The rationale was dubious from the outset. Title IX, they said, entitled students to a safe environment, which morphed into an environment where no one, no matter how delicate or irresponsible, no matter how infantile or peculiar, would suffer unpleasant feelings, no matter what the costs. Those costs being the safety of, and fairness to, other students about whom nobody gave a damn.
And now, boom! The rationale was lost to the rubric.
California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s (D) bill, which would allow community colleges in the state to punish students for off-campus sexual assaults, was approved by the state senate unanimously this past week.
Her bill was introduced back in February. It now awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature to become law.
He’s a hard-working gov, that Jerry Brown. He must get hand cramps. From the Daily Nexus:
Jackson said the bill’s success was backed by the common understanding that all college students from UCs [University of California], CSUs [California State University] and community colleges should be held accountable for crimes such as sexual assault.
“I think, clearly, if everyone has to meet to the same standards, there won’t be the sense that someone can get away with something that another can’t,” Jackson said. “So there’s going to be accountability, and hopefully there will be disciplinary action in both circumstances.”
The notion of creating a chamber, adorning it with stars, for the purpose of vindicating the whims of some students, mostly of the female variety, at the expense of other students, mostly of the male variety, was bad enough. But then the idea upon which it was born flew out of Hannah-Beth Jackson’s head, and a completely new, totally unrelated, idea filled the void.
Suddenly, a sense of reverse fairness filled the air and the newfound standard that emerged from a “dear colleague” letter by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and could only be rationalized by some contorted application of Title IX with a very heavy dose of neo-feminist dogma miraculously became fairness to all women everywhere.
If a woman was entitled to special care and handling on campus, shouldn’t all women be so entitled? Shouldn’t the chamber, adorned with stars, be available to all?
Well, no. Not only because the chamber shouldn’t exist in the first place, but because the only justification for it, if you can call an appeal to sad feelings a justification, was the unique and bizarrely interpreted demands of Title IX. Not to mention the threat of losing federal funds for not building the chamber fast enough.
None of this, however, has any bearing on the world outside the campus. We already have a system for this, and it happens in courthouses where people accused of doing wrong are entitled to rights. Did no one tell Jackson about this?
“Our first priority is for student safety,” [Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) President Lori] Gaskin said. “We do not tolerate violations of our college student code of conduct on any of our three campuses, and this measure would extend that authority for sexual assault and other serious student misconduct outside our campus boundaries.”
If you feel the need to reread this quote, maybe even a few times, because it appears at first blush to be a complete non-sequitur, you’re not alone. What it means to say, even though it does so with the lack of devotion to the meaning of words one might expect of a college president, is that as long as they have the ability to inflict punishment on the guy, any and every woman from within or without can come to us with her complaint.
We’ll fix the little bastard for you.
According to Jackson, the bill mandates punishments such as expulsion and suspension for students found guilty of sexual assault regardless of whether or not the incident happened within or outside of campus boundaries.
“We will be monitoring this to make sure that disciplinary proceedings are effective and are pursued when there are allegations of rape and sexual assault,” Jackson said. “It is my expectation that I have discussed with the universities that they will follow this law and abide by it.”
Once the original rationale, dubious as it may be, is disconnected from the execution, the possibilities mushroom. If a college can adjudicate a sexual assault, why not a burglary, or a murder? Are they not evils to be eradicated, and certainly not permissible on campus? And if they can extend their jurisdiction beyond the campus walls for one, certainly they can do so for another. And another.
And rape is a horrible crime, which the college has deemed itself entitled to punish. And if it can punish, why not punish it more appropriately, as mere expulsion is inadequate retribution for so heinous an offense. Campuses will need to build jails, named after donors of course, and sentences of expulsion will fall to the wayside as sentences of imprisonment are necessary to address such horrible crimes.
What sort of rape apologist could argue against the need for college prisons to protect their students from rape? And others from rape? How could anyone object to imprisoning a male student for the protection of co-eds and all other women, who clearly deserve just as much protection?
And not only has California taken a dive down the slippery slope quickly, but without the slightest recognition of how they’ve abandoned all pretense at justification when crafting a secondary, subconstitutional, criminal justice system, devoid of constitutional protections, to save the world. And if Jerry Brown likes it, Andy Cuomo is sure to follow.