Contact: Teri Stoddard
Accusing U. Launches Radio Campaign to Protect Free Speech on Campus
WASHINGTON / June 14, 2013 – The non-profit Accusing U. is launching a nationwide radio campaign designed to highlight how the recent Obama Administration’s sexual harassment mandate represents an unprecedented threat to free speech. The campaign will consist of radio interviews featuring Christina Hoff Sommers, well-known author, columnist, and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
On May 9, the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice unveiled a new campus policy that classifies speech as a form of sexual harassment, enlarges its scope to include any speech that is deemed “unwelcome,” and eliminates the reasonable person standard.
The policy applies to all faculty members and over 21 million undergraduate and graduate students at colleges receiving Department of Education funding.
The federal decision has proven to be controversial. Last week the Women’s Committee of the American Association of University Professors released a letter expressing concerns about the policy: http://www.saveservices.org/falsely-accused/sex-assault/accusing-u/complaints/
To date, over 85 editorials have been written opposing the decision: http://www.saveservices.org/camp/ded-directive/ded-editorials/ Columnists believe the policy will effectively ban discussion on controversial topics such as AIDS prevention and gay rights, and may require removal of sex-themed classical works from English literature courses.
“The federal policy represents a radical assault on the First Amendment rights of faculty and students alike,” explains Accusing U. spokesman Mike Thompson. “And what will happen if a student makes an unwelcome request for a date – will that be construed as sexual harassment?”
The May 9 policy comes on top of a divisive 2011 Dept. of Education mandate requiring colleges to use the weakest preponderance-of-evidence standard in handling allegations of sexual assault. The standard makes false allegations more likely, harming the credibility of victims.
Accusing U. — www.accusingu.org — is a project of Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault.