KC Johnson of Minding the Campus is an authority on this subject but some people don’t want to hear the truth.

KC Johnson Amid The Hecklers

Thanks to an invitation from the George Washington Forum, I had the opportunity last week to speak at Ohio University on due process and campus sexual assault. I made two primary arguments: first (citing how Duke responded to the lacrosse case), I challenged the idea that universities are somehow biased against sexual assault accusers, much less so biased as to constitute a Title IX violation, as the Office for Civil Rights consistently maintains. Second (citing the new policies at Yale and Stanford), I suggested that too many colleges have created procedures so flawed that there’s no way of knowing whether a student found culpable actually did anything wrong, much less committed a rape.

The talk wound up attracting attention in large part because of the conduct of a group of 15 or so student protesters, who call themselves F–kRapeCulture. To get a sense of the group’s mindset, I recommend this op-ed they wrote for the local paper. Or you could take a look at their aborted heckler’s veto effort in which they stood as one, took off their outerwear to reveal shirts with curses written on them, held signs, and turned their backs—on a video of President Obama justifying his administration’s new policy, which would eviscerate campus due process.

At a public event at a public university, critics have every right to attend and ask challenging or outright hostile questions. They also have every right to wear shirts with curse words, though I doubt such a tactic would appeal to those undecided on the question. The attempt to engage in a hecklers’ veto, on the other hand, betrayed the protesters’ lack of confidence that their viewpoint could prevail in the marketplace of ideas.