The level of over-sensitivity on college campuses is too damn high. Back in June, a female student at the University of Oregon jokingly yelled “I hit it first” — an obvious reference to the Ray J song about Kim Kardashian — at a couple who she didn’t know. Clearly it was a sophomoric shenanigan done in jest (newsflash: college students do dumb shit sometimes!), but the couple got their panties in a twist about it and marched to the RA to narc the girl out. Via Opposing Views:
On June 9, the female student—who wishes to remain anonymous—alleges that she saw a male and female student, neither of whom she knew, walking together outside. The student then yelled to them, “I hit it first.”
Although the student alleges it was a joke, the female of the couple responded by yelling back, “F*** you, B****.” The couple went on to report the student’s comment to the dorm’s Resident Assistant.
The RA located the student and insisted that she apologize for her remark; the student obliged.
A friendly “I’m sorry you two, that was uncalled for, let’s go grab margs or Starbucks sometime? K?” by the girl and the story is over, right? Wrong. Even though the girl apologized, the incident went up the ladder at the the University of Oregon. A week later, she received notice that she was being charged with FIVE conduct violations, including for harassment, disruption and disorderly conduct, and a noise complaint. The harassment charge would stick to her criminal record, haunting her long after college:
On June 13, the student received a “Notice of Allegation” from UO. The letter charged her with five separate conduct violations for the joke. Amongst the violations were harassment, disruption and disorderly conduct, as well as violation of the residence hall’s noise and guest policies.
The College Fix reports that the student has to set up a hearing to determine her innocence or guilt by mid-October.
She reached out Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help fighting the matter, since all of this is getting massively blown out of proportion:
On August 1, the organization wrote to UO President Michael Gottfredson, calling for the immediate dismissal of all charges against the student.
FIRE also demanded that the school reform its unconstitutional speech policies, particularly its harassment policy, which reportedly contains broad prohibitions on “unreasonable insults”, “gestures” and “abusive words.”
“Using an unconstitutional speech code to punish a student for a joke shows how out of control censorship has become on our campuses in the name of making everyone feel ‘comfortable,’” said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley.
The level of sensitivity on college campuses is absolutely absurd. I’m all for accountability for a person’s actions, but obviously there is a big difference between yelling a Ray J lyric at someone in jest and screaming, in all seriousness, “Your boyfriend is a man-whore who has made my life a living hell since he gave me gonorrhea after we hate-fucked,” which would constitute actual harassment charges, were it not true (…that would be slander and defamation of character, also).
There are obviously incidents on college campuses that 100% justify harassment. The problem with charging this girl with such a fleeting joke is that it diminishes real harassment and sets a precedent for college kids getting serious charges for anything stupid that comes out of their mouths. If you haven’t been on a college campus in a while, that happens, like… every day, 24-hours a day. The resources and red tape dedicated to investigation and enforcement of such pettiness would be insanely wasteful at the institutional level.
UO needs to do the right thing and NOT ruin this girl’s life over a silly of-the-moment antic. The fact it’s even gotten this far is ridiculous enough in itself.
University of Oregon pic via Shutterstock
I want more like this!
Follow us on Facebook and get the latest before everyone else.