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Government selectors, pages, etc.
The problem with Elise Stefanik's question and the university presidents' overly nuanced answers.
By Curt_Anderson
December 10, 2023 10:22 am
Category: Government

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Elise Stefanik asked Harvard University President Claudine a hypothetical question: "Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard's rules on bullying and harassment?"

Gay responded, "The rules around bullying and harassment are quite specific and if the context in which that language is used amounts to bullying and harassment, then we take, we take action against it."


While it is their right, I am not not a supporter of educational or business organizations coming up with "rules" that are redundant to existing laws or worse that are that are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution. There are already laws on the books that make threats of death or violence illegal (harassment, intimidation, stalking, etc.). However, the context or credibility of a threat is considered before anybody is arrested. A wife telling her husband "I'll kill you if you mention my weight again" won't result in any jail time.

Congress doesn't even seem to have rules against threats or if they do, they are not enforced. Just last month Senator Markwayne Mullins bullied and threatened to fistfight a witness during a hearing resulting with both men shouting "you stand your butt up!".

Apologist Republican members of Congress described the January 6th insurrectionists, including those who were screaming "Hang Mike Pence", as merely "Capitol tourists".

Donald Trump has called for the extrajudicial execution of Gen. Mark Milley and shoplifters among others. He's called for his MAGA rally minions to "beat the hell out of" hecklers and protesters.

The university presidents could have said, yes, we have and apply such rules at our university. They are much like your own congressional rules on bullying and harassment. Furthermore, when appropriate, we won't hesitate to call in law enforcement./

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Comments on "The problem with Elise Stefanik's question and the university presidents' overly nuanced answers.":

  1. by Indy! on December 10, 2023 10:40 am

    The question is idiotic. Every college has rules against "bullying and harassment" other students - this is the key part the people pretending to be offended are missing. So "calling for the genocide of Jews" does not fit that criteria. There might be other rules that would cover that (inciting racial division or whatever) - but it simply does not fall under the "bullying and harassment" rules unless they are getting in the faces of Jewish individuals and calling for that person's "genocide". This is why the presidents hemmed and hawed imho. If the college presidents had merely explained that to the idiot asking the question and the idiots biting on her ignorant question - maybe there never would have been a brouhaha outside of the idiots on the right.

    I think the president that resigned just thought to herself... You know what? This kind of childish nonsense is just not worth my time. I'll take my tenure, step down and let someone else deal with these idiots.


  2. by oldedude on December 10, 2023 10:47 am
    Obviously they need to. Also, college campuses have always had their own "code of conduct." If I "misgender" someone I've never met, why can I be kicked out of the university? Calling for the murder of a group isn't? I don't get it.


  3. by oldedude on December 10, 2023 12:06 pm
    Curt- While it is their right, I am not not a supporter of educational or business organizations coming up with "rules" that are redundant to existing laws or worse that are that are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution. There are already laws on the books that make threats of death or violence illegal (harassment, intimidation, stalking, etc.). However, the context or credibility of a threat is considered before anybody is arrested. A wife telling her husband "I'll kill you if you mention my weight again" won't result in any jail time.

    I think the best response is that an educational or business can take action to protect themselves.

    "Hostile work environment" actually falls under harassment. A school or business may be able to fire the person for that (or take another action, whatever) without involving the police for a law with a minor violation.

    If someone is (say) sexually harassing another person, the university can kick them out of school without involving the police or going through the legal system which could take years.

    I'm not convinced that law enforcement shouldn't be told about acts of violence, etc. That does have an effect on the school or business and "should" have an effect on the local community. A university or business in that case wouldn't have to get a protective order (although they could if the issue were that serious) to keep the person off the grounds.

    The rules when you have a clearance are vastly different. Many entities, both public and private companies have rules about drug use, DUI's, that sort of thing. If I get a DUI on a municipal street, I can still get fired by the government for the DUI. If I am using weed while employed by the feds, I am fired, regardless if the state has personal use laws. Same thing with domestic violence laws and many others. I'm pretty sure BYU has rules regarding non prescription drugs (including tobacco, alcohol, etc). They can take action if you are found using or the drugs in your system. AND it's right there as you sign on the dotted line agreeing to the rules of the school.


  4. by Indy! on December 10, 2023 12:09 pm

    The misgender thing (probably) only applies at the most liberal colleges - I've only heard of one instance of that being enforced at some CA university. But again - it's an individual vs. an entire group. One person cannot "bully or harass" a group of people.


  5. by Curt_Anderson on December 10, 2023 12:18 pm
    "If someone is (say) sexually harassing another person, the university can kick them out of school without involving the police or going through the legal system which could take years." --OD

    I recall a case a few years ago in which a male college student was accused of rape. She said she was drunk and he said it was consensual sex. He was kicked out of school on her say-so. He complained he was expelled (and therefore lost the money he invested in tuition, etc.) without any due process. I don't remember the results of the lawsuit.

    Sure, organizations can make up their own rules for employees and students, but the rules need to be fair and not overly punitive.


  6. by oldedude on December 10, 2023 12:18 pm
    So a KKK member cannot harass a group of blacks.🤣


  7. by Curt_Anderson on December 10, 2023 12:21 pm
    "So a KKK member cannot harass a group of blacks.🤣" --OD

    I'd like to see him try.


  8. by oldedude on December 10, 2023 3:24 pm
    And what do you think would happen, since they are the number one domestic threat according to the FBI? Parents that care about their kids are next.


  9. by Indy! on December 11, 2023 2:02 am

    By group I mean an entire race or religion, etc.. - not five guys standing on a corner “group”. Sorry, OD, forgot you only have a military “education”. I’ll dumb it down for you next time.


  10. by oldedude on December 11, 2023 2:37 am
    I recall a case a few years ago in which a male college student was accused of rape. She said she was drunk and he said it was consensual sex. He was kicked out of school on her say-so. He complained he was expelled (and therefore lost the money he invested in tuition, etc.) without any due process. I don't remember the results of the lawsuit.

    I view this as attempting to deconflict incidents on the lowest levels. If a person is being harassed on campus, why couldn't the school, business, etc take care of that on that level? Most of these are usually as an HR complaint and settled quickly. Why involve law enforcement until it is out of the reach of the lower organization (in most cases).

    There have been several of those with mixed results depending on the evidence. Not all of them are the same. So a potential rape is "punitive?" If there was enough evidence to support that, but not enough to take it to file charges (the bars of evidence are obviously very different), they usually go through a hearing at the school (the school's "due process"). Not knowing enough for that case makes it really hard to answer. And like he did, he had the ability to go up a level and file a lawsuit.

    Also I remember two cases, both sounding the same on the surface. One was the Duke Lacrosse team, which was put through a wringer. Eventually, in court, the woman admitted to making the whole thing up to get back at the jocks and to hopefully make some money. The team was absolved of wrongdoing, but not without hurting the entire team, who were named by the school.

    Another one was just the reverse, the team was actually guilty. I don't remember many of those specifics.

    Both were initially brought up by the school. At Duke, the truth wasn't found out until it had escalated to the court system which everyone has the right to do.


  11. by HatetheSwamp on December 11, 2023 2:58 am

    Donald Trump has called for the extrajudicial execution of Gen. Mark Milley and shoplifters among others. He's called for his MAGA rally minions to "beat the hell out of" hecklers and protesters.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh, Curt. Thanks s'much!

    Sing two times while washing hands...to the tune of ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT.

    Trump Trump Trump Trump is bad.
    Nasty things Trump did.
    Carefully, carefully do we watch.
    Nuthin will be hid.

    Baha keehee hoohoohoohoohoohoohoo ha.

    Youdabomb, Curt. Youdabomb.


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