Saturday, September 20, 2014

In Loco Parentis

Colleges and universities used to act in loco parentis, in the place of a parent.  Even though the vast majority of college students are legal adults, they were treated as children in an idealized, extended adolescence.  Like everything else, I'm told this ended in the 1960s.

The philosophy has been brought back these days, but now it means the crazy parent.  Why on earth would a university ask incoming students such personal, prying questions about their sex lives?
As originally reported by Campus Reform, Clemson required its students to disclose personal information about drinking habits and their sex lives as part of an online Title IX training course, which required students’ IDs, names, addresses, and housing details in order to login. All students, faculty, and staff were required to complete the course by Nov. 1 or face disciplinary action.
My outrage prevents me even from forming logical questions about who was responsible, and why these types of questions should be asked of anyone.  Fortunately, sunlight, as they say, is an excellent disinfectant:
“Required Title IX online training has been suspended pending elimination of certain questions that were associated with a training module provided by a third-party vendor,” the email, sent at 11:42 p.m., said. “Clemson University will eliminate these questions. We apologize for any concern and inconvenience this has caused.”
But it's not a complete victory:
“It's a great first step forward, but not a complete victory since they're only planning on eliminating certain questions from the invasive program,” (student) Pendergist told Campus Reform. “We need to eliminate the entire ‘mandatory’ program altogether since there is nothing in the Campus SaVE Act that requires a mandatory program to be completed by all students and faculty, but rather it only requires that programs be available, not mandated, for faculty and new students.”


maxutils said...

I agree with you ... I believe Dartmouth is also doing this. My advice? defeat it through deceit. Just lie on every question. Make yourself out to be the biggest sex junkie ever ...That way, you don't need to fight it in court, you won't be disclosing personal information, and at some point the university will realize that there really is no way to compile the data. I actually think that would be more fun than a prolonged, winning court battle, in any event.

Auntie Ann said...

I wonder whether there was any violation of the law, since a non-negligible number of students were *not* adults, but 17-year-old freshmen.

maxutils said...

Auntie Ann -- excellent point. Even for 18 or 19 year olds, the sexual acts could have occured before legal age of consent ... so a good defense would be to cite the 5th amendment right not to self -incriminate. I mean, how many people in this era have not had sex at least once before turning 18? I'm guessing MAYBE 25%? And I think that's probably too high.

Anonymous said...

at our school it was called "alcohol wise" and turned into a huge thing about how much you drink/smoke and how if you drink, youre probably getting attacked and if you get attacked- what to do. our school is big on blame currently. my floor all agreed to answer the exact same on every question- zero tolerance, zero usage, zero problems. jokes on you housing department, jokes on you.