Barbara Boxer

Dormless Community Colleges to Get Government-Imposed Rape-Survivor 'Advocates' Instead of Goddamned Security Guards

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Genius. |||

California has 112 community colleges, serving an estimated 2 million students. In physical set-up and geographical vibe, they share much more in common with public high schools than four-year universities. The two-year institutions are typically plopped on quadrangle-shaped plots in the middle of the neighborhoods they serve, rather than sprawled across some hopefully quarantinable stretch of occasionally remote land, ringed by dormitories and student ghettoes. You don't live at your local CC, nor do you move away from home to go to one, generally speaking. They're for high school grads looking to transfer or pick up a work-ready certification; 9-to-5ers seeking to improve their brains or job prospects at night; primary care-givers getting out of the house a bit.

Given these distinguishing features from four-year schools, much of the behavior associated with the collegiate "rape culture" we've been hearing so much about these past couple of years just does not apply to community colleges. There aren't thousands of straight-oughtta high school kids learning haphazardly how to be grown-ups while sleeping in close proximity to their fellow experience-seekers. The campus mood tends to be sober and adult, not binge-drinky and experimental. You don't go to Long Beach City College (one of three CCs I have attended over the years) to meet people and blow your mind, you go there to get what you need and move on.

That's why this news is so pointless and infuriating. In July, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) co-sponsored the Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act (S.O.S. Campus Act, because our colleges and universities are apparently in emergency distress), which would require "each institution of higher education that receives Federal financial assistance under title IV" to hire "an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response." (In case you were wondering, the bill spells out that "the term 'sexual assault' means penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim, including when the victim is incapable of giving consent.")

Not a community college, probably. |||

In August, Boxer followed up the legislation with a letter to the heads of the University of California, California State University, and California Community College systems, urging them to "voluntarily implement" the bill's provisions right away, because "our students cannot afford to wait another minute." In return for their support, Boxer would "ensure the public knows about your leadership on combatting sexual assault."

Well, California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris knows which side his bread is buttered on:

"Providing for the safety and security of our students is an essential responsibility of our colleges and voluntarily complying with the provisions of the SOS Campus Act will ensure our students receive the services, guidance and support they need when they need it," Harris wrote in a letter dated Sept. 24. […]

"I thank Chancellor Harris for his leadership in doing everything he can to help protect the 2.1 million students at California's 112 community colleges," Boxer said in a statement Thursday.

"Everything he can to help protect…students," that's the claim. Think again about how community colleges are more like high schools than four-year campuses (only without the fences, at least in my experience). Recall that many people from the community, including quite a few adult women, use these colleges to attend night classes, alone. We're not talking about a petri dish of intoxicants and STDs here, but adults walking solo to their cars through darkened quads at 9 p.m. Let's see, how would you protect students from sexual assault in such an atmosphere?

YOU WOULD HIRE SECURITY GUARDS AND INSTALL BRIGHT LIGHTS AND SECURITY CAMERAS, THAT'S HOW.

A victims' advocate is by definition doing after-the-fact triage, with the only real preventative stuff coming through helping obtain punishment against perpetrators, plus whatever marginal gains can be made at this late date by anti-rape publicity campaigns. Security systems and personnel make dark places less scary, and less inviting to the bad guys who rape.

And lest anyone pretend that we don't live in a world of tradeoffs, consult this 2012 L.A. Times series called "Fading Dreams," which is basically one story after another about how budget shortfalls are forcing the California Community College system to make a series of very difficult choices (sample headline: "California's community colleges staggering during hard times").

So because you have highly publicized national panic about campus rape, because national politicians think Title IV is a perfectly good reason to tell any institute of higher education what to do, because nobody wants to be portrayed as a moral monster by opposing something billed as "combatting sexual assault," a college system facing perpetual budget shortfalls is "voluntarily" spending money it doesn't have on personnel who will almost certainly do less to make these commuter campuses safe from real-world rape than would better lighting and security on the same budget. This is public-policy liberalism in the 21st century, and it's embarrassing.

NEXT: Police Abuse Even a Threat for Backyard Chickens Now

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  1. YOU WOULD HIRE SECURITY GUARDS AND INSTALL BRIGHT LIGHTS AND SECURITY CAMERAS, THAT’S HOW.

    But that wouldn’t help the actual solution to this problem, which is obviously teaching rapists not to rape.

    1. Or, encourage their students to carry guns to protect themselves against violent criminals.

    2. Well, if you had good security guards and one of them caught a rapist, they could teach him not to rape, using negative reinforcement.

  2. “the term ‘sexual assault’ means penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim, including when the victim is incapable of giving consent.”

    So if I pass out drunk and someone decides to perform oral sex on me, I haven’t been sexually assaulted.

    1. The good news is that you can grab all the boobs you want without breaking the law.

      1. It also seems that it is ok to put your fingers in someone’s mouth. Or your hair. A G.I. Joe. The possibilities are endless!

    2. Or if you get tied up, force-fed a Viagra, and ridden.

  3. Wait. You don’t want victims? How can the Leftist-Vitim-Advocate racket continue without victims.

    You are just hateful.

  4. Given these distinguishing features from four-year schools, much of the behavior associated with the collegiate “rape culture” we’ve been hearing so much about these past couple of years just does not apply to community colleges.

    Much of the behavior associated with the collegiate “rape culture” we’ve been hearing so much about these past couple of years just does not apply to non-community colleges, either, Matt. Because it’s bullshit. Barbara Boxer and Susan Davis aren’t trying to protect innocent young girls from the threat of rape because they know the threat is wildly overblown. Hell, the fact that they frame the law to pre-define rape culprits as men (which the penetration standard does), should tell you this is more about shameless pandering than it is about any policy goals.

    1. Who are these horrible parents who send their children off to college knowing that there is a 1/4 chance that they will be raped?

    2. I think he knows that, he’s just saying that even if we grant them all of these assumptions….

  5. Think again about how community colleges are more like high schools than four-year campuses (only without the fences, at least in my experience).

    I called mine “High school with ashtrays,” but that joke no longer tracks.

    1. I liked my CC. I always said I wouldn’t have dropped out of High School if it had been more like my CC.

      1. It was better than high school, but not better than actually getting out of my hometown.

  6. A victims’ advocate is by definition doing after-the-fact triage, with the only real preventative stuff coming through helping obtain punishment against perpetrators, plus whatever marginal gains can be made at this late date by anti-rape publicity campaigns. Security systems and personnel make dark places less scary, and less inviting to the bad guys who rape.

    But security features can stop rape from happening, and that’s not what these vile people want. Fewer victims means fewer victims’ stories they can hope to glean political profit from. They don’t really want people to be safer. Hell, there’s probably not an unsignificant fraction of them who would rape and murder too if it served their ends and they knew they could get away with it.

  7. You’re missing the plot:

    1. They’re churning out Women’s Studies grads like eggs from illegal chickens.
    2. They have no real skills other that skreeching.
    3. We need a Federal jobs programs for these people.
    4. They seem to like to skreech about Rape.
    5. Start requiring various businesses to have Rape Advocates (or whatever the fuck they are).
    6. Less skreeching/Profit!

    1. This is more or less what I was going to say. Rape prevention via guards and lights means jobs for burly men who are probably straight (ick!), whereas this approach means jobs for Women’s Studies grads.

  8. If there’s one thing you have to give the pols credit for, it’s how they came up with names for their bills.

    Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act (S.O.S. Campus Act)
    American Recovery and Investment Act
    Troubled Asset Relief Program
    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
    Patriot Act (at least Bush expressed regret about that name)

    1. Special Labor and Voluntary Employment Act.

  9. Matt I hope you didn’t watch the Angels game.

    1. Me too.

  10. Prophylactic measures might actually accomplish something, which isn’t the point. Prevention is never the point, because assaults that fail to take place won’t pad the number of reports the college uses to boast about their victim-friendly campus.

    1. It seems like public policy these days are just a handful of strategies to find excuses to “MOAR MONEY FOR TEACHERS UNIONS”!?

      like, ‘6 million kids need pre-school!’

      Because what, we had a dire national deficit of ‘kids playing with blocks’?

      The only thing Obama seems to have left on his plate after the ACA debacle is “How to create gigantic new entitlement for Education Mafia”

  11. “(one of three CCs I have attended over the years)”

    Matt, I love you, but this “yeah, I dropped out of college motherfucker?! How do you like them apples?” chip-on-your-shoulder thing is getting a little over-done.

    I almost want to “Four Yorkshiremen“-one-up you and claim that I only attended Mime-school for 2 years, presided over by an epileptic, harelipped scientologist who beat me with a rubber hose for 6 hours a day and then lectured on Feminist Semiotics until i passed out.

    1. Luxury.

      1. i retract that “OH”

    2. Ain’t no chip! It’s actually (in this rare instance) relevant to the topic at hand. LACC at night is not for the faint at heart….

      1. I went to school in a shoebox in the middle of the road…

        1. You already won the thread with your comment at 1:25….don’t push it.

        2. …The only class was “Being Raped 101”

      2. “LACC at night is not for the faint at heart….”

        The ‘faint of brain’, however…

  12. I went to the SugarFree Academy for Gifted Boys. I lived in Warty House.

    1. And you turned out fine.

    2. What did the Sorting Hat look like?

      And feel like?

      And where, exactly, did you put it?

  13. Forget it, Matt. It’s Chinastate.

  14. It’s obvious by now that this sort of thing is not about preventing rape, but discouraging young adults from sexual activity, period. If they could think of a way to sneak such programs in under cover of rape elsewhere than colleges, they would.

  15. I think what’s needed is — before coitus (or whatever clearly defined variation) is attempted (first OR subsequent times) by unmarried partners — we need a WITNESS ON SITE to verify mutual consent. Such witnesses could be “on call” — perhaps pre-positioned in ambulances or fire stations. The paperwork would be minimal, I’m sure.

    While the sexual stimulus effect doubtless would suffer, the economic stimulus of employing millions of such folks is undeniable. Just ask Paul Krugman!

  16. YOU WOULD HIRE SECURITY GUARDS AND INSTALL BRIGHT LIGHTS AND SECURITY CAMERAS, THAT’S HOW.

    But these won’t do a thing to help your FEELZ.

    A victims’ advocate is by definition doing after-the-fact triage

    Because self-defense is racist…and sexist…and probably homophobic.

  17. “This is public-policy liberalism in the 21st century, and it’s embarrassing.”…and most importantly, it’s winning.

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