Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Campus all gender bathrooms beyond the dorms?

The insidehighereducation article, A Bathroom of Her Own(along with the comments) on gender segregated or gender integrated bathrooms in college dormitories explores just about all the issues/concerns/solutions regarding the gendering of bathrooms in college dorms.  The dankprofessor hold that this is a must read article for persons who are seriously interested in campus sexual and gender politics.

Almost all but not all the issues are explored in the article, such as why the all gender bathroom option does not exist on the campus as a whole? Or why should the option only apply to dorms?

On some of the campuses where there are non-gendered bathrooms, there are still faculty and non-faculty bathrooms.  I have no doubt that the existence of non-gendered bathrooms on campus with no attention given to student, faculty or staff status would not be given the green light. Why?  Potential sexual harassment issues would be immediately brought up as well as fraternization issues- if persons who are banned from having sex with each other are allowed to frequent the same bathroom said bans would be undermined.  Or to put it in other terms, bathroom fraternization could very well lead to the undermining of the whole campus stratification system.

No mattter what is happening in the dorms, outside of the dorms whether it be at Oberlin or Williams or Reed, et. al, people are expected to know their place.  People who are seen out of place may very well be at risk of being displaced or replaced.

December 21, 2009 Posted by | bathrooms, fraternization, higher education, nudity, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics | Leave a comment

Investigation clears prof of sex charges

Naplenews.com reports that Florida Gulf Coast University Professor Patrick Davis has been cleared of charges that he had an inappropriate relationship with a student who he had impregnated and had plans to marry, and that he had inappropriately engaged in changing grades that he had assigned to the student.

After the university investigated all of these charges, the FGCU administration sent a letter to Professor Davis indicating all of the charges were unfounded.  However, in that same letter, the university administration chastised Professor Davis for engaging in what they termed “retaliation” against Professors Russell Sabella and Marilyn Isaacs, the colleagues of Professor Davis who had initiated the charges against him.   The university indicated that the retaliation took the form of sending an email to a reporter of a local TV station in which the identities of the charging professors were revealed.  In the letter to Davis, Provost Ronald Toll stated-“The University finds your behavior in this matter to be irresponsible, unprofessional, and retaliatory. The particularly malicious level of your accusations provided directly to the media reflects a disregard for FGCU regulations, policies and procedures that cannot and will not be condoned by the University.”

Davis was also chastised in the letter for not being responsive to his Dean’s questions regarding the charges lodged against him.

The naplenews.com also reported-

in his appeal letter, dated Nov. 14, Davis writes that the administration was aware he had not violated FGCU’s policies or procedures, as Associate Vice President Hudson Rogers conducted a previous investigation a year ago and found no improprieties.

“FGCU not only pursued this matter to its already predetermined conclusion (UNFOUNDED) by conducting yet another investigation (without any new supporting evidence), FGCU released knowingly false, albeit salacious accusations against me to the media in what appears as a deliberate, coordinated effort to defame my character and humiliate me,” he wrote. “The damage done to my reputation can not be undone.”

Provost Toll also found Professor Isaacs responsible for retaliation against Davis and she was given a written reprimand for her behavior.

Davis who has been suspended from classroom teaching will not be allowed to return to the classroom as a result of the investigation clearing him since another investigation of him has not been completed. This investigation relates to a complaint from a student “alleging unprofessional behavior in the classroom” by Davis.

The dankprofessor finds it to be quite clear that the FGCU administration does not honor in any way the presumption of innocence.  No matter that Davis has been cleared of rather serious charges, he has not been cleared in an ultimate sense since another charge is still pending. And once that charge is resolved in the favor of Davis another charge could be brought and Davis could remain in a state of “suspended animation” with no end in sight. 

The dankprofessor says enough is enough.  Let Professor Davis do his job.  But apparently too many key persons at FGCU just can’t handle reinstating a professor who had sex with a student, not only had sex but also fathered a child with the student and became engaged to the student and I assume married the student.

Of course, the Davis case was complicated by the fact that the charges also involved the charge that Davis had inappropriately changed a student grade.  However, the involved parties in this case very well know that if there was no sexual component there would have been very little attention given to Davis.  Prejudicial grading is widespread in just about all universities much more widespread than sex between a student and a professor.  If there were fewer of the sexually obsessed at our universities, there would be more attempts to engage major problems at universities, such as plagiarism, conflicts of interest that involve huge amounts of money and, of course, the tolerance of cavalier attitudes toward grading and the tolerance of  prejudicial grading. 

The hardcore bottom line at universities is that students care about grading and most professors do not; if most professors could have their way most of the time, grading would be left in the hands of inexperienced TAs.

 

December 20, 2009 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, Florida Gulf Coast University, higher education, sex, sexual politics, student professor dating | Leave a comment

Anti-sexual zealotry at Yale

The witch hunt for sexual deviants is just beginning at Yale.  As reported in the Yale Daily News, the Women Faculty Forum wants to employ the new consensual relationships policy as a launch pad for a more encompassing sexual control policy.

In its report, the Women Faculty Forum also recommended that new, University-wide policies against sexual misconduct replace existing policies, which vary across Yale College, the Graduate School and the professional schools. They also want Yale to shift its focus from sexual harassment to the broader issue of sexual misconduct — an umbrella term that applies to both sexual harassment and assault, and includes other sexually motivated behaviors intended to intimidate or threaten.

The Women Faculty Forum also called for the creation of a centralized sexual misconduct grievance board to administer the new policy and address complaints from undergraduates, graduate and professional students, faculty and staff alike. Currently, complaints are evaluated by four different grievance boards across the University.

“We don’t think there’s a lot of additional study necessary in terms of outside research,” Woman Faculty Forum report co-author and School of Management professor Connie Bagley said. “I hope the group is serious about the issues and willing to roll up their sleeves, dig into the [Women Faculty Forum] report and policy and just get this done.”

Miller said the University’s quick response to the report’s demand for a review committee and new policy on student-faculty relationships signals a “recommitment” to preventing sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

“The administrators we’ve been working with agree that sexual misconduct has no place at Yale,” Bagley said last month. “They’re serious about trying to take additional steps to eliminate it.”

Both Bagley and Priya Natarajan, a professor of astronomy and physics and a co-chair of the committee that authored the report, said they are pleased with the University’s response to the Women Faculty Forum report so far, but added that this is just the beginning of the process. The new committee must act quickly and decisively and follow the policy changes outlined in the report, Bagley said.

The report came from over a year of research, writing and consultation with faculty and administrators, most of whom supported the group’s proposed policies, Bagley said. Members of the committee responsible for the report worked with the General Counsel’s Office to ensure that the policy changes offered in the report were legally feasible.

The Women Faculty Forum began work on its report on sexual misconduct in fall 2008, after several pledges to the fraternity Zeta Psi posed for pictures outside the Women’s Center with signs that read “We Love Yale Sluts” and 100 medical students wrote a letter to School of Medicine administrators in December 2007 expressing concern over the prevalence of sexual harassment at the school, according to the report. The Women Faculty Forum’s goal in writing the report was to help administrators to develop a workable, University-wide anti-sexual misconduct policy, Bagley said.

The dankprofessor finds it breathtaking that the report promulgates a policy of eliminating all sexual misconduct at Yale while at the same time insuring that the policies are legally “feasible”.   Eliminating/eradicating sexual misconduct is simply not compatible with law that recognizes due process and civil liberties.  Such elimination can occur but only in an authoritarian state ruled by sexual zealots.  Of course, “elimination” should be in quotes since so-called sexual misconduct is never completely eliminated.  The anti-sexual zealots know this and know that their work is never completed; vigilance is always necessary in their world view.

What this and other similar policies also foment is the use of informants, third party informants who will report on sexual dissidents.  Based on reports to me from distraught students and profs, the usage of informants is commonplace in  American universities.  Getting a handle on this situation is difficult since the identity of such informants is kept secret by university authorities.  In fact, most often the entire proceeding against sexual dissidents is of a secretive nature.  What makes the Yale policy even more fertile for the fomenting of informants is the usage of the nebulous term “amorous relationships”.  So if the behavior is perceived as not sexual but amorous such is enough to initiate the charges.

But one may ask who would be prone to become informants at Yale or any other university?  The prone would be distraught or jealous students or faculty.  A student who believes that she or he was unfairly given a poor grade may come forward with a false charge knowing that ones identity is protected and knowing in some cases that there are no rules regarding false charges.  Or one may be jealous of a fellow student or fellow faculty member or one may be a distraught ex-boyfriend.  The list can go on and on.

The world of Yale is no different than the worlds beyond the walls of ivy.  The small minded are everywhere.  The paranoid are everywhere.  The sexual zealots are everywhere.  The question is whether they will be allowed to takeover Yale and recreate Yale in their image.

For my prior posting on the Zeta Psi fraternity controversy, click here.

The dankprofessor will also be reporting on prior incidents of sexual hysteria at Yale and on a faculty member who was subjected to said hysteria.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, fear, higher education, sex, sexual harassment, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, student professor dating, Uncategorized, Yale University | 2 Comments

Yale bans undergrad/prof sex and love

 The December 11 headline in the Yale Alumni Magazine reads-

“New policy for profs: don’t sleep with undergrads. Period.”

Of course, it could have read-

“New Policy for undergrads, don’t sleep with profs. Period.”

The article reported on the new Yale policy which prohibits all “sexual or amorous” relationships between Yale undergrads and their teachers.

In a memo to the faculty, Provost Peter Salovey  announced a stricter stance toward consensual faculty-student relationships. Previously, such relationships with undergrads were permitted if the teacher had no “pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities” over the student.  For grad students, a sexual or amorous relationship remains OK if there is no pedagogical relationship.

Why Yale grad students have a sexual prerogative with profs and undergrads do not is explained in the policy-

Undergraduate students are particularly vulnerable to the unequal institutional power inherent in the teacher-student relationship and the potential for coercion, because of their age and relative lack of maturity. Therefore, no teacher. . . shall have a sexual or amorous relationship with any undergraduate student, regardless of whether the teacher currently exercises or expects to have any pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities over that student.”

So putting the justification in dankprofessor terms, Yale undergrads are just too immature, they are not real adults like the Yale grad students and profs. So when these Yale undergrad kids grow up, Yale will allow them to have sex with the grownups of their choice, but still with some limitations, of course.

Maybe it might be better for Yale to reevaluate their whole admissions policy and only accept applicants who are mature.  An elite Yale education should be for persons who are already grownups.  If such was the policy, maybe Yale administrators would stop regarding Yale students as kids.

Of course, there is more.  The policy explains that without the new ban the integrity of the student prof relationship is at risk- “The integrity of the teacher-student relationship is the foundation of the University’s educational mission.”

What utter poppycock! If such puts the foundation of Yale at such great risk, how has Yale managed to survive for so many years and have had so many outstanding graduates?

But there is still more.  The policy goes on to state-

“In addition to creating the potential for coercion, any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process by creating a conflict of interest and may impair the learning environment for other students…such situations may expose the University and the teacher to liability for violation of laws against sexual harassment and sex discrimination.”

The dankprofessor calls this the demonization of sex.  Sexual demonization is the underlying dynamic fueling all the crusades to ban, degrade, eradicate myriad forms of sexuality.  Yale becomes at one with the Christian right and the New England witch hunting zealots of centuries past.

And without doubt just about anyone could stand accused under this policy.  Those who are not sexual but just a bit too amorous can easily become suspect.  And as many of us know, those sexually accused are all too often assumed to be guilty, even at Yale!

This situation at Yale exposes the University to possibly becoming violators of human rights and human dignity.  But such a possibility hardly ever restrains those who are committed to eradicating the sexually impure in our midst.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, love, sex, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, student professor dating, Yale University | 2 Comments

Martin Amis on Roman Polanski

Amis interviewed Polanski in 1979 in Paris and comments on Polanski’s current situation.

December 7, 2009 Posted by | rape, Roman Polanski, sex, sexual politics | Leave a comment

On raping Polanski

There is a blogging group called themselves the astute bloggers, but from what I have read by them, whatever they have to offer it is not astuteness.  Here is their “take: on Roman Polanski being transferred from a Swiss jail to his Swiss chalet-

INSTEAD OF RELAXING IN A CHALET IN GSTAAD, POLANSKI DESERVES JUSTICE.

LET’S SEND HIM TO PRISON WHERE OTHER INMATES CAN DO TO HIM WHAT HE DID TO THAT 13 YEAR OLD GIRL

Well, even if  the above comment is not astute, it is unadulterated honest bigotry.  Or to put it in other terms, it is blatant hatemongering.  Or in modern day lingo, it’s Polanski haters unplugged.

And for those who still believe in civility , let us not forget that Polanski was in that Swiss jail not for punishment but rather as a detainee.  We detain detainees not for the sake of punishment.  Polanski was detained in jail and now is detained in his chalet. 

The fact that the chalet is a very hospitable environment is really beside the point.  Unfortunately, what is the point to all too many Americans is that jails for detainees, the presumed innocent, should be like New York City’s Riker’s Island, an island where the presumed innocent are punished and degraded on an everyday basis.

Riker’s Island and other similar institutions in America and around the world indicate the game will remain the same.  It means that those calling themselves astute create insitutions that have more rapists exiting than entering.

The dankprofessoer knows where rape is going on and it is not in a plush Swiss chalet but rather in our jails and prisons.

December 5, 2009 Posted by | rape, Roman Polanski, sex, sexual politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

   

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