Heard adopts the myopic assumption that the “Warwick couple” represents a situation of abuse.  Maybe this assumption to him comes in  the form of a revelation from a Higher Power.  But the dankprofessor speculates that Heard has been inculcated with the American campus feminist anti-sexual agenda, and there is no quick fix for getting beyond said inculcation.

December 10, 2008 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, fraternization, higher education, sex, sexual politics, sexual rights, student professor dating, United Kingdom, Warwick University | 2 Comments

Shame on the University of Iowa

The Daily Iowan, the student newspaper of the University of Iowa, reported on Monday that new policy recommendations relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment have been unveiled by all three University of Iowa campuses and have been forwarded to the Board of Regents for their consideration at tomorrow’s meeting of the Board.

UI representative Steve Parrott said there are key elements to the UI’s new policy that will change the way officials handle all cases.

The elements that peaked the dankprofessor’s attention follow.

To establish one point of contact for victims, the UI hired Monique DiCarlo from the Women’s Resource Action Center to act as the school’s coordinator for sexual-misconduct response.

Each school would also establish new victim-advocate positions. DiCarlo will assign a victim-advocate to each sexual-assault report.

“Having an advocate on hand at all times is crucial for any victim,” said Cathlene Argento, a Women’s Resource and Action Center volunteer. “It’s great that victims can form a relationship with someone to help them through that event in their lives.”

The mother of the alleged UI sexual-assault victim complained in a letter to UI President Sally Mason that she felt there were too few UI officials looking out for her daughter.

Parrott said the UI will now strongly encourage victims to take their sexual-assault allegations to the police as well as the UI.

Now the dankprofessor is not adverse to universities developing resources for alleged victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment.  But given that there have been two recent suicides at the University of Iowa by faculty members charged with sexual harassment, one would hope that there would be some consideration given to the well being and rights of those charged with sexual offenses on campus.

Employing the rhetoric of Cathlene Agento, the Women’s Resources and Action Center volunteer, wouldn’t it be great that faculty and others so charged be able to “…form a relationship with someone to help them through that event in their lives.”  And if such a policy had been applied to charged faculty at UI during the past year, maybe, just maybe, two faculty lives could have been saved.

The fact that the UI ignored these recent events in the promulgation of these policies is indicative of an utter callousness of the UI administration.  Maybe the callousness is part and parcel of an avoidance and denial syndrome by the UI administration. Or might it represent a revenge mentality that has been prevalent among too many campus feminists in the area of sexual harassment. 

Of course, in the larger society and criminal justice system, it is the desire for revenge particularly at in the context of a police state mentality that has led to the implementation of due process which puts restraints on police and civilians seeking quick “justice”.  Due process protections are not put forth to facilitate efficient police work; due process reflects barriers which police should have to handle with care.

At the University of Iowa, and I expect many others Americans universities, the response to due process concerns reflects a feeling that universities may end up coddling male sex offenders, and rather the coddling should be directed toward their student victims (always the victims not the alleged victims).  But in the dankprofessor’s opinion these policies may help to save the lives of accused faculty.  If  this is considered to be coddling, the dankprofessor believes that such is a necessary coddling.

Shame on the University of Iowa administration for its callousness and avoidance and denial.

December 10, 2008 Posted by | ethics, higher education, sex, sex offenders, sexual harassment, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, shame, suicide, University of Iowa, victimization | Leave a comment

Faculty sexual harassment training trumps suicide prevention training at UI

Presented below is a copy of an email from the University of Iowa Crisis Center which was distributed on campus on December 1 announcing that suicide prevention training is being offered to interested UI students.  The dankprofessor notes that no suicide prevention training is being offered to UI faculty.

And it becomes particularly noteworthy that after the suicide of Professor Arthur Miller last August the university mandated sexual harassment training for all faculty.  No suicide prevention training for faculty then or now. Such represents the priorities of the administration of the University of Iowa.  Shame on the University of Iowa administration for viewing sexual harassment by faculty as meriting more intervention than for faculty killing themselves!
________________________________________
From: Crisis Center [sarah-benson@uiowa.edu]
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 1:40 PM
Subject: [NonAcadStudorg] Suicide Prevention Training on Campus

The Crisis Center is providing free training on suicide prevention to interested students. The trainings cover four basic aspects of suicide prevention:

1. Recognizing the warning signs of suicide
2. Asking someone if they are suicidal
3. Persuading someone who is suicidal to get help
4. Referring a suicidal person to appropriate resources

There are two upcoming training dates:
Thursday, December 4, 6:00-8:00pm in 104 EPB
Tuesday, December 9, 6:00-8:00pm in 104 EPB

SPACE IS LIMITED, SO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. To register, email Sarah Benson Witry at sarah-benson@uiowa.edu with the session you want to attend.

This training is meant for people who have no prior education in this topic, although anyone is welcome. The training will not make attendees “experts” on suicide, but will help them intervene in situations where someone may be considering suicide. The trainer is certified in suicide prevention training, but is not a licensed professional.

If you are thinking about suicide, please seek help. The following is a short list of possible resources:
University Counseling Service (for students): 335-7294
Faculty & Staff Services (for staff/faculty): 335-2085
Crisis Center Crisis Line (24-hours): 351-0140

/***********
Distribution of this message was approved by the VP for Student Services. Neither your name nor e-mail address was released to the sender. The policy and guidelines for the UI Mass Mail service, including information on how to filter messages, are available at:
http://cs.its.uiowa.edu/email/massmail.
***********/

December 1, 2008 Posted by | ethics, higher education, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics, suicide, University of Iowa | Leave a comment

   

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