Friday, March 24, 2006

The Elephant on Campus: A Follow-up

The Elephant at the College of William and MaryDymphna’s post last week about alcohol, political correctness, and “rape” at the College of William and Mary mentioned an upcoming forum on the rape issue, sponsored by The Remnant (a campus Libertarian publication).

The forum was held on Monday evening, and today we received an email from a William and Mary student who was present. Here is his report:

There were three panelists: two attorneys and a law professor. The attorney stated her belief that a blurring of rape and “regretted sex” had begun, and that it was morally reprehensible (my word, not hers), when two consenting adults engaged in drunken sex, to find one guilty of a crime and the other the victim of a rape. The second attorney, a man, gave a speech that I unfortunately had to leave during the middle of due to a conflict in time. He said that was he shocked and amazed that William & Mary gave their “victims” the right to appeal. He also agreed with the first attorney that using the words “victim” and “charged party” in the judicial part of the student handbook was a terrible idea, as it set opinion against the accused from the get go. I did not hear this myself, but only heard it from someone who stayed through the entire forum, that the law professor questioned the validity of W & M’s having a judicial system at all — that such matters should be left up to the City or the State.

Both attorneys, it should be noted, were troubled by the fact that accused students had to represent themselves, with only a “silent counsel” acting to advise them. They believed that it was quite a lot of responsibility to heap on one student to make him defend himself, give opening and closing statements, and question witnesses.

I think the term “regretted sex” is a good one, and very poignant under the circumstances that a lot of these students find themselves in.

If there were any other attendees at the forum who want to weigh in, by all means email us or leave a comment.