Letter to the Editor

Representation is essential in communication; in order to spark a healthy debate (or to have a general exchange of ideas), one must clearly present their point of view and their opinion. Therefore, it is equally important to correctly represent the opposing side’s opinion as accurately as possible.

A previous article titled “Sex, violence, and politics” is a great example of misrepresenting and misunderstanding the opposing perspective before busting out the pitchforks at the most, and not fully explaining the opposing perspective in detail at the least. In this article, Mr. Breland alludes to the red light standing by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). In an example of appeal to authority, the article takes the FIRE rating for granted. Rather than explaining the rationale for why Case Western Reserve University’s free speech is restrictive, the article relies on generalized statements about why restricting speech is bad. The problem is that the reader is to accept that CWRU is restricting free speech.

The first issue I am calling into question is the sexual harassment reporting policy. The article argues that “the reporting requirements are considered an intrusion on free speech rights of victims.” This is a gross misrepresentation of the sexual conduct handbook. In the handbook, there are clear responsibilities for university employees. There is no mention of the victim being required to mention the incident unless they are comfortable doing so. If the victim does wish to report the incident, there are two types of university resources they may go to. The first is University Confidential Resources― these individuals are obligated to maintain confidentiality unless there is an indication of harm to self or others. The second is University Designated Reporting Offices— these individuals are obligated to take action if the accused is identified. When reporting sexual harassment to any university employee (such as an RA for example) the employee will usually be clear about what can be kept confidential and what must be reported depending on what type of resource the employee belongs to.

Doaning Zhou