Aporiac | Indy Week

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Re: “A Duke senior sues the university after being expelled over allegations of sexual misconduct

What a horribly sad story! However distressing it may be, there are some problems that don't lend themselves to easy answers. Part of being a grown-up is accepting this reality. Any claim to compassion based on a pretence, is a pretence of compassion.

In all likelihood this guy was an asshole - the only question is one of degree. But however strong your instinct tells you he is an asshole, and should receive justice, you don't further the cause of justice by suspending it. You can't punish him circumstantially because greater mischief will arise from such a system than the mischief made by the asshole. Every idiot knows this and knows they have to live with it. Accepting reality is sometimes painful.

It is clear by their own admission that Duke University acted as they did for reputational reasons. And so they considered the likely reaction of the public to one ruling versus another and ruled accordingly. I'm not sure they could have made this more explicit. All the the rest of the nonsense is just plausible pretexts.

I think she was not that drunk, just foolhardy. The only cure for this is vicarious experience or direct experience. It would have been so much better for her had she been told that getting into a taxi with a 23 year old man you don't know is reckless, and her subsequent naivety was just a continuation of this sad story about her. In 99% of cases the 23 year-old would have seen her home, but she needed to know about the 1%. Do I think the man who was probably a member of that 1% should be brutally punished? No! I think the advisors, the educators, her parents, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and all the other people officially concerned with her welfare should be strapped to a post and whipped until not one millimetre of skin remains on their back for letting her down as they did. I would not expect anything better from him - and why indeed should I expect it? But of them I expect better! Who did she have a greater right to trust? Some random guy she met in a bar or the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students who should have told her beforehand it would be idiotic to trust him? I would have the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students whipped for her neglect! Would I assume some man I know nothing about to be safe and responsible? Of course not - I'm not a lunatic. But the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students I have a right to rely on!

There is something good that can come out of experience, no matter how distressing and unpleasant. You can learn something! That is what I hope for the young woman and the young man.

4 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Aporiac on 05/29/2014 at 2:17 PM

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