How many times have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?
With how many different peoples have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?
If you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months, how many times had you used a condom?
These absurdly invasive questions are just three that Florida Atlantic University is demanding its students answer, at pain, some maintain, of being barred from courses.
NBC West Palm Beach affiliate WPTV spoke with one such student, Cheryl Soley, who said she was forced to take an online questionnaire delving into the most intimate details of her private sex life as a prerequisite to enrolling in classes. “I just don’t understand why questions pertaining to how many times I’ve had sex have anything to do with campus life,” Soley said. “It has to be changed. It is a total invasion of privacy,”
The questions come from a required online course called “Think About It,” which according to Campus Reform is a product of CampusClarity. On its website, the company describes itself as “a one-stop solution for all of your campus’s compliance training needs.” [Emphasis added]
The compliance referred to is to Title IX, a 1972 federal law that states in part:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
So how does this statute relate to the CampusClarity questionnaire, which has been purchase 190 college this year? An FAU spokesperson named Joshua Glanzer released a statement to WPTV that offers this explanation:
Nationally, approximately 20 percent of women report being assaulted while in college. To help reduce this percentage, federal law now requires all universities offer training to students about sexual assault and prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education recommends mandatory training for all incoming students. To comply with this federal mandate, universities throughout Florida and the nation are rolling out similar training modules.
When asked about Cheryl Soley concerns about privacy, Glanzer said that the answers to the questions are kept anonymous and that so far only 1% of the 8,000 students required to take the training have expressed concerns.
Both reactions are troublesome. First, the promise of anonymity is only as good as the intentions and curiosity of the people handling the questionnaire. As for the ratio of students who have complained, Glanzer doesn’t say at what point this becomes a problem for the administration. Is the cutoff 10%? 50%
Campus Reform notes that Clemson University required its students to complete a similar questionnaire but then abandoned the enterprise after five hours.
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