College students do some pretty dumb things sometimes. The things they find hysterical are usually regarded by most other people as idiotic, if harmless. Most people simply shrug and go on about their day, knowing that someday those college kids will recognize their own stupidity.
However, in the case of Wichita State, the dumb from one frat was apparently enough to inspire the administration to say, “Hold my beer.”
Wichita State University has quashed its personal conduct and Title IX investigations of Phi Delta Theta for briefly hanging a banner that read “new members free house tours,” following a veiled litigation threat from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
The College Fix previously tried to get answers from the administration about what policy this banner-hanging violated, which campus entity was investigating, what were the potential sanctions, and what could possibly lead the administration to judge the banner “absolutely inappropriate,” to no avail.
Campus newspaper The Sunflower reports that the public university won’t punish the fraternity members who hung the banner from the side of its house for “about five minutes” last week.
Apparently, people thought the invitation constituted sexual harassment, and thus warranted a Title IX investigation.
In other words, it wasn’t the frat guys drinking the bong water.
To be sure, the banner was stupid. However, “stupid” doesn’t equal sexual harassment and it never has. If that changes, then every bumbling teenage boy will be guilty of sexual harassment before they can even get out of bed in the morning.
Something college need to come to terms with is that every behavior that’s not expressly promoting social justice doesn’t automatically become some kind of oppression. A sign that jokingly tries to attract women to come up to the house–only an idiot would think something like this would actually work–isn’t the same as demanding sexual favors from someone under your authority. They’re not even close.
At least this time, the school figured that out and dropped their investigation. Yes, it took concerns about legal action, but let’s also be honest. If they thought they were in the right, the school would have fought it. Someone figured out they were screwing up and pulled Wichita State back from the ledge.
Now, if only more schools would be so self-reflective, even after it’s threatened with legal ramifications for its stupidity, we would live in a much, much better world.