Gettysburg College: Unjust Sexual Misconduct Policy
After more than a year of public pressure from FIRE, Gettysburg College amended its controversial Sexual Misconduct Policy. Gettysburg students are now free from the draconian policy, which failed to distinguish between an innocent, spontaneous hug and forcible rape. The school's old Sexual Misconduct Policy infringed on students' rights to due process and fundamental fairness. Despite months of agreeing to undertake an administrative review and revision of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Gettysburg continued to maintain it. In response, FIRE added Gettysburg to its Red Alert list, where FIRE highlights the "worst of the worst" offenders against liberty on campus. In light of the policy change, Gettysburg was removed from FIRE's Red Alert list. The original policy's broad definition of sexual interaction included not only sex acts but also "brushing, touching, grabbing, pinching, patting, hugging, and kissing," drawing no distinction between innocent hugging and sex crimes. The revised policy has eliminated the language equating rape with mere hugging. Instead, it prohibits "[s]exual misconduct, including sexual assault, [which] is defined as deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature without the other person's consent."
- "New Sexual Misconduct Policy," August 22, 2007
- "Victory for Fundamental Fairness at Gettysburg College," August 22, 2007: After more than a year of public pressure from FIRE, Gettysburg College has amended its controversial Sexual Misconduct Policy. Gettysburg students are finally free from the draconian policy, which failed to distinguish between an innocent, spontaneous hug and forcible rape. In response to the school’s positive changes in the policy, FIRE has removed Gettysburg from its Red Alert list.
- "FIRE Letter to Gettysburg President Katherine Haley Will, August 17, 2006," August 17, 2006
- "FIRE in ‘The Boston Globe’," May 23, 2006: FIRE’s exposure of the absurd sexual misconduct policy in force at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania has attracted the notice of columnist Cathy Young of The Boston Globe and Reason magazine. In her Monday Globe column, Young skewers the Gettysburg policy that puts an unauthorized hug on a spectrum with sexual assault, observing, as did FIRE, that “because it is impossible to enforce such a policy consistently, it will inevitably be enforced in arbitrary ways. If everyone violates the rules at one time or another, anyone is a potential target for punishment.”
- "Gettysburg College: Hug at Your Own Risk," May 11, 2006: Today, FIRE is publicly challenging Gettysburg College's Sexual Misconduct Policy, a policy so broad in scope that it draws no distinction between innocent behavior and sexual assault. Under the policy, even the most common affectionate behavior could qualify as "sexual misconduct"-- a charge with potentially life-altering consequences. FIRE is calling upon Gettysburg to safeguard the due process rights of its students by repealing this draconian policy.
- "Letter from Gettysburg President Katherine Haley Will to FIRE, April 27, 2006," April 27, 2006
- "FIRE Letter to Gettysburg President Katherine Haley Will, April 11, 2006," April 11, 2006
- "Gettysburg College Sexual Misconduct Policy," September 1, 2005
- "This Month in FIRE History: Hug at Your Own Risk," by Bridget Glackin, May 18, 2011
- "No Summer Break for Student Rights," by Sean Clark, August 24, 2007
- "G-burg College revises policy,"
by Steve Marroni, The York Daily Record, August 26, 2007
- "College revises sexual misconduct policy,"
by Steve Marroni, Evening Sun, August 24, 2007
- "College repeals “Hug at your own risk” rule,"
by Greg Lukianoff, The Huffington Post, August 23, 2007
- "Gettysburg College revises criticized sexual misconduct policy,"
by Associated Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 23, 2007
- "Campus Alert: Hug at your own risk,"
New York Post, May 29, 2007
- "Colleges assume unchecked power in sexual consent policies,"
by Greg Lukianoff, Daily Journal, June 21, 2006
- "The Hug Police Invade Higher Education,"
by Allison Kasic, Human Events, June 9, 2006
- "On campus, an absurd overregulation of sexual conduct,"
by Cathy Young, The Boston Globe, May 22, 2006
- "College's Sexual Misconduct Policy under FIRE,"
by Steve Marroni, The Evening Sun, May 13, 2006
- "Sexual-Misconduct Policy is Faulted,"
by Patrick Kerkstra, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 2006