Stop the false outrage, academia

Academia makes a good show of standing up for the oppressed, championing the rights of the most vulnerable, advocating for victims … until it comes time to put their money where their false outrage has been. In the case of Ohio State University, there will be a lot of money to pay when the dust settles in the lawsuits regarding school officials having heard concerns but failing to take any action about the sexual abuse of at least 177 young men over the course of nearly two decades by the late Dr. Richard Strauss.

(Recall that Penn State’s similar turning of many blind eyes to the alleged abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky cost the university $109 million.)

Of course, you may be thinking Aha! But those people were protected by athletic departments. The rest of academia is pure as the driven snow.

Wrong. Ohio State is working to clean up another mess that had nothing to do with the athletic department. Its now-closed Sexual Civility and Empowerment center, it turns out, was all for show, and probably did more harm than good during the three years it was allowed to operate on campus.

OSU officials closed the program and fired four employees after an external review showed the center had failed to properly document and report 20 sexual assault complaints. The Columbus Dispatch had to file a public records request to get the rest of the story.

It turns out, independent auditors hired to find out what exactly happened at the center discovered 57 potential felonies the center was required by law to report to law enforcement but did not. Fifty-seven people who turned to the center for help were instead reportedly swept under the rug.

Attempting damage control, OSU told The Dispatch “This failure is unacceptable, which is one of the reasons the university shut down the office and engaged nationally recognized experts to create a redesigned, best-in-class model to support victims of sexual assault.”

In other words, OSU is spending more money on putting on a show.

Imagine how much more good they could do if those in academia devoted their energy to truly finding solutions and doing the right thing, rather than screeching accusations about others’ failure to properly defend the rights of others and do something to help the abused and vulnerable.


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