Wednesday, April 07, 2010

FIRE Confronts Duke's New Sexual Misconduct Policy

A powerful statement today released by FIRE, regarding Duke's guilt-presuming sexual misconduct procedure. FIRE vice president Robert Shibley put the matter bluntly:

"Duke's new sexual misconduct policy could have been written by Mike Nifong. Members of the men's basketball team could be punished for consensual sexual activity simply because they are 'perceived' as more powerful than other students after winning the national championship. Students who engage in sexual behavior after a few beers could be found guilty of sexual misconduct towards each other. This is not just illogical and impractical, but insane. Given its experience during the lacrosse team rape hoax, Duke, of all schools, should know better than to institute such unjust rules about sexual misconduct."

How will Duke respond? I'd like to think the university would show some sensitivity to due process and the need to avoid false allegations--or, even if not, would want to avoid being publicly shamed as FIRE has done. But on a campus in which the Group of 88 and its allies have, if anything, tightened their vise since the end of the lacrosse case, I can't say that I'm optimistic.


RighteousThug said...

Given its experience during the lacrosse team rape hoax, Duke, of all schools, should know better than to institute such unjust rules about sexual misconduct."

Given its experience with Duke, FIRE should know better than to expect or even hope for anything more than this from Duke.

Duke has learned nothing; to the contrary, the G88 mindset, and the power they hold, is stronger now than it ever was.

Anonymous said...

Do the Trustees ever pay any attention to what is going on? To what has happened to the reputation of their university?

How did a school that was once trying to become the "Harvard of the South" get turned into the caricature of a "PC University" from a National Lampoon movie?

Black Death said...

I'm a Duke alum, and I've turned off the money spigot. Not one cent ever again while this bunch is in charge.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Ha, I've had a wonderful series of exchanges this week with two families whose children are (were) considering Duke.

I've sent them this development to demonstrate that Duke is out of control and has a gaping void of leadership. It remains a dangerous environment.

RighteousThug said...

From Dr Helen:

It seems to me that the most powerful group on Duke's campus is the group of feminists that got this policy passed. If you have sex with one of them, you have obviously been raped and need to file charges.

Pat Bay said...

They couldn't nail the lacrosse team for a rape they didn't commit? No problem: just change the definition of rape and have another go.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Duke U. will be blessed with a miracle. Maybe -- somehow -- the grown-ups will take over the running of the university.

But like you, K.C., I'm not holding my breath.

Gus W.

Kilgore said...

God bless FIRE. It's time for a public shaming.

William L. Anderson said...

They are like the Bourbons; they learn nothing, and they forget nothing.

Anonymous said...


Your link to the text of the subject policy no longer works.

Topher said...

After years of studying the hoax et al, my brain has melted down and I've come to the only logical conclusion:

Duke is just plain f'd up.

It's un-freaking-believable how this campus operates!

It's a monument to the depravity of swaths of modern academia, most notably craven administrators.

Camille Paglia could spend a year on location writing columns about the silliness and effects of post-modernist deconstructionism and come back for more.

Anonymous said...

When the policy was installed at Duke, I sent a copy of it, a list of my concerns about Due Process and copies of the stories in the Duke Chronicle to the Duke Trustees. The Office of the University Secretary is the liason between the Duke administration and the Board of Trustees. The email address of the Office of the University Secretary is:

The policy will end up being the subject of future lawsuits, and because it is so fundamentally unsound, it provides defenses for actually guilty future perpetrators, which they don't deserve. On top of that, the school is now viewed as a laughingstock. The Duke Board of Trustees should be on record as having full knowledge of what they are allowing to happen at their University.

If you have a minute, please send the Board a copy of the FIRE materials via the email above. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

NOTE: When you send your letter to the BoT, (he wrote hopefully), don't include the "mailto:" bit. Just use this as the email address:

P.S. Thanks for keeping keeping on, Professor Johnson! I always read but hardly ever write anymore, but this is a great chance to nip a future problem in the bud. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Not enough people care. Duke had a record number of applications this year.

colagirl said...

Geez, it's like the lunatics are running the asylum. :P

jdgalt said...

I agree with the other posters that Duke deserves to lose this case. But I wouldn't bet on it.

As a private, not state, university, Duke can probably kick out students whenever it pleases, so long as it doesn't commit any of the kinds of discrimination banned by Title VII; and it's unlikely that anyone in President Obama's Dept. of Education will interpret Title VII as banning Duke's code of conduct.

But on the bright side, Duke is not the state. So when Duke "convicts" and expels a student for committing its definition of "rape," he is not a convict and will not go to jail or suffer other consequences. And if Duke tells anyone he committed rape, he can sue for defamation and win.

Doug1 said...

Someone please tell me what FIRE stands for in this Duke context.

A quick google search yielding nothing promising. I followed this blog closely during the height of the Duke Lacrosse case but have only looked in occasional since, but kept it in my google reader since the arguments of it's founder are so razor sharp and cogent, and level headed.

this new Duke sexual misconduct or date rape policy is beyond outrageous. It's way beyond the national rad feminist (see e.g. Feministing) push to replace the "no means no" standard that feminists themselves pushed for and got replacing the prior age old Anglosphere requirement of also some indication of actual physical resistance or maybe a strong struggle), with a "yes means yes" or "affirmative consent" standard. Which sounds not so awful until you realized it shifts the burden of proof to the accused in effect as soon as the girl regrets having such casual sex at some point later on for a host of reasons (bf finds out, girls call her slutty, parents find out, etc.).

That's utterly apauling. Making the accused proof his innocence as so as he is accused by a girl of date rape. It violates a fundamental principal of American and British justice dating back and continued unabated and indeed in other areas increasing emphasized bedrock principal.

Anyway, help on FIRE?

Doug1 said...

All male Duke alumni, and that's where they get essential all their alumni money from, males, should immediately stop all contributions to Duke until this policy is entirely eliminated, with a return to a "no means no" policy, and with the accuser having the burden of proof, and both alleged participants having to testify and be cross examined.

Anonymous said...

Duke has no decency.

Anonymous said...

@Doug1: FIRE = Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Anonymous said...

There's a column on this policy, followed by a spirited debate in the comments section, at:


Anonymous said...

Article about a former Brown University student suing Brown over the due process (or lack thereof) procedure of its sexual harassment policy: