BGSU Faculty Senate want sanctions against harassing signs


Students who greet their peers arriving on campus with suggestive and offensive signs should be
sanctioned by Bowling Green State University, the Faculty Senate declared Tuesday.
The senate passed a resolution submitted by Julie Haught recommending that the dean of students
"impose the appropriate sanctions against students found in violation of the Student Code of
Conduct regarding sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment whether the public conduct occurs
on campus or at the student’s off campus residence."
What those sanctions would be was not discussed.
The signs are posted on off-campus residences and, using sexual innuendo, invite female students to visit
and party. The signs may, for example, offer free drinks to fathers who bring their daughters to the
Joel O’Dorisio, vice chair of the senate, said the signs "create an atmosphere that is hostile to
female students."
Brian Kochheiser, the recently elected president of the Undergraduate Student Government, said while some
have raised free speech concerns, he agreed that the signs send the wrong message to those arriving on
Haught, who teaches English, responded that "free speech doesn’t allow" all kinds of
Sarah Rainey, of the Women’s Center, said that students need to learn that speech has consequences.
"People can be fired from their jobs" for saying certain things.
Haught said the signs run afoul of the university’s goal of maintaining an environment free of sexual
harassment, as well as its stated core value of "respect one another."
The signs also go against the spirit of the university and city’s collaboration on a "Not In Our
Town" initiative that promotes inclusion and stands up to acts of hate and bias, she said.
The resolution was amended calling for university officials to work with Bowling Green City Council, the
city’s Town and Gown Commission and the Human Relations Commission.
Dean of Students Jill Carr reiterated that students can be held accountable to the student code of
conduct even when they are off campus. She cautioned, though, that people shouldn’t assume all the
residences in question are actually occupied by students.
"We’ve been dealing with this," she said.

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