Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Professors with Pitchforks: Faculty "Hot" Over Harassment Code

Professors with pitchforks!

What a difference a month of education and agitation makes when the administration is trying, by all appearances, to rush through a sexual harassment code that is even worse than our old code. Update:

I attended the Faculty Senate meeting, where University Legal Counsel (Phyleccia Cole) presented her office's proposed sexual harassment code. Professor Mary Lamb (English) made a brief, sharp presentation assailing the code. Then the senators started to say how "atrocious" the code was and Lamb asked for a show of hands whether people were as "hot" as the speakers (herself included)--most hands went up (the administrators did not raise their hands. LOL). Lamb posted a questionnaire for professors and everyone else to make their feelings known.

The constituency heads were there and one said his constituency was "very strongly" against the code and they didn't realize how bad it was until now. The senator from the medical school cited the NAS Statement I ran in the Daily Egyptian and used it to criticize the code and propose common-sense guidelines.

Professors were a bit taken aback by the Powerpoint slide indicating that Legal Counsel would hand over documents to the accused IF A COURT ORDERED THEM TO DO SO. Otherwise, everything is secret. Look up "Star Chamber".

The feminist president of the Faculty Senate (Peggy Stockdale) pooh-poohed the "legal" and emphasized the "psychological" -- even a "sexist joke" was on the slippery slope to x, y, z, then sexual assualt. Lordie, bring us back to the 1950s when comic books were a gateway to drugs, deviancy, communism!! Shades of "Reefer Madness!" It starts with Seinfeld jokes and leads to the worst of all sexual crimes.

The president then went on to say that we had to make it "easy and unrisky" for victims to file complaints without having to reveal their identity or even the location of the "crime." The hazier the better.

In the end, President Stockdale had to stew as the senators challenged the assumptions of the code and the abuse of power. Many feared a real "chilling effect." After the show of hands, the Faculty Senate agreed to draft a resolution strongly opposing the code revisions, to be presented at the next meeting.

Professors with pitchforks!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad the "Lambs" refuse to go meekly to the slaughter!

Anonymous said...

I completed the survey and sent it in. Did any member of the Legal Counsel actually make it through law school? I certainly did not, but a quick read through the proposed changes to the sexual harassment policy indicated more than a few legal problems.