Tag Archive: Sexual Culture

  1. CCE: The New Insiders

    Leave a Comment

    It was a crisp Tuesday evening, and the Trumbull dining hall was filled nearly to capacity, a steady line of students flooding in and out of the faded mahogany doorframe. Amidst the noisy banter on extracurriculars, midterms and weekend recaps, however, were Andrea Villena ’15 and Ari Zimmet ’16, who chose to converse on a topic of slightly different gravity: sexual misconduct at Yale, and the most effective means of combatting it.

    For Villena, such conversations had quickly become routine. After penning an opinion piece in the News — a critical take on Yale’s Communication and Consent Educators (CCE) program — she had spent much of her weekend fielding requests from CCEs like Zimmet to meet and discuss her skepticism. Melanie Boyd ’90, assistant dean of student affairs, emailed Villena mere hours after the article’s publishing to request a meeting regarding the “various details [she] seemed to have missed” about the role of CCEs on campus.

    The CCEs’ immediate outreach, far from assuaging Villena’s concerns, unnerved her all the more. Her piece, “Rethinking CCEs,” was sharply critical of the program’s administrative ties, sketching these student employees as a part of a university public relations strategy. Given these insinuations, a CCE reaction was largely predictable. For Villena, however, the nearly “frantic” and concentrated outreach efforts served merely to affirm her article’s larger sentiment.

    “It’s pretty troubling that CCEs just seem completely incapable of taking criticism,” she said. “So many groups at Yale are criticized on a daily basis, but you don’t see them having a breakdown about it.”

    The idea of feedback would become a central factor behind Villena’s concerns — not only for the CCEs’ “inability to handle” criticism, but also for the student body’s general leeriness to offer it.  It’s a trend, she says, that proved most troubling when she watched it plague the discourse within her own group of friends, many of whom are CCEs themselves.

    “I’ll be having normal conversations with my good friends who are CCEs, and if I casually ask how things are going with the program, they become completely different people, as if they have some kind of script they’ve rehearsed beforehand,” she said. “I think when students see their CCE friends take on this robotic nature, it makes them afraid to offer up their actual feelings on the workshops or anything else.”

    But for all of her apprehension, Villena readily admits that her first dinner with Zimmet struck an encouraging note. She deems him an “unconventional” CCE, rooted in his willingness to acknowledge the “artificialness” the program may reflect. Armed with this shared line of reasoning, Villena left Trumbull that evening with a heightened sense of optimism. She’s quick to interject, however, that her original unease remains more palpable than ever.

    “I think it’s a natural concern when students are paid by the administration to promote its policies,” she said. “You can’t help but feel like a lot is going on there that we don’t know about.”

    * * *

    The vision for the CCE program began to grow as early as 2008, when Boyd introduced a class assignment in her Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies seminar “Theorizing Sexual Violence.” The exercise — an intervention project — asked students to work in groups and closely observe the dynamics of sexual misconduct surrounding them on campus.

    The project gave Boyd a new perspective on how sexual violence prevention could be achieved through more creative and collaborative means. After beginning discussion of the CCE idea with Yale College Dean Mary Miller in 2009, Boyd saw the program’s official formation take place in the wake of a Title IX complaint filed in 2011 by 16 students and alumni to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The undergraduates who make up the CCE team are screened by Boyd herself through a written application and interviews. Their responsibilities involve leading workshops for freshmen and sophomores and education sessions for registered student organizations, all aimed at teaching students how to identify and prevent sexual misconduct.

    While Boyd encourages CCEs to stay true to themselves when carrying out the program’s aims, there remains “a handful of core precepts of CCE-dom,” she said, including: respecting individuals’ decisions, grounding opinions and programs in data, and strengthening positive ideals whenever possible.

    “In interviews, I look for students who value the ideas of their peers, students whose instincts are collaborative rather than denunciatory, students who come up with creative, often oblique approaches to the hypothetical problems I pose,” Boyd said. “While the patterns of sexual violence can appear to demand ferocious opposition, that’s not a good strategy for true community change.”

    Of the several reforms that occurred in the aftermath of the Title IX complaint, the CCE program is the one most directly linked to the student body, focusing on how peers can help each other promote a healthier campus culture. For Matt Breuer ’14, a communication and consent educator, the CCE’s role is to step in and direct the conversation on Yale’s sexual climate, a position most appropriate for “trained educators.” As students who commit their energy to understanding the nuances of University policy, Breuer says CCEs have a “duty” to respond swiftly to misguided criticisms of the administration’s sexual violence prevention efforts.

    Such is why, when Facebook newsfeeds exploded on July 31 with aggressive condemnations of Yale’s semi-annual sexual misconduct report — and, more specifically, the seemingly lenient punishments given to assailants — Breuer and other CCEs were quick to post their own statuses defending and clarifying the report. Similarly, Breuer promptly responded to Villena’s op-ed, both commenting on the article itself on the News’ website and addressing its shortcomings to his Facebook audience. (Boyd asks, but does not require, CCEs to “check with [her]” before making any formal public statements, in order to minimize “unintended consequences,” such as a quote being taken out of context.)

    “As students who have gone through training on these issues, and those with a deeper understanding of university policy, I think it’s important that we step in whenever we can to point out when people might be misinformed,” Breuer said.

    It’s a privileged knowledge for which Breuer, and other CCEs interviewed, have Boyd to thank. Given her initiatives that prioritize preventative over reactionary measures, Breuer counts Boyd’s leadership as a definitive marker of progress in Yale’s fight against sexual misconduct.

    “So far, I really do think [Boyd] has done things perfectly for the program,” Breuer said. “There are very few people who could do her job as well as she does.”

    Mitra Yazdi ’15, a CCE, echoed this sentiment wholeheartedly: “I trust her completely,” she said, noting that Boyd’s academic background on these subjects — including a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in women’s studies — gives her directives a necessary layer of thoughtfulness and foresightedness.

    But it’s precisely this level of unbounded trust that causes some students to view the program with reservations.

    A Yale College senior, who asked to remain anonymous given his close friendships with some CCEs, and not wanting “to be emailed by Dean Boyd like [Villena],” condemned the administration for co-opting Yale’s “brightest minds” to promote its policies. In essence, he said, the critics have devolved into the cheerleaders.

    “It worries me that we’re taking some of the best minds and just pushing them toward defense of the university, instead of having them think creatively about the ways the university is both good and bad,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that [CCEs] are brainwashed, but I don’t know if they realize that this administration is the same one that covered things up just a few years ago.”

    And while the Women’s Center’s Business Coordinator Elizabeth Villarreal ’16 doesn’t align herself with these sentiments, repeatedly voicing her support for the CCE mission, she acknowledges how the sincerity behind the program’s efforts could easily become lost in translation.

    “I think there can be a disconnect between the calm, well-trained personas that Melanie [Boyd] and the CCEs give off,” she said. “There’s a disconnect between that and the actual level of anger surrounding issues of sexual climate… the fact that she seems so collected, not concerned and not angry — that worries people.”

    Even so, Breuer displays a remarkable sense of pride in the direction the CCE program is going, highlighting the productive dialogue he believes it has spurred across campus. From this praise, however, a concern similar to that of Villarreal arises, that a perception gap between CCEs and the general student population is overshadowing the laudable work the program actually fosters. Unless CCEs commit to actively bridging this divide, he says, the program risks remaining cloaked by an ether of distrust.

    * * *

    “Are those the people that gave the presentation — the froyo skit?”

    “No, I haven’t heard of them.”

    “I know there are CCEs and CHEs… I’m trying to think of which does which.”

    “I have heard of CCE, but I don’t know anything else about them.”

    For over 15 students interviewed, these musings represent the predominant perception of CCEs at Yale. Their responses lend credence to Breuer’s earlier contention, that a lack of concentrated communication between CCEs and the student body is perhaps diminishing the program’s overall contributions. According to Boyd, however, a quieter presence has become a central feature of the CCE program.

    “Always, though, the bulk of the CCEs’ work has been low key, often behind the scenes,” she said, but then added that the CCEs are “thinking more about when and how it is helpful to make that work visible.” These “low-key” duties, Boyd noted, involve working with groups who want to revamp a problematic tradition; connecting people with the resources they need; and consulting with party throwers on how to create the safest and most positive environment for attendees.

    Yazdi points to her own experiences, recalling times in which she met with leaders of Greek organizations such as Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Pi Beta Phi to offer advice on planning upcoming parties. For her, such collaborations represent one of the most exciting and progressive facets of the CCE program, but she admits that it’s one very few people know even exists.

    “I don’t know, maybe that’s a bad thing,” she said. “We’re doing all these really great things for campus, but at the end of the day, it’s frustrating that nobody seems to know.”

    * * *

    As CCEs attempted to allay objections to this summer’s sexual misconduct report, a separate group of students sought to mobilize. Instead of the quieter approach that the CCEs were endorsing, these Yalies wanted action.

    Fifteen students, energized by a petition begun by Emma Goldberg ’16 on change.org, submitted an open letter to President Salovey, its contents including a comprehensive list of policy demands. The students detailed their vision for a disciplinary standard in which expulsion would be the primary sanction for perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

    These students would ultimately organize under the umbrella of a brand new student group — Students Against Sexual Violence at Yale, better known as SASVY.

    Since returning to campus, SASVY members have experienced an administrative readiness to discuss policy changes, and, at the very least, acknowledge the legitimacy of the group’s aims. As a purely student-led effort, SASVY lacks the institutional ties afforded to the CCE program, but SASVY member Hannah Slater ’13 MPH ’14 remains confident that her group’s collective voice will carve out a lasting space at Yale.

    “At the end of the day, CCEs are employed by Yale and may not want to compromise that relationship by being too angry or pushing too far,” she said. “So we have an advantage now of being outside activists — we have distance, and that enables us to be a little bit more critical.”

    Despite SASVY’s positioning as a more critical counter to CCEs, Slater acknowledges that the scenarios published in August represent a good starting point toward a more transparent student and administrative relationship. The scenarios, issued in response to the backlash against the semi-annual report and its lack of case specificity, serve to outline certain imaginary incidences of sexual assault and the form of punishment that would accompany them. But while Slater concedes that such a rapid administrative response was heartening, she’s careful to note that the scenarios would never have existed were it not for the palpable outrage coursing throughout campus.

    Yet Breuer, along with Villarreal and Suzanna Fritzberg ’14, a former Women’s Center board member, remain unconvinced that SASVY’s “ill-channeled anger” is a positive step toward promoting productive conversations on campus.

    “I don’t really know what [SASVY’s] goals are,” Villarreal said. “I do think that their grievances are legitimate, but I think people who direct anger in this way… you know, you forget that there’s only so much the administration can do. You can be angry, but at some point you should recognize that the administration can’t give you all the answers.”

    The perceived divide between SASVY and CCE reflects a failed attempt at collaboration, Fritzberg said. Ultimately, she noted, the two groups both hope to curb the incidence of sexual assault at Yale, fostering a culture that is both preventative and appropriately reactive. Unless SASVY and CCE attempt to understand the other’s preferred methods, this larger goal could potentially be lost altogether.

    “Anger is good,” she said. “But I wonder if with SASVY, it’s not being expressed in a way most conducive to real progress.”

    Overall though, most SASVY and CCE members view both groups as necessary foils to one another. But in the eyes of Alexandra Brodsky ’12 LAW ’16, one of the 16 Title IX complainants in 2011, who also assisted SASVY in drafting its open letter, the two camps reflect irreconcilably different attitudes toward Yale’s sexual climate. While the two groups champion the role of education in their respective missions, she underscores that SASVY is unafraid to explicitly address questions of violence and discipline.

    “CCE talks about froyo,” she concluded. “SASVY talks about rape.”

    * * *

    Earlier this semester, Zhuohan Li ’17 and the rest of the freshman class joined their respective freshman counselor groups for their first consent and communication workshop. The workshop’s aim was to facilitate constructive discourse on the many faces of sexual assault, but rather than tackle the issue head on, Li and others were presented with the task of “role-playing” with frozen yogurt.

    In groups of two, freshmen took turns acting out various scenarios organized by the CCEs. Freshmen were instructed to consider their interactions within a range of constructed contexts — one student takes on the role of a club leader; the other, of a new member. The group leader invites the new member to grab froyo, and then a slew of prescribed situations begins to take place. For instance, the group leader is very casual about the request, and the new member would love to go, but really can’t tonight; the group leader needs to get the new member to the froyo shop for a surprise party, and while the member doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t want to damage his new relationship with the group; the group leader is enthusiastic about going, with the new member responding in kind.

    Mary Kate Dilworth ‘16 remembers vividly her frustration with the workshop.

    “It was frankly kind of ridiculous,” she said. “It was trying to teach people their own boundaries, like how to say no [to unwanted sex]. But it wasn’t something that would ever come up… Someone was just pressuring you to get froyo. It was stupid.”

    Other students commented that the workshop, rather than leaving them with a more informed understanding of the nature of consent, merely fueled feelings of apathy and humor. Patrick George ’16 recalled that the workshop was “more the butt of jokes than anything else,” something he deemed strange given the gravity of the topic at hand.

    For Villena, this cognitive dissonance underscores a more fundamental problem with the CCE program: the glaring perception gap between the CCEs themselves and the students they are attempting to educate. In her eyes, the program’s work is undeniably positive, a “necessary” institution to a sexual climate as scrutinized as Yale’s. But with a subject as urgent as sexual assault, she concluded, euphemistic tones only serve to confuse and alienate a student body otherwise willing for a true education on the issue.

    “I think the CCE program is great — the education they’re doing is not being done anywhere else,” the anonymous senior echoed. “But I’ve watched my friends go from the administration’s most vocal critics to suddenly becoming employees of the administration, and then defenders of the administration. That’s my biggest concern. At the end of the day, the administration consistently, consistently, consistently neglected to prosecute rape, and I just wonder if the CCEs have forgotten that.”

    But Boyd stresses how individual CCEs are urged to draw from their own convictions when it comes to addressing any student concerns or high-profile episodes on campus: “The CCEs think for themselves and are all the more powerful for it,” she said. Further, she notes that the CCEs are likely to see the administration as a group of people they know and work with closely, not an “anonymous mass.”

    While Boyd characterizes this notion as “obvious,” some students don’t see it that way.

    Ultimately, for Yalies, confusion with the program is rooted in an inability to separate the seemingly dual identities of CCEs. On the one hand, CCEs are viewed as well-educated students, their perspective offering a sense of relatability to the general student body. On the other, CCEs’ position as paid employees leaves many students feeling suspect, as they’re unable to determine which advice is genuine, and which directives are merely a scripted subset of University policy.

    And most troubling of all, according to Villena, is that CCEs do not seem able to determine which is either.

    “It just baffles me that I can’t have an honest conversation about the program with my closest friends,” she said. “Are they our educators or our peers? Because you can’t be friends with your teachers. You just can’t do both.”

    Stephanie Addenbrooke and Isabelle Taft contributed reporting.


    Correction: Sept. 30

    A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Elizabeth Villarreal.

  2. Offensive T-shirt sparks criticism against Amherst

    Leave a Comment

    Since Angie Epifano’s column of sexual violence at Amherst went viral last week, another round of criticism has been levied against Amherst for its allegedly hostile sexual environment — this time, the criticism focuses on clothing.

    An Amherst fraternity printed and sold T-shirts last year that featured a bruised woman, wearing only a bra and underwear, tied up and suspended from a spit while roasting over a fire. At the same time, a pig stood at the side of the short smoking a cigarette. The caption of the shirt, which was created to promote the fraternity’s annual pig roasting event, read “Roasting Fat Ones Since 1847.”

    In a recent column, Amherst junior Dana Bolger denounced the administration’s silence over the offensive shirt in an Oct. 8 blog post that condemned the school’s sexual culture. According to Bolger, the school chose to hold an “unadvertised, effectively closed-door discussion” about the shirt rather than confront the incident publicly.

    “Amherst’s silence concerning the shirt shouldn’t come as much of a surprise,” Bolger wrote. “We’re all part of a larger culture, one that excuses (and often promotes) the objectification of female bodies, the glamorization of violence against women, and the normalization of rape.”

    Amherst is the latest college to face criticism on the way it handles cases of sexual misconduct. Just last summer, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ended its 15-month Title IX investigation of Yale’s sexual climate, ultimately making no findings of noncompliance.

  3. Harvard ‘Incestfest’ draws criticism

    Leave a Comment

    Attention: There’s controversy brewing at Harvard.

    An “Incestfest” dance to be hosted by Harvard’s Kirkland Hall this December has drawn criticism from members of the Harvard community and national media for its controversial name. The dance — which gets its name because it is only open to Kirkland Hall residents — encourages attendees to “hook up” with as many other attendees as possible.

    On-campus opposition to the party is centered mostly around the party’s name, but the obvious implications of the party’s theme (living in close quarters with one’s recent one-night stands) has also come under some scrutiny.

    Students have taken to the Internet to express their frustrations. In a recent Harvard Crimson column, Samantha Berstler argues that the vast majority incest cases involve sexual assault and are not between two consenting adults.

    Inappropriate nomenclature aside, Incestfest represents another instance of the growing hook-up culture on college campuses that has been facing increasing scrutiny over the years.

    Yale’s own Sex Week, which was held last February, faced its fair share of scrutiny last year from those worried that the event represented the University’s declining morals. The event was eventually allowed to occur on campus and did not elicit any major issues or controversies.

  4. New book critiques Yale’s sex culture

    Leave a Comment

    Welcome to Yale, freshmen — now take off your pants.

    That’s what freshman orientation might be like at the Yale portrayed in “Sex and God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad,” a new book by Nathan Harden ’09 that slams the University for allegedly creating a sex-obsessed culture. “Sex and God at Yale” has stirred debate over Yale’s sexual culture in major national publications, even landing on the front page of this week’s New York Times Sunday Book Review.

    Harden, a self-described “post-Bush conservative” who came to Yale already married, also criticized Yale’s treatment of sex in “When Sex Isn’t Sexy: My Bizarre Education at Yale University” on The Daily Beast.

    “During my time at Yale, the university hosted porn film screenings in its classrooms that included glamorized sexual violence and ‘fantasy rape.’…It doesn’t take much to get from ‘fantasy rape’ in the classroom to ‘No Means Yes!’ on the campus quad,” Harden writes, in reference to a 2010 incident when fraternity pledges chanted offensive sexual phrases on Old Campus.

    In response to Harden’s post, former Women’s Forum board members Kathryn Olivarius ’11 and Claire Gordon ’10 posted on the Daily Beast, as well, arguing that Yale shouldn’t blame porn workshops for on-campus sexism.

    “But, in our opinion, bunches of dudes weren’t misogynist dicks because of a talk by a porn star or a workshop on vibrators—the crux of Harden’s book. They were misogynist dicks because they grew up in a world full of misogynist dickishness,” Olivarius and Gordon wrote.

    Harden’s book is the latest in a series of public critiques of Sex Week and of Yale’s sexual culture. After the University’s November 2011 report on campus climate called for the banning of Sex Week, the event’s organizers submitted a new proposal that got the OK from administrators. Sex Week went up in February; the event’s detractors organized a “True Love Week” to run at the same time.

  5. Dean’s office to hold make-up training sessions

    Leave a Comment

    The Yale College Dean’s Office will hold two make-up leadership training workshops Thursday and Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. for members of registered undergraduate organizations that did not attend the January training sessions.

    Thursday’s session will focus on planning initiations and reducing the risk of hazing, while Friday’s session will focus on organizing events and reducing the risk of sexual misconduct.

    Hannah Peck DIV ’11, a student affairs fellow who coordinated the January sessions, said in a March 21 email that administrators will invite groups who have not yet fulfilled the training requirement to sign up for one of the sessions.

    Administrators said in December that groups who failed to attend the January workshops would lose their registration status, but Peck said she hopes all registered groups will be “in good standing” by the end of the makeup sessions.

  6. True Love Week interrupted by “kiss in”

    Leave a Comment

    At the second event of True Love Week on Monday night, love was certainly in the air — especially for the group of Yalies who staged a “kiss in.”

    As Bijan Aboutorabi ’13, a member of Undergraduates for a Better Yale College, introduced the night’s featured speaker, Providence College Prof. Anthony Esolen, he said he had “heard certain rumors concerning tonight’s event.” He made reference to students who allegedly stole signs from Occupy New Haven as a negative example of Yale students being unable to respect the ideas of others.

    “I’m very interested to see if Yale students, without disruption, can tolerate someone with whom they disagree,” said Aboutorabi. He then proceeded to ask anyone interested in disrupting the talk to leave, but no one did.

    Then, five minutes into Esolen’s speech on “The Person as a Gift,” about 50 attendees staged a “kiss in.” As Esolen delivered a line blaming the sexual revolution for cultural degradation, one attendee’s cell phone began playing the Diana Ross classic “I’m Coming Out.” At that point, around 12 couples, straight and gay alike, rose to their feet and began to kiss. Others looked on and cheered. After about a minute, attendees spilled out of the previously packed WLH 116, leaving about 20 in the room.

    As they exited, the group chanted “one in four, maybe more.” Before the interruption, Esolen had been telling a story about a concert of violinist Natalie MacMaster and Irish step-dancing. As one girl left the room, she yelled, “homosexuals hate stepdancing!”

    After waiting for the crowd to file out, Esolen repeatedly shook his head, then continued speaking.

  7. UConn TV station in trouble over video

    Leave a Comment

    Students at the University of Connecticut are crying foul over a video they say makes light of rape.

    UConn’s student-run television channel broadcast a video as part of a sketch comedy series portraying a woman fleeing an apparent rapist, the Hartford Courant reported Wednesday. In the film, the woman attempts to use a number of emergency phones on campus, each of which malfunctions and fails to provide help. In one instance, the phone malfunctions, mistaking “rape” for “grapes.”

    The Courant reported that roughly 100 people attended an event at UConn’s Women’s Center, and the student organizers of the TV station issued a formal apology. The video had been up on the station’s website since it originally aired in November, but it was not discovered until a student saw it online Tuesday and emailed it to others.

    While UConn senior Mateo Gonzalez, the TV station’s general manager, told the Courant that all content aired on the station is screened beforehand, though he said time constraints cause some videos to skip the screening process. He said this particular video “fell through the cracks.”

    “I haven’t seen the video, but it’s always important to foster a culture of respect and understanding on a college campus,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. “When something crosses a line between just being plain old bad taste to something that is deeply offensive, it’s important that students speak up and talk about that.”

  8. University releases report on sexual misconduct

    Leave a Comment

    In a Tuesday email to the Yale community, Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler released a report outlining cases of sexual misconduct brought to University officials between July and December of 2011.

    Twenty-nine Yale undergraduates brought sexual misconduct complaints to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct, Yale’s Title IX Coordinators and the Yale Police Department, according to the report.

    “The number and scope of complaints make it abundantly clear that there is more that we must do as a community and as individuals to prevent sexual misconduct and to ensure that Yale’s culture is optimally supportive and unfailingly respectful of all individuals,” Spangler said in an email to the Yale community.

    Consistent with the November recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, the report released today is part of the University’s ongoing initiatives to improve sexual misconduct awareness and prevention on campus, Spangler said in a Tuesday interview with the News. Spangler said she thinks the report is in line with the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to promote increased transparency of sexual misconduct issues on campus. She added that administrators had discussed putting together a comprehensive report on sexual misconduct since the establishment of the UWC last July.

    University President Richard Levin said in an email response to the Yale community that the report “exceeds any legal mandate.”

    “Let me be very clear: There is no place for any form of sexual misconduct on our campus,” Levin said in his response. “It is inimical to the values of Yale and undermines our educational purpose.”

    Of the 12 cases filed with the UWC, five were formal complaints while seven were informal. Resolutions to two of the formal complaints are still pending.

    Spangler said the University plans to publish a similar report of sexual misconduct complaints twice a year, adding that the next one is scheduled to be released in July.

  9. Gift cards will be raffled off at training sessions

    Leave a Comment

    Student leaders who attend next week’s leadership training sessions will be entered into a raffle to win a $100 gift card for their organization, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Melanie Boyd ’90 said in a Friday email.

    Three $100 gift cards to local restaurants will be raffled at each session. The raffle is intended to encourage student leaders to register for the mandatory 75-minute training. Administrators will hold training Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; students are only required to attend one of the three sessions.

    “The idea is that the winning organizations can do something fun [with their members],” Boyd said. “Our goal is to work with student leaders to build the skills necessary for a safer campus.”

    The training sessions are part of administrative efforts to improve Yale’s sexual climate. Though the sessions will discuss effective leadership strategies, they will also address appropriate responses to sexual misconduct and hazing. Each registered campus organization will be required to send at least three representatives.

    Boyd said that 271 of 392 registered student organizations, 76 unregistered groups and various athletic teams have already signed up for the sessions.

    But she added that she was “worried’ about the registered organizations that have not yet signed up for the training, since groups that fail to attend the sessions will lose their registered status. Unregistered groups cannot apply for University funding, reserve rooms or participate in the extracurricular bazaar during Bulldog Days and freshman orientation.

  10. Love Week to run alongside Sex Week

    Leave a Comment

    Not into casual, meaningless, loveless sex, A.K.A. “hookup culture”? You’re in luck — Undergraduates for a Better Yale College will hold an alternative series of events during Sex Week that will be known as “Love Week.”

    Love Week, scheduled to run from Feb. 5-14, is intended to function as a contrast to Sex Week and will emphasize “the greater whole, not just sex,” said Eduardo Andino ’13, UBYC co-founder.

    “It’s the physical, the psychological, the emotional and the interpersonal,” he said. “There were criticisms that [our petition to ban Sex Week] was negative, so this [initiative] is kind of on both sides. We’re offering something negative like ‘we don’t think this should be happening’ but we’re also offering something else too.”

    Isabel Marin ’12, another member of UBYC, said the group considers elements of Sex Week “destructive to a healthy campus culture at Yale.” Still, she said, Love Week is not intended to be a “full-fledged replacement” to Sex Week but will instead emphasize the importance of relationships and “happy sex.”

    Scheduled events include talks titled “Chastity and Human Goods,” “The Person as a Gift” and “Sexual Bliss: The Path to Sexual Satisfaction and Marital Happiness for Today’s Couples.” In addition, Love Week will encourage students to go on “traditional dates,” i.e. dinner and a movie, on Valentine’s Day.

    See the tentative schedule for Love Week below:

    Sunday, Feb. 5, 3 p.m.: Vicki Thorn on the biochemistry of sex and a theology of the body

    Monday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m.: Anthony Esolen, “The Person as a Gift”

    Tuesday, Feb. 7, 4 p.m.: W. Bradford Wilcox, “Sexual Bliss: The Path to Sexual Satisfaction and Marital Happiness for Today’s Couples”

    Wednesday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m.: Dr. Richard Panzer on sex education in the United States

    Thursday, Feb. 9, 4 p.m.: Elise Ehrhard on marriage and contraception

    Friday, Feb. 10, 4 p.m.: Christopher Tollefsen, “Chastity and Human Goods”

    Saturday, Feb. 11, Evening (Tentative): Dance party that will feature “clean forms of dancing with a partner”

    Tuesday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day): Date Night, UBYC will encourage students to go out on traditional dates. Will possibly create a function on the UBYC website where students can get set up on blind dates.

  11. Sex Week to hit campus in February

    Leave a Comment

    The directors of Sex Week 2012 announced that University administrators have approved their plans for a revamped Sex Week, which will take place from Feb. 4-14.

    The administrative approval came on Dec. 20, Sex Week Director Connie Cho ’13 said. The go-ahead comes after a report released last November by the Advisory Committee on Campus Climate recommended that Yale administrators ban Sex Week from using Yale’s name or facilities because of concerns that the event had strayed from its original purpose. In response, Levin said that he would give event directors the opportunity to draft a proposal that “might warrant continuation” of the event on campus.

    Organizers submitted their proposal in December and asked that administrators respond before the end of the fall semester. In an interview last month, Cho said that directors would “look at the balance of events really hard to make sure that the events are relevant to Yale students.”

    One guest is confirmed — Rhodes Scholar and prominent lawyer Ann Olivarius ’77 LAW ’86 SOM ’86 will deliver the keynote address, according to a press release. Olivarius was a plaintiff in Alexander v. Yale, a 1980 legal case in which a group of Yale students sued the University for its failure to provide a centralized procedure for sexual harassment cases. She will talk about the role of sexual education and discourse in preventing sexual violence, the press release stated.

    Sex Week 2012 will officially run as a project of the Sexual Literacy Coalition. The approval means it can use campus facilities for its events.