Public university demanded students complete questionnaire about recent sexual history



Part of my reply would have included " and the horse you rode in on"

Re: the idiots who thought this questionnaire would be a good idea, Christ what a bunch of assholes.


Great opportunity to exercise one’s creative writing skills. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, Google “The Aristocrats”.


Agree with @teknocholer; why not just lie your ass off?

Also agree that it’s a stupid ass thing to ask for in the first place.


Even if it weren’t inappropriate to require such questions to be answered, why did they expect that they would get honest answers? It’s not like people in general, or college-age adults specifically, are always honest about their sexual experiences, even when they think they’re answering a survey anonymously. People over- and under-think what the consequences of answering a certain way are, so they might increase or decrease their reported experiences based on those perceptions.


I can see the usefulness in wanting to know what students are doing sexually, because such information could be used to create campus educational programs. Sexual ignorance can be a really dangerous thing, and in my own–admittedly limited–college experience there’s a lot of it.

But there’s no reason why there should be even the slightest chance that such a survey could be used to determine who’s doing what. It’s bad enough that in my own–and limited–experience I know of one case of confidential information about a student’s sexuality being accessible to people who had no business seeing it, and who threatened to use it for blackmail purposes. And making the survey mandatory just further undermines any good that might be achieved.

To be clear: for purposes of creating and sharing an informational program I think it’s potentially beneficial to ask students what they’re doing, what they’re thinking about doing, and what they have questions about. But it’s only gonna be useful if it’s anonymous and voluntary.


Can I take my Ideas from the Aristocats and see what response that brings?


Looking around to try and get some background on this, I’m no further forward. Before we even get onto the subject of creepy sex + drugs background checks, how did a piece of legislation that bans gender discrimination in sporting facilities morph into mandatory “training” in the first place.

I put the word training in scare quotes because it looks very like corporate mandatory “training” where you are informed of the opinions that you must hold, then parrot them back to get through the module.

1 Like

Throw in a lot of names from the university staff just for fun.


A couple of things not being noted by jokers or conspiracy theorists: The questionnaire/“course” is run by a for-profit company that offers to off-load the task of complying with the federal Campus Save Act. They’re consultants, part of a substantial industry that does work that university administrations can’t or won’t undertake, perhaps out of fear of litigation. These outfits are all over campuses, running job searches, advising on facilities use, operating faculty and staff training courses. Which leaves admin free to administer (though what’s left after the consultants have collected their fees is hard to say). Fortunately, faculty and staff are able to keep the university operating, as long as admin and their contractors stay out from underfoot.


Remember, replies to obvious trolls get eaten when the Don’t-Push-Your-Luck Dragon flies through.


Because it does not challenge the “authorities” right to ask the question in the first place.

Left unchallenged, they will then take it as given that they DO have this right. Currently, this may be worthless without the cooperation of the students, but what if circumstances change? If they believe they have the right, why not demand health records, or “private” Facebook data, or any of the myriad other ways they might gather this information? No, the right response is to not only circumvent their attempts (by “lying your ass off”), but to also challenge their authority to ask at all.


And go 50 shades of grey with the people forcing you to do the test. If they come back to ask you questions, just say, “I didn’t write this, the test was anonymous.”


It’s up to BB who they want to send link traffic to, but given that there are plenty of straightforward factual news reports on this, I wonder if will seem like the wisest choice in the cold light of day (or however long it takes to click around a bit).

Or hey, maybe it’s the harbinger of an exciting new ideological and stylistic direction for BoingBoing.


I don’t know if Disney would appreciate the shout out or not.

As far as I can tell, they claimed they weren’t collecting identifying info, and it could very well be true. It’s not uncommon for anonymous surveys to require a login just to make sure that you’re getting the data you think you are–no spamming or outsiders–and then anonymize the actual data recorded. Making it mandatory seems like a bad idea, but the thought could have been that they really think this data will be useful in serving the student body, and they didn’t want everyone to skip it.

So, yeah, it’s possible that the intent was malicious, but I think it’s more likely that they meant well and just seriously muffed their PR.


Just for fun, read the comments on the originating blog. Apparently, it’s all Obama’s fault.


Which is why I also added “Also agree that it’s a stupid ass thing to ask for in the first place.”

I don’t condone the asking.

Wow - this story is messed up from top to bottom. The website linked is all about stirring up anger against the university. But it conflates privacy concerns with talk about “brainwashing and propaganda.”

The idea that rape is a problem is not propaganda. It is an uncomfortable fact that college students absolutely need to understand. Having them answer some awkward and difficult questions might just be what is needed to get through to some of them.

The privacy issue is very real, and it looks like CampusClarity fumbled badly on that. Is there any way to ensure that students actually take training that might be unpopular, without triggering all kinds of right-wing fantasies about thought police? Or is it better to just let sleeping dogs lie and assume boys will be boys?


Of course, the staff and faculty still have to answer those questions. At some point doesn’t this kind of questioning become sexual harassment?

Edit: I now see that there is a (possibly different) faculty version, so my complaint may or may not apply.