Sexual Assault Reform: UVa’s White House Connection

President Obama signs a memorandum  establishing the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault . (Official White House photo.)

President Obama signs a memorandum establishing the White
House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault . (Official White House photo.)

by James A. Bacon

Reed Fawell III and I generated a furious response yesterday when we posted a detailed account of how the University of Virginia administration used Rolling Stone magazine’s infamous gang rape story to galvanize support for what we described as an “ideological” agenda for combating sexual assault on campus.

Fellow blogger Peter Galuszka chastised us: “You guys go through a faithful narrative and then blow it by accusing Sullivan of ideology. You offer absolutely NOTHING to back this up. I am afraid this dumps you into the category of right wing nuts who want to use Rolling Stone’s flawed story to disabuse humanity that there may be a problem of sex abuse on campus and that it is the scheme of overwrought feminists.”

Regular reader and commenter Larry Gross also unloaded with both barrels: “You betrayed your partisan perspective where you seek to blame Sullivan and the White House. … You guys cannot seem to help yourselves… everything leads back to ‘liberals’, the POTUS and progressivism.”

Actually, we never mentioned “feminists” or the “POTUS” in our article. We simply noted the ties between the UVa administration and the “White House.” Peter and Larry were the ones connecting the dots, not us. But if they want to go down that road, let’s see where it takes us.

There are two important questions here: (1) How closely does UVa’s approach to combating sexual assaults on campus track the recommendations of the Obama administration, and (2) to what extent is that approach driven by ideology? Before delving into the weeds, let me define what I mean by “driven by ideology.” I mean that there was no attempt to gather, weigh or otherwise analyze the facts. Rather, the White House/UVa administration imposed a pre-existing, left-wing narrative upon the issue, and its recommendations flow from that narrative.

Sexual assault and violence against women has been an ongoing concern at the University of Virginia for many years, as it has for many universities across the country.  Between 1998 and June 2014, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Board held 26 hearings, with 13 ending in findings of guilty and one admission of guilt prior to a finding, according to a university statement. Offenses ranged from rape to stalking and sexual harassment. The university also had been subjected to a number of lawsuits and charges that the administration was not doing enough to protect women’s rights, as argued in the Title IX: Campus Accountability blog. As early as the summer of 2011, the University of Virginia began working with the federal Office of Civil Rights to review policies and practices regarding so-called Title IX sexual misconduct.

The University ramped up its efforts to address sexual misconduct early in 2014. Pulling in speakers and attendees from around the country on Feb. 10-11, the “Dialogue at UVa: Sexual Misconduct Among College Students” conference examined a range of problems, from stalking to date rape, from the sex-without-strings hook-up culture to the complexities of adjudicating sexual assault cases. Among the outside participants was Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights who heads the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

Less than three weeks previously, President Barack Obama had established a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The mission was to “develop a coordinated Federal response to campus rape and sexual assault.” The concrete deliverable was to be an “action plan” that detailed best practices and measures for success and prevention.

Emily Renda, an anti-rape activist who had been sexually assaulted her first year at the University, participated in the sexual assault task force as a UVa representative. A fourth-year student, she had been selected in December 2013 through a “highly competitive process” as a “special intern” in the office of President Teresa Sullivan. She traveled to the White House at least five times to take part in task force activities. Upon graduation at the end of the semester, she would take on a staff position at the university’s Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. In that position, she would go on to testify before a Senate committee on the subject of sexual assault, and to speak for the university in media appearances as varied as NPR and MSNBC’s PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton.

In April, the White House task force published its report, “Not Alone,” summarizing its findings and recommendations. “One in five women is sexually assaulted in college,” stated the report. “Most often, it’s by someone she knows –and also most often, she does not report what happened. Many survivors are left feeling isolated, ashamed or to blame.” The report issued four sets of recommendations, including one for the federal government and three for colleges and universities. The latter included:

  • Campus climate surveys. “The first step in solving a problem is to name it and know the extent of it – and a campus climate survey is the best way to do that. We are providing schools with a toolkit to conduct a survey – and we urge schools to show they’re serious about the problem by conducting the survey next year.”
  • Preventing sexual assault and engaging men. “Prevention programs can change attitudes, behavior – and the culture. …  Most men are not perpetrators – and when we empower men to step in when someone’s in trouble, they become an important part of the solution. … We are also providing schools with links and information about how they can implement their own bystander intervention programs on campus.”
  • Response to sexual assault. Colleges need to have someone to whom victims can talk in confidence and who will fully inform them of their options for redress.
  • Sexual misconduct policy. Schools need to define what does and does not constitute consent to sexual activity.
  • Special training. The Justice Department will provide training programs that inform college and university personnel about special issues associated with sexual-assault crimes. “Unlike other crimes, victims often blame themselves; the associated trauma can leave their memories fragmented; and insensitive or judgmental questions can compound a victim’s distress.”
  • School disciplinary systems. The task force also raised the issue of colleges’ adjudication process for handling sexual assault cases, which sometimes subject victims to “harsh and hurtful questioning” by people “unschooled in the dynamics of these crimes.” The Justice Department will assess different models for investigating and adjudicating campus sexual assault cases “with an eye toward identifying best practices.”

So, how does UVa’s sexual assault reforms compare to the White House document? On Dec. 8, 2014, Sullivan detailed her “action plan” to “achieve a comprehensive and sustainable climate of safety” at UVa. Key elements included:

  • Campus climate surveys. UVa is planning to conduct a climate survey this spring “to gather greater insights into the occurrence of sexual assault on Grounds, and to gauge student understanding of University policies.”
  • Preventing sexual assault and engaging men. The University will expand “bystander training” for faculty and students in concert with existing initiatives such as ‘Hoos Got Your Back.'”
  • Response to sexual assault. The university will bolster its counseling services and expand trauma response staff services offered by the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center.
  • Updated sexual misconduct policy. The university updated its sexual misconduct policy, previously revised in July 2011, to take into account recent guidance from the Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Education. The changes, required by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, took effect July 1.
  • Special training and school disciplinary systems. Sullivan listed “response” as one of the university’s “three key issue areas.” Response to sexual assault encompasses “institutional survivor support, training for students and faculty, and UVa policies and issues regarding adjudication.”

The UVa action plan encompasses virtually every recommendation included in the White House “Not Alone” report. That’s not to say that Sullivan’s plan is a carbon copy of the report. Sullivan went further than the White House recommendations by temporarily suspending the social activities of sororities and fraternities, calling for revisions to Fraternal Organization Agreements governing the relationship between the university and the Greek organizations, highlighting the contribution of drinking to sexual assaults, and addressing physical safety through lighting, security cameras and an elevated police presence. But those differences are entirely additive to the report. Sullivan does not deviate from the White House recommendations in any significant way.

In support of these reforms, the university has hired O’Melveny & Myers LLP at the behest of Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring. A three-person team will investigate UVa’s response to the gang-rape and other allegations contained in Rolling Stone magazine, evaluate university policies and “assist the board” in determining what “cultural and institutional changes” need to be made.  That team includes Walter Dellinger, a former assistant U.S. attorney general who argued a Supreme Court case that expanded Title IX protections to protect those who report sex discrimination; Danielle Gray, who held a variety of positions in the Obama administration; and Apalla Chopra, who leads the firm’s labor and employment practice.

In summary, we can safely state that the UVa administration (a) had begun seriously pursuing sexual-assault reforms by early 2014, (b) participated in the task force that created a template for reforms nationally, (c) implemented or announced its intention to implement all major proposals and recommendations in the task force’s “Not Alone” report, and (d) will be overseen by an independent legal team whose members are associated with Obama administration sexual-assault initiatives.

Reed and I are not “blaming” Sullivan or the White House for anything. We are making a factual statement:  Teresa Sullivan’s response to the Rolling Stone article has been to implement a set of recommendations and proposals virtually identical to those emanating from the White House task force on sexual assault. Anyone who denies the White House-UVa connection is so hopelessly blinkered in their thinking that they cannot be taken seriously.

I will concede, as Reed and I did in our original post, that our argument that Sullivan’s reforms constitute an “ideological agenda” is more controversial. Having fully documented the first of the two propositions articulated above, I will address the second in a future post, hopefully tomorrow.

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29 responses to “Sexual Assault Reform: UVa’s White House Connection

  1. re: ” Rather, the White House/UVa administration imposed a pre-existing, left-wing narrative upon the issue, and its recommendations flow from that narrative.”

    where did you prove this in your narrative?

    ya’ll have a problem Jim.. you now apologize for the earlier comment about Sullivan being “ideological” but not before you pronounce, without any real or valid justification that the White House and Sullivan have a “left wing” agenda.

    can you PLEASE either stop this OR be honest enough to justify this kind of right wing idiocy in your speech? it’s downright embarrassing…

    where in the dooda do you and Reed get off on using terms like “left wing” and “ideological” in the first place if you are purporting to provide a “balanced” analysis?

    give it up. either fess up that you ARE intending to be partisan or stop pretending you are …

    • I know it’s asking a lot, Larry, but try reading to the bottom of the post before asking questions like, “Where did you prove this in your narrative?”

      Reed and I are advancing two propositions. I documented the first proposition in this post in direct response to criticisms you offered yesterday. It was a long post and took a long time to pull together. I’ll wait until tomorrow before documenting the second proposition.

      You would have understood that had you read to the bottom of the post before criticizing it. I wrote: “I will concede, as Reed and I did in our original post, that our argument that Sullivan’s reforms constitute an ‘ideological agenda’ is more controversial. Having fully documented the first of the two propositions articulated above, I will address the second in a future post, hopefully tomorrow.”

      • Jim – I DID read it… but at the TOP of your NEW post – you said this:

        ” There are two important questions here:blah blah blah

        and then this: ”

        Rather, the White House/UVa administration imposed a pre-existing, left-wing narrative upon the issue, and its recommendations flow from that narrative.

        and I ask you – WHERE did you get “pre-existing, left wing” from?

        more to the point – WHY are you LOOKING for “left wing” in the first place if you are purporting an objective analysis?

        I think you guys don’t even know when you are doing this sometimes but it’s painfully obvious what your motivations really are – and guy – they are not pure…

  2. Jim:
    I thought your 12/19 post had valid points regarding the lack of understanding of the nature, size, scope and location of the problems on Grounds regarding sexual assault. Currently, the rhetoric is replete with statistically invalid claims of “1 in 4″ ,”1 in 5” or fraternity members are three times more likely to commit rape; citing studies that do not support the claims.

    When I listened to the Erdely-Sullivan interview released, I was encouraged to hear that a campus wide study of the problem is scheduled for Spring 2015.I believe that a study of this nature will help formulate policy to address the issue. Until I see the questions asked (I hope before the results are released), I will reserve judgement on the ideology driving the study.

    “There are two important questions here: (1) How closely does UVa’s approach to combating sexual assaults on campus track the recommendations of the Obama administration, and (2) to what extent is that approach driven by ideology?”

    In spite of the false dichotomy, I struggle to understand why you characterize the approaches as ideological driven. The first initiative I assume you support from your 12/19 post. The second proposal ironically is supported by the study incorrectly cited as the source for “fraternity men rape three times as often.” The study was only at one school and I will concede has limits to its statistical validity to every college. A control group had no sexual assault training. Another group had training. The results ofthe study indicated that sexual assault awareness programs were effective in reducing offensive sexual behavior. The fourth policy is required by the Title IX investigation currently open at UVa.

    I am encouraged that the proposals appear to have elements of common sense. Sullivan’s response to the crisis presented by Erdely’s and Rolling Stone’s journalistic malfeasance has not been perfect. Politically, she had to respond. As you have conceded multiple times, the Greek shutdown while unjust is symbolic. From listening to her interview with Erdely, Sullivan presented as even and measured. We will see if she carries that temperament into the formulation and execution of revised policies.

    • Bob, Thanks for your comments. I will lay out my case tomorrow (assuming I have time to pull my thoughts together) for saying that Sullivan’s approach to sexual assault is ideologically driven.

      • I found Bob’s comments helpful and more temperate than some of us, including myself.

        But I still do not understand the “ideology” dichotomy. What does that accomplish other than driving us away from the core issue and really destroy the ability to discuss anything objectively after that bomb has been thrown into the discussion?

        what is the goal – the motivation in harping on ideology?

        why can’t you make your own objective analysis to demonstrate conclusively that you can accomplish that job WITHOUT invoking ideology?

        why do we have to go through this?

  3. re: ” The UVa action plan encompasses virtually every recommendation included in the White House “Not Alone” report. That’s not to say that Sullivan’s plan is a carbon copy of the report.”

    and that’s a “bad” thing? I looked at the WH recommendations and they look comprehensive and reasonable… tell me what’s not…

    “Reed and I are not “blaming” Sullivan or the White House for anything. We are making a factual statement: Teresa Sullivan’s response to the Rolling Stone article has been to implement a set of recommendations and proposals virtually identical to those emanating from the White House task force on sexual assault. Anyone who denies the White House-UVa connection is so hopelessly blinkered in their thinking that they cannot be taken seriously.”

    then you need to lay out your own “better” approach… because the WH reports says this:

    Campus climate surveys.
    Response to sexual assault.
    Preventing sexual assault and engaging men.
    Updated sexual misconduct policy.
    Special training and school disciplinary systems.

    tell me why the above is ideological and “leftist”.

    you guys are standing back throwing rocks in the most generic and non-specific ways – calling these bullets as “blinkered thinking” – with no apparent thinking of your own… why is this useful?

    you guys started down this ideological path – and now you’re backtracking and having to “explain” your thinking… and I can tell you right now – your explanation is not going be any better than what you’ve done so far…

    and that’s because you started into this swinging your ideological cudgel instead of playing it straight and coming out with your own thinking that – others could see in comparison to what you say you disagree with.

    but you chose the blame first approach and now – you find yourself backfilling…

    • So, Larry, you’re finally conceding that UVa’s policies on sexual assault can be traced back to the White House task force report and/or the same thinking that went into the White House task force report. We’re making progress here!

      One step at a time. We’ll get to the second proposition — that the thinking is ideological — tomorrow.

      • Jim- no. I think what the WH has produced is common sense and liable to be adopted by many colleges.

        you seem to be assuming since it came from the WH – it can’t be right.

        so instead of coming up with your own competitive alternative -you’re assuming the WH proposal is “ideological” and now you’re setting off to prove it.

        Never mind – you don’t think you have a responsibility yourself to do anything more than tar the WH….

        this is totally off in the ozone but it’s standard operating procedure for the right these days.

        Immigration – it’s not about a GOP proposal to fix the border -nope – it’ sthat the POTUS has not fixed it …

        campus sex issues? well the POTUS is by definition going to be ‘ideological” … a reasonable alternative instead of “proving” the ideological?

        the heck you say.. the goal is not to actually deal with the core issue of campus sexual behavors and mores.. – nope – the goal – is to prove the POTUS proposal is ideological. That’s the goal – not providing alternative approaches.

        you know.. in the good old days – Conservatives could be counted on – come up with their own solutions to problems – not matter what the liberals wanted.

        Now – there are no solutions from the right – just blame for the “left” proposals.

        Ya’ll got to get back to the real meaning of Conservatism, Jim.

        Real Conservatives – come up with solutions… not blame and blather..

        It’s like you guys don’t even know this any more..

        You know – I do not give a flying FLIP what feminists and their allies and supporters think – we know much of it is loony – but what comes from the right these days in terms of “adult” responses? ZIP! they are just as bad as the feminists – except in the opposite direction!

        buck up Jim Bacon – get back to what real Conservatism is…and stop sucking on FAUX news kool-aid.

  4. I have to say that I’m put off by the tenor and direction of Jim’s entry. The question ought to be, what’s the right response to a difficult problem everyone recognizes. Do the responses make sense? Will they move us toward better solutions? If so, labeling them ideological is totally off point, and worse, it makes distinctly political and partisan the courses of action and policies that surely sh0uldn’t be.

    What I’ve always liked about Bacon’s Rebellion is its ability to steer clear of and rise above the overly intense partisan ailment America suffers from. Why not consider whether similar actions by a university President and a U.S. President might actually be reasonable, not ideological.
    Applying that label stops rather than aids thinking!

    • Exactly!

      It’s like we’re going back to a kind of McCarthyism.. to make sure “known” progressives are identified and ensure we know what activities they have been involved with and yes, it’s disheartening that Jim himself seems to have saddled up and now rides with the vigilantes…

      I can hardly wait for his “proof” that Sullivan is an ideologue!

      • So, illuminating differences between progressive and conservative thought now constitutes a form of McCarthyism, eh? Wow.

        Yet, Larry, somehow you feel perfectly comfortable with dismissing entire bodies of conservative thought by labeling it the product of right wing whack jobs — no other explanation necessary!

        • well if you were ACTUALLY showing DIFFERENCES – but you’re not.

          you’re on a jihad to identify the “progressives” by doing things like saying Sullivan is getting her policies from the White House – like that’s proof-positive that she’s aligned with “leftists”.

          and all the while NOTHING from you to compare and contrast what you’d do instead.

          so – yes – it’s a de-facto witch-hunt to identify the “progressives” and who they have been associating with – and doing studies and writing papers on.

          re: right wing wacko birds – yes.. BECAUSE they don’t offer alternatives.. just blame and recrimination for what they don’t like.

          you complain JIm that you don’t like what the feminist and their birds-of-feather propose on the sex issues – but where are you guy? what would you do instead and how would you compare and contrast it to what they propose?

          so YES – folks who spend all of their time reacting to the other side and demonizing the other side while offering nothing of their own…

          you got it.. now deal with it…

          lead, follow, or get out of the frickin way but stop your whining and bloviating about “progressives”.. with no alternatives of your own.

          instead of saying ” who are those nasty progressives in bed with” you should be saving: ” the progressives have it wrong and here’s why – and here’s what we should be doing instead”.

  5. My,my. This blog post seems to be dressed up as some kind of investigative piece. It is terribly flawed logically because it tries to make some nefarious links among U.Va. and Teresa Sullivan, moves to raise sex abuse awareness on campus and the Obama Administration.

    What makes it so ridiculous is that Obama’s anti-sex abuse on campus initiative is not exactly a covert effort. It has been highly publicized. Some TWO HUNDRED COLLEGES are participating, including Dartmouth and the University of Michigan and of course, U.Va.

    What is so wrong with that? Lots of college students, faculty and administrators are participating. It’s not exactly a secret.

    And what’s so wrong with trying to prevent sex abuse on campus? It does relate to federal funding and Title IX and comes as an offshoot of attempts to level the playing field (forgive the pun) between male and female sports. Why should all the money go to male-dominated athletic programs like football? I know, raising the question stinks of Obama-ism.

    I agree with Larry. Conservatives like Bacon and Fawell offer no excuses but try to taint programs by “tracing” campus rape concerns “back to the White House.”

    Some conservatives have actually tackled important matters. Mitt Romney, a Republican, came up with a health plan in Massachusetts when he was governor that looks remarkably like Obamacare.

    President George W. actually came up with a reasonable and far-reaching program to address undocumented immigrants. As a Texan, he has a deep understanding of the complex issues involved.

    But you won’t find such thinking on this blog.

    We’re too busy “tracing it back to the White House.” Jim, Reed: next time do us all a favor and switch on CNN. It will save all of us a lot of time and effort.

    • yes… it’s not about what’s the effort itself – it’s this foolish McCarthy-like obsession to hunt down and identify any/all “progressives” and “leftists” who have had input or currently involved with it.

      then it extends to folks like Sullivan to “prove” she has been co-opted by the progressives and has now become one of them… and so cannot be trusted any more either.

      it’s just loony…

      you know the biggest problems in our schools systems these days?

      they do not teach Critical Thinking – and boy are we reaping a mother of all harvests… now….

    • I took the time and effort to trace UVa’s sexual-assault policies back to the White House only because you and Larry G denied, or obscured, the fact that there was such a connection in the first place. Now that I’ve documented the connection, you accuse me of “dressing up” the essay as some kind of investigative piece.

      You guys are a piece of work.

      • I NEVER – “denied” anything.. In fact, I have provided quotes from the WH comments and studies.

        you also said you never mentioned “feminists” in connection with the WH..

        not in the same sentence, but amply in your narratives::

        ” A highly vocal feminist movement has been largely successful in imposing its epidemic-of-rape narrative upon the ongoing controversy.”

        would you like to have the full traceback provided or will you admit that it has been in your narrative..???

        Then further irony:

        “As an alumnus, I want to see a dispassionate presentation of the facts.”

        really? .. but how do you actually KNOW what are “Facts” if you doubt the studies and other sources?

      • re: ” Now that I’ve documented the connection”

        by claiming it’s a leftist conspiracy because what Sullivan said sounded similar to the WH?

        That’s YOUR “connection”?

        and even if there is a real , actual, connection (which you have not provided) – what difference would it make – other than the fact that you consider the WH illegitimate in it’s role.. because – according to you -it’s been infiltrated with feminists .. and now is a leftist front organization with no legitimate input into the issue.

        all of this – without word one from you on what you think is a better approach and how that compares and contrasts with that nasty and illicit “progressive” approach.

        you sound like a night of prime time on FAUX!

    • Jim, I am one of probably many regular blog readers who’ve sat by quietly waiting for the dust to settle from Peter’s and Larry’s histrionics. They are all bent out of shape about your “ideological agenda” comment; but that was the fifth in a series of comments you and Reed made under the heading “What does it all mean?”. And you have freely conceded that it is your conclusion, not “factual.” Yet your conclusions are logical and, it seems to me, quite reasonable. How about backing this train up a few notches to your first comment:

      “1. University of Virginia administrators were well aware of the gang-rape allegations long before they surfaced in the Rolling Stone article, going so far as to cite the incident in testimony to Congress. They accepted the veracity of the account and did not begin to check it until Rolling Stone’s Erdely started asking pointed questions.”

      My God! I agree, that is what the facts seem to indicate, and that is a huge conclusion to draw — yet no one seems to have focused on it: “THEY DID NOT BEGIN TO CHECK [the gang rape allegations] UNTIL R.S.’S ERDELY STARTED ASKING POINTED QUESTIONS.” Come on, now — we don’t have to read ideological motivations into that statement: the facts plainly are what they are. They did nothing to investigate the facts concerning a “gang rape” brought to the Sullivan Administration’s attention — yet testified to Congress based on the assumption [it had to be an ‘assumption’ because they hadn’t begun to check it out] that the allegations were true!

      So, where are the righteously-indignant women on the Grounds concerning THAT lapse of judgment? Where are the now-“zero-tolerance” Board members asking how could anyone in a position of responsibility have known so much and done so little? Where are the Charlottesville police asking why such a horrendous allegation was believed, even repeated to Congress, yet wasn’t even checked out, much less formally reported to the police? Why didn’t the UVa Administration, when all this first came to Ms. Renda’s attention, at least investigate enough to have armed itself years in advance with sufficient facts to deny Erdely her trophy-fraternity-lynching? Why didn’t President Sullivan, when asked to deal with Erdely directly, immediately dissassociate herself from Ms. Renda’s inaction?

      I’m coming to the opinion, as expressed in another good blog on this subject, that “it seems that regarding sexual assault and the University of Virginia, facts are optional.”
      That said, I agree with Malcolm that the “ideological” dig was provocative and probably didn’t help this discussion move forward. But is there reason to be concerned about the Sullivan administration’s handling of this whole affair before the RS article? Hell yes. And does that suggest an extrinsic [dare I say ideological?] agenda? Well, we can certainly come to that conclusion — whether or not it is stated.

      The other conclusion we can certainly come to is that stating fairly-obvious conclusions no longer seems to be safe around Charlottesville, or even tolerated as part of a ‘reasonable’ discussion on this blog. I’d like to hear Peter and Larry address Malcolm’s second point: “What I’ve always liked about Bacon’s Rebellion is its ability to steer clear of and rise above the overly intense partisan ailment America suffers from. Why not consider whether similar actions by a university President and a U.S. President might actually be reasonable, not ideological.” Exactly so; enough said about motivation; what about the reasonableness of the University’s actions — both before and after the RS article? Comments like “stop sucking on FAUX news kool-aid” and “next time do us all a favor and switch on CNN” are in fact precisely the sort of ideological name-calling the writer says he’s objecting to.

      • What I have objected to and so has Peter and I suspect, Malcolm is the continual “weaving” in of the “White House Connection”, The Dept of Ed Title 9″ connection – and various other illicit and subjective coloration all the while purporting that it’s an honest attempt to analyze – and it continually comes up with nefarious motivations and claims that Sullivan was “co-opted”.. and all kinds of other – just plain trash… no other way to label it.

        and yes, it sounds ever so much like the crap ‘reports’ one can hear on FAUX News when they get hold of one of these supposed “culture” issues. Just total partisan BS out the wazoo…

        so, no I’m not buying it Acbar and if you REALLY want HISTRONICS go back and read Reeds tomes… about the “hook-up” culture et al ad nauseum.

        and again – no where in any of this – as both of them hammer the Govt reports and proposed guidelines do the complainers compare and contrast what they thing are the flaws compared to a “better way”.

        so defend away guy – this ship is still sinking… and with a fetid cargo like it has – it deserves to.. it’s a blessing to the rest of us.

        and if you want I’ll make you the same offer I made before – how about I go back and extract the offending slanted and partisan passages that got my attention.

        when you engage in this kind of partisan and ideological stuff in anything you purport to be an “analysis” – it loses all credibility.

        anything these two write from now on – on this – is going to be read with a justified jaundiced eye…

        carry on. seriously -different views here are important…

      • re: ” it seems that regarding sexual assault and the University of Virginia, facts are optional.”

        Acbar – would you compare this thought with the goals and objectives of the POTUS proposal?

        In other words isn’t the POTUS proposal advocating reform to this method of doing business?

        that’s the thing here – they whack the POTUS for being “ideological” then they whack Sullivan for being co-opted by the POTUS “team” – Then they whack Sullivan for running secret courts – the opposite of what the POTUS has supported.

        the whole line of “reasoning” is a CF – just totally conflated and contorted – but that’s fine as long as – at the end – they can claim that Sullivan has been subverted by the White House feminists.

        this is what you’ll find FAUX “news” doing – wrapping themselves around the axle til they find themselves contradicting their initial starting point – but no problem – it still “proves” the fact that the POTUS is a “leftist”…

      • Thanks, Acbar, it can get lonely here in the comments section sometimes!

        • I may not always agree with Jim and in fact I might get acerbic and worse but I never fail to realize just how prolific and conscientious Jim is in his blogging.

          so thank you Jim! now about that looney post you just wrote…..


  6. Jim,
    Am I reading you correctly? You are “tracing back” to the WHite House? So what? As I said some 200 colleges are on board with Obama’s anti-sex abuse on campus plan. What is so terribly wrong with that?

    It’s like saying Richard Nixon was wrong for his war on drugs.

    • re: ” As I said some 200 colleges are on board with Obama’s anti-sex abuse on campus plan. What is so terribly wrong with that?”

      two mega-huge things:

      1. Obama… a committed “leftist”
      2. Feminist Nazies that Obama is in bed with…

      The overriding IMPERATIVE here is for the moral and good folks on the right to expose this conspiracy for what it is – a gigantic leftist PLOT!

      Once they “prove” that Sullivan has been assimilated by the “BORG” – they’ll move on to expose similar connections to 200 other college leaders…

      the amount of work involved is “massive and growing” but people committed to liberty and justice – have to do – what they have to do.

      amazing what you can come up with by cutting and pasting from FAUX news transcripts!


  7. Acbar –

    Thank you for the clarity of your above comment.

    Thanks too for bringing to our attention the comments found at:

    Unfortunately the secret trial demand by the UVA student organizations represent the views, opinions and political will of what one would normally consider the more responsible elements of the student body at UVA.

    Thus these demands are even more concerning than the blog posts that followed the WUVA interview with Dean Eramo, blogs by others in the UVA community who were also ignorant of the consequences that would follow in the train of any such secret trial proposal.

    These facts that you bring up paint an unfortunate picture of what is happening at UVA, the apparent collapse its culture, education, and civil behavior. And thus it reflects very poorly on the current leadership at UVA.

    • and yet – the “White House Connection” is saying this:

      ” White House wants transparency on college sexual assaults”

      WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Monday announced a series of steps it plans to take to try to reduce the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses, including pushing colleges and universities to become more transparent in their reporting of incidents.

      but the narrative here in BR is that the White House is attempting to co-opt Sullivan to do what the “leftist” White House is trying to do – which by implication is “wrong” because it’s driven by feminists.. or some such.

      it’s hard as heck to figure out exactly what the complaint is.. it SOUNDS LIKE – it is primarily because the White House is actually involved, eh?

  8. I’m a little skeptical that Sullivan and the U.Va. administration are particularly tied to the White House by some ideological thread. Sure there’s Renda, but my guess is that she is on the fence with the advocacy business at this point — last quote from her that I recall was, “I don’t know what to believe anymore.” And then you look at the little things — President Obama wanted to do a speech on Grounds at U.Va. and Sullivan turned him down (ostensibly because it would interrupt classes, require a Republican counterpart to speak also). I suspect that if Sullivan and the U.Va. Administration were sincerely “spread-eagle” for Obama, they would have MADE THAT SPEECH HAPPEN. They didn’t.

    • yup. when you think about the Clery Act – it goes back to 1990 and Bush I and is a law enacted by Congress and updated several times by subsequent Congress and POTUS including in 2013 under Obama – passing with a bipartisan vote – on of very few that a GOP Congress passed with Dem support and the POTUS signed… it was never advocated for repeal.

      so we have a majority in Congress who DO believe in the role of the Federal govt issuing top-down regulations on this issue and the folks who are opposed to it – are the minority – loud – but not the majority of people who do want uniform rules, and transparency from the colleges.

      the folks who oppose it – for the most part – cannot even agree among themselves what they would do instead -something we are seeing more and more from opponents of tougher issues in general these days – and if we left it up to them – nothing would be done because they’d not be able to agree among themselves.

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