The outrageous decision by Williams College in Williamson, Massachusetts, to suspend a student over "cultural insensitivity" has left many people confused.
The learning institution made the absurd decision after a male student refused to date a fellow female student.
According to the college, this was "culturally insensitive" and apparently a good reason to suspend the guy. The student had kissed and touched the female student, but was not willing to date her.
The institution decided this was sexual misconduct and lack of cultural sensitivity when he made it clear he would not date the girl. The students, who are both Hispanic, even had consensual sex.
Afterwards, a complaint was launched and an internal investigation started.
The girl accused the guy of failing to pursue her and have a relationship with her despite the intimate gestures they shared. Also, the girl argued that the guy did not get her "affirmative consent" during the encounter.
During the encounter, he made out with her and touched her breasts.
The student made her claims based on the institution's Code of Conduct. According to this set of rules, "consent, once given, may be withdrawn at any time."
Unfortunately for the guy, the girl claimed to have withdrawn her consent using a text message after the encounters.
After the initial encounter, the girl apparently tried unsuccessfully to pursue her elusive lover for several months.
The encounter was especially special to her. She claimed that she had "never kissed a boy" given the "restrictive cultural norms in her home country."
That is why she took it so personally when the male student did not reciprocate her feelings. Consequently, she decided to make him pay for his mistakes.
The Girl Was Angry At The Guy
According to reports, the girl "expressed anger about what she saw as Doe's cultural insensitivity around their prior interaction."
Later, the male student wondered why the girl's friends were "treating him strangely." The girl explained that he had "emotionally manipulated… taken advantage of her lack of knowledge of American cultural norms" and even "disrespected" her own cultural norms.
The girl filed a Title IX complaint at the college. Her claim was that the guy was "culturally insensitive".
Soon, an internal investigation began.
After the matter came to the attention of the college's Associate Dean of International Student Services, Ninah Pretto, she called the male student. She warned him that he could face accusations of sexual harassment after what he had done.
Later, the Dean, Marlene Sandstrom, denied the accused student an opportunity to reach out to potential witnesses for the defense. He was also not given an opportunity to offer any evidence in his support.
Apparently, the male student wanted to present evidence that the girl had made threats and that she had a "history of repeated accusations of cultural insensitivity."
Allyson Kurker, a former lawyer, was hired to do more investigations. However, the lawyer did not do the job properly.
She failed to give the man an opportunity to suggest witnesses or present his evidence. In fact, the institution did not look into claims that the girl has a history of making repeated accusations of cultural insensitivity.
In the end, the guy was suspended. However, that did not mean he had given up the fight to have his side of the story heard.
As soon as he was suspended, he filed a lawsuit against the college and its administrators. He claimed that he was wrongfully punished using a "flawed disciplinary process."
According to him, gender bias was a "motivating factor" in the decision to have him suspended.
The student managed to get approval to pursue his case from the U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni.
Eventually, he was allowed to present evidence that the girl had threatened him with physical violence and that she had "lots of people ready to hurt him." These threats were made with the intention of forcing him to get into a romantic relationship with her.
According to his lawsuit, the panel decided to suspend him based on stereotypical and discriminatory regulations from a 90-page training manual.
Apparently, the training materials "contain anti-male bias and encourage panelists to stereotype men as sexually aggressive and more likely to commit sexual assault."
The manual, according to the student, also suggests that the "intent" of the accused student can get ignored.
He also argues that the college let the girl slander his name throughout the institution.
However, Tayo Comacho, Title IX Coordinator, argued that stepping in might keep the girl and other women from talking about their experiences.
After the decision the college made, the guy's education and career were probably affected for life. Fortunately for him, the court at least gave him a chance to present his evidence in a rather one-sided case.