Adventures in Illinois Higher Education: Federally Mandated Alcohol and “Sexual Violence” Online Courses
The spoken discourse will be available momentarily. – Download a PDF version of this article.
Update 1/20/2016: When I released the article on January 16th, I was still awaiting a response regarding further clarification on what federal legal citation required higher level indoctrination campuses to provide training courses on alcohol and sexual violence. I have received a response, and it was certainly illuminating. The redacted email is linked here for transparency and the update will be at the bottom of the article.
By: Shane Radliff
January 16th, 2015
One thing that has always annoyed me is when authors begin their articles with conclusions, but, as an anarchist, “rules” don’t really mean much to me, as long as the actions being taken don’t violate the twin libertarian axioms. That being said, I’m going to break with convention, by beginning the debut installment of the Spring 2016 Adventures in Illinois Higher Education (AIHE) series with a conclusion I made in preparation for this semester:
“I’m hard pressed to believe that the policies and ideologies propagated at Illinois State University (ISU) could be worse than what I witnessed at Heartland Community College (HCC), but, as is the trend with “progressivism”, I’m sure it will only get “progressively” worse.”
After spending a week at this new higher level indoctrination establishment, I can safely say I was correct, but not in the way that I imagined; not even close. Previously, my articles have been about events that occurred during normal class time, and no matter how atrocious they were, such is not the case (thus far) at Illinois State University (ISU).
Surprisingly, class has actually been extremely tolerable and I sincerely believe that I may learn a thing or two. Now, whether what I learn will be reciprocally beneficial in light of the outrageous cost, that is entirely another story, and one that I have already addressed. To put it simply, the cost of higher level indoctrination far outweighs the benefits.
Before I get into the core subject for this article, I’d like to provide a short summary of my experiences thus far.
I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed the two philosophy courses I’m taking. I’ve been asked a number of times why I chose it as a minor, and my reasoning is that it is one of the only degrees that requires critical thinking in every circumstance. Having said that, “Logic” and “Ethics” have been extremely interesting and Objectivism has already been brought up and discussed; the only caveat being, it’s not exactly what Ayn Rand envisioned, but it’s still refreshing nonetheless. Even though she was a mini-statist (or “minarchist”), it’s a whole hell of a lot better than the State worship I have become accustomed to.
I’m also taking a few communication courses and they haven’t been too bad either. Other than the anti-capitalist leanings in the textbooks and some brief, minor skirmishes in class, I can’t complain. I certainly won’t get as much out of the communication classes though, as the new media outlets I see myself writing for are not structured the same way as mass media, which is the intention of the classes: preparing you to write for a major newspaper, website, etc.
Class has actually not been too bad, except for the issue of opportunity costs. I’m there five days a week and my schedule literally bars me from any potential job I could obtain and the work I could be doing in promoting the peaceful philosophy of voluntaryism. To conclude, I’m sure there will be some particularly egregious examples in class that I can write about, but for now, this will have to do.
After I get done with class for the day, there is nothing more refreshing than an ice cold Miller High Life (no, they aren’t paying me to advertise for them; I wish). That being said, as normal, I returned home from my 50 minute lecture today and drank a bit to take the edge off; following that, I checked my ISU email and received an arbitrary mandate to complete an “online alcohol and sexual violence prevention” course. A few of the important details mentioned are that it would take two hours to complete and that I was required to at least get an 80% score on the test to pass.
Immediately, I was pissed off, and rightfully so. I knew what this was, and after fulfilling the requirement, it turns out I was correct.
I responded to the woman who sent the mass email out by saying the following:
Personally, I don’t think that my questions were unwarranted and I tried to be as cordial as I could be, in light of the circumstances. That being said, here was the response I received:
I once again find the federal boot upon my neck, and unfortunately, there’s no “religious exemption” for this one.
As you can clearly see in the email, “The university is mandated by federal Title IX requirements to provide all students with information about alcohol and sexual assault prevention and education.” Yet, I have been looking for over an hour for any particular mandate and the best I can come up with is a Department of Education (DOE) letter to a university. The important section is found on the bottom of page 14. It reads:
“In addition to ensuring full compliance with Title IX, schools should take proactive measures to prevent sexual harassment and violence. OCR recommends that all schools implement preventive education programs and make victim resources, including comprehensive victim services, available.” [Emphasis added]
There was no specific legal citation referenced in the aforementioned email and the DOE letter does not indicate any sort of mandate. Additionally, it appears that said mandate is from ISU, not the federal government; and even if there is, I’m not saying the woman sending that email was wrong, I’m simply saying that even if you want to find the government’s own laws, sometimes you can’t; that’s a problem.
So, to remain compliant with the supposed “federal regulations”, I took the course, knowing full well that it would be a privacy concern. Anything I decide to do with my own body is my business and nobody else’s, but this “course” requires you to input information on such activities. Obviously, I didn’t provide honest information and replied with absurd answers such as “100% of ISU students smoke marijuana,” or that I don’t drink, while I was enjoying a delicious Sierra Nevada Pale Ale while taking the “course.”
The following is an image I found from another hapless student that was required to take this test. The purpose is to show the blatant invasion of privacy:
As you can see, it gauges your answers along the way and tells you how “at risk” you are. For me personally, I discovered that it was quicker to get through by just saying that I don’t drink– so, what did I do? I said I don’t drink. There are always loopholes, folks. Utilize them.
If that’s not bad enough, prepare yourselves. There was a Part 2, relating strictly to “Consent” and “Sexual Violence.” I knew the social justice warrior movement already infiltrated college campuses, but I didn’t know it happened here.
The same arguments I presented to you in the “Denial: PowerPoint Video” were brought up over and over again in the second part. I think I actually answered honestly for some of those questions, which does not fare well for me at ISU, I’m sure. For example (not verbatim), “If a girl dresses slutty and is promiscuous, is it her fault that she got raped?” The “politically correct” answer would be no, but I believe that everyone should take responsibility for their own actions, myself included. So, if said woman does the aforementioned things, she at least takes partial responsibility; she put herself in that position. Here is another graphic about the mandatory indoctrination “course”:
The module the image refers to is the one I took, but I’m unaware of the context. This seems like an Obamacare ad. People are forced by law to do something, and for some odd reason, when people comply, it is seen as some sort of accomplishment. Following the same logic, if a robber threatens to kill or hurt you and you give him your wallet, that is a good thing; this is the problem with statism, but I digress.
There was another section strictly regarding “Bystanders” and their involvement in either quelling or reporting some supposed threat of sexual harassment. That being said, “Anarchists” (more of the voluntaryist school of thought) are among one of the most negatively viewed segments of American culture. Speaking for myself and the other anarchists I know, we would be among the first to step in and protect someone, whether woman or man, because their gender doesn’t matter. We only use violence in defense of our own autonomy or that of another. It’s quite sad that those who truly care about self-ownership and non-aggression are among the most demonized, but hey, that’s authoritarianism for ya!
Although I have not heard open advocacy for communism yet this semester, I think my experiences thus far paint a likely picture of what is happening within colleges across the geographical area known as “America.” I know the difference between extrapolation and conjecture, yet, the lack of transparency within collegiate “education” is appalling, so somebody has got to blow the whistle, even if it’s just me. Hopefully, others will read the AIHE series and emulate what I am doing wherever they are in order to case the light of truth upon the horrors of monopoly government schooling.
First off, there is open admittance within this module that the amount of heavy drinkers and drug users are lower than most college students think—significantly lower. That being said, there is a constant connection of “drinkers” and “drug users” to the phenomenon of “sexual violence.” I’m not implying that it doesn’t happen, but what I’m saying is that the federal government got involved when the empirical evidence showed a decrease, which was graphically suggested by the module. As with every other government program, we can expect “sexual violence” to increase, and I’d like to put that on the record, considering the law of unintended consequences. And by saying that, I’m not making a prediction; I’m taking a praxeological approach, if anything.
The modern day social justice warrior (SJW) movement claims to be striving for a number of goals. They range from the fallacious “gender-wage gap”, to the nonexistent Western “rape culture”, all the way to the new “gender of the day.” When you disregard all empirical evidence before you, you’re going to have a bad time. That being said, when you disregard basic science you’re going to have an even worse time, as the race they are a part of would not exist without those “classist, patriarchal” males.
For the second time in this series, I will quote Christopher Cantwell. I disagree with him on a number of things, but he has always been spot on when it comes to these “Social Justice Cannibals.” I give credit where credit is due, and this is one of those cases:
“Demanding equality, and diversity in the same breath. Demanding peace, by way of State violence. Building coalitions of ‘oppressed’ classes where each oppressed class is the other’s supposed oppressor. This is what happens when you abandon reason and thrust upon society an incoherent philosophy fraught with contradiction. Blatant inconsistency, factual inaccuracy, and demonstrably false theories dominate the discourse. Shutting down speakers, disrupting events, laws suppressing speech, and all manner of violent and deceptive deeds are not malfunctions, they are features. They become necessary aspects of the belief system, crucial to its very survival, because to allow reason into the discussion, would be the equivalent of pressing an atomic self-destruct button.”
I’ll conclude with this– most Americans claim to want freedom, regardless of any arbitrary label, association, or affiliation. Since I’ve found true freedom, it’s always been confusing to me how anyone could voluntarily “choose” their own rulers. True freedom requires no subjugation or begging; it entails you taking the initiative in creating the freedom you desire in your own life; and before you know it, you’ll be free. You’ll still have to deal with the government roads, and other such nonsense, but you can achieve mental and physical freedom, whether individually or collectively. No matter what anyone tells you, coercion and the initiation of force are always immoral.
My request was passed onto a higher authority, and I was provided with a link to the 2014 “Dear Colleague Letter”, which was claimed to have “stronger language.” Rather, it is the same as what I posted in the original article; namely, “a school should provide age-appropriate training to its students regarding Title IX” (Page 38) [Emphasis added].
There is no force of law behind this, it’s simply a recommendation.
I was then guided to Illinois General Assembly, more specifically HB0821, which does require higher level indoctrination campuses to provide the aforementioned training. It states:
“Beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, each higher education institution shall provide sexual violence primary prevention and awareness programming for all students who attend one or more classes on campus…”
So, contrary to what I was told when I began the training, and also contrary to what I was told by the initial woman I spoke to, it is not a federal mandate, but rather a mandate from the State of Illinois. I can’t say I’m surprised by the inaccuracy and inability to dispense the correct information, but now I can close the book on this one; that is, until I have to take it again in a mere eight months.