Amanda Childress, coordinator of Dartmouth’s Sexual Assault Awareness Program, is facing backlash over comments made earlier in the month where she argued that a sexual assault allegation should be enough to see a student expelled.
Speaking as part of panel on sexual misconduct at the University of Virginia on February 11th, Childress is quoted as asking, “Why could we not expel a student based on an allegation?”
“If we know that a person is reasonably a threat to our community,” Childress said, “why are we not removing them and protecting the safety of our students?”
“It seems to me that we value fair and equitable processes more than we value the safety of our students” she continued. “Safety is a right, Higher education is a privilege.”
Naturally, these remarks caused furor amongst various men’s rights activist groups (yes, those exist), with vocal commentary from bored@baker also criticizing her statement.
A Voice for Men, an online site advocating the “Men’s Human Rights Movement,” said in an article that it was “speechless” upon hearing Childress’ remarks. In this article they further encourage their readers to submit anonymous online sexual assault forms against Childress, or, as the article says, “take the courageous step of reporting Amanda Childress… for sexually assaulting you or making you feel afraid or creeped out.”
“We would like to see her either retract or apologize for asserting an idea that due process should be eviscerated,” Paul Elam of A Voice for Men told IvyGate in a recent conversation, “or she should resign.”
“If people can be subject to administrations disciplinary action based on accusation alone then that does not make for a safer campus.”
In our conversation about sexual assault on college campuses, amongst other feminist issues, Elam described A Voice for Men as a “growing group of men concerned with addressing the increasing levels of insanity.” Others have described A Voice for Men as anti-feminist, misogynistic, and not exactly a hate group.
Elam further characterized conversations about sexual assault on college campuses as being dominated by “one bit of disinformation after another, usually propagated out of university gender studies departments.”
Ms. Childress was unable to be reached for comment. However, Dartmouth spokesman Justin Martin commented that “[S]he was not policy, but was asking a question—a provocative one—meant to generate dialogue around complex issues for which answers are necessary to continue to strengthen and promote fair and equitable processes at all colleges and universities.”