Young Men Might Want to Have Their College Experience Somewhere Else


When the press release about Mia Ackerman’s legislative commission “to study the issue of sexual assault on college campuses” arrived in my inbox, I put it aside with a mental note to keep an eye on whether the committee spent any time at all actually challenging the assumption that there’s some sort of sexual assault crisis on U.S. campuses.  My expectation is that the question won’t be asked, and that this is an issue only because the preacher-dad from Footloose has re-imagined himself as a progressive and because divisive identity politics will help Democrats during the upcoming election year.

But the last paragraph of a quick Providence Journal write-up of the commission’s first meeting by Lynn Arditi truly merits some consideration:

Ackerman introduced legislation to form the study commission after victims advocates opposed a bill she introduced last January to require colleges report sexual assault to law enforcement. Day One, a nonprofit that advocates for victims of sexual violence, opposed the mandatory reporting bill saying it could discourage victims from coming forward. Ackerman withdrew the mandatory reporting bill.

The advocacy group doesn’t want colleges and universities to report allegations of crimes, because the victims might not make the allegations if they expect that to happen.  Here’s the question: What are the colleges and universities supposed to do differently than the legal system that alleged victims will find less threatening?  Worry more about their feelings than the facts?  Remove the alleged perpetrator without due process?  National news on the issue suggests that’s exactly the intention.

The whole discussion has something of a surreal quality.  One would think, for instance, that people obsessed with equity and identity groups would notice how much female undergrads already outnumber male undergrads.  If is accurate, URI has a male:female ratio of 46:54.  At RIC, it’s 33:67.  The private institutions vary as well, although Brown is pretty close to even and Bryant has more men.

This commission’s report is do by May, and there might be some legislation to come out of it.  Then the advocacy may continue.  All of this goes to suggest that if you’re in the process of helping your son figure out a path to college, just now, you might want to leave open some options that are outside of the reach of Rhode Island’s legislature — somewhere that left-wing activists and special interests don’t have elected officials on quite so short of a leash.

  • Max

    “Here’s the question: What are the colleges and universities supposed to
    do differently than the legal system that alleged victims will find
    less threatening?”

    Absolutely! Are they worried about the victims or their Clery stats. Not all cases would be arrestable or prosecutable but my gut feeling is an investigation done by police would be more objective than that done by a campus official with a vested interest in the outcome.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    There have been several recent news stories about the Feds looking into a lack of due process in such college proceedings. The nearest one I know of is Wheaton College (formerly all women) in Norton, MA. Another recent news story suggests that Wheaton’s finances are in tatters and it is likely to fold within a few years. Interestingly, many years ago, there was an all girls school adjacent to Wheaton, House in the Pines. That is now a rooming house for “professionals”.

  • ShannonEntropy

    … whether the committee spent any time at all actually challenging the assumption that there’s some sort of sexual assault crisis on U.S. campuses.

    The campus sex assault hysterics use numbers so wildly inflated that it’s amazing that anyone takes them seriously. A frequently quoted statistic is that 25% of all female co·eds are victims of sexual assault

    But in America’s most violent city — Camden NJ — the rate of all violent crime is 25.4 per 1,000 … a rate of 2.5%. And that’s for ALL violent crime like murder; assault & battery; domestic abuse; arson; you-name-it

    So a woman is TEN TIMES less safe on the leafy campus of an Ivy League school than on the streets of Camden !! There isn’t city in Li’l Rhody that even makes list of the Top 100 Most Violent Cities in America … but Brown’s campus tops them all by an order of magnitude ??!!?? (( FTR, the most violent city closest to Brown is Worcester MA, which clocks in at # 90 with a violent crime rate of 9.64 per 1,000 people, a rate of 0.0096% ))

    My advice to the ever-shrinking number of male college
    students =►

    • Rhett Hardwick

      One must always beware “advocacy statistics”. I have always been appalled at the number of “missing children” reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. I recently heard an explanation of the numbers reported on the radio by a member of the “Center”. It seems that if a child is usually home at 3:30 but doesn’t appear until 3:40, on a single day, that child has been “missing” for 10 minutes

  • Mike

    One note on the percentage of female students at RIC outnumbering men 33:67. RIC has popular degree programs in nursing, elementary and secondary education, and social work. Their social work program is nationally recognized. All of these programs have mostly women enrolling in them which is most likely the cause for the disparity between men and women.