Triangles on syllabus get professor investigated for sexual harassment, he says - The College Fix:
Grading system a ‘prelude to sexual harassment’
A New York law that was “designed to increase the chances of a guilty finding” in campus sexual-assault cases was recently used to warn a Brooklyn College professor about his syllabus, according to the co-author of a book on the Duke University lacrosse rape case.
...Whether lawmakers or Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo realized it, the law has “dramatically increase[d] the power of campus Title IX offices, which (as we saw in the Seidemann case) can then manifest itself in unusual ways,” Johnson wrote in an email.
...Last week Seidemann said he was nearly fired for a phrase from his syllabus that was interpreted “as a prelude to sexual harassment,” in a post for Minding the Campus.
The syllabus informed students that “class deportment, effort etc” would count toward 10 percent of their grades, “applied only to select students when appropriate.”
That wasn’t the end of it. Seidemann found himself in more hot water for a section of the syllabus that warned students:
“This classroom is an ‘unsafe space’ for those uncomfortable with viewpoints with which they may disagree: all constitutionally protected speech is welcome.”
Seidemann wrote that he only learned about “the charges brought against me” for the syllabus after the administration had reached its findings.
“At the direction” of the administration, Seidemann’s departmental chair told him to get rid of the “deportment” grading line because it was sexual in nature, and to remove the sardonic “warning triangles” he had used instead of quote marks around “unsafe space.”
According to Seidemann, he never learned what was wrong with triangles – the chair simply told him “the triangles are the problem” – though he suspects an administrator associated them with “the pink triangles that the Nazis made gays wear.
“I wonder how long the administrators deliberated before deciding that the clip art street signs I’d included in my syllabus weren’t Nazi symbols,” Seidemann continued..."