The baby boomers who demanded the dismantling of all campus rules governing the relations between the sexes now sit in dean’s offices and student-counseling services. They cannot turn around and argue for reregulating sex, even on pragmatic grounds. Instead, they have responded to the fallout of the college sexual revolution with bizarre and anachronistic legalism. Campuses have created a judicial infrastructure for responding to postcoital second thoughts more complex than that required to adjudicate maritime commerce claims in Renaissance Venice.
University of Virginia students, for example, have at least three different procedural channels open to them following carnal knowledge: they may demand a formal adjudication before the Sexual Assault Board; they can request a “Structured Meeting” with the Office of the Dean of Students by filing a formal complaint; or they can seek voluntary mediation. The Structured Meetings are presided over by the chair of the Sexual Assault Board, with assistance from another board member or senior staff of the Office of the Dean of Students. The Structured Meeting, according to the university, is an “opportunity for the complainant to confront the accused and communicate their feelings and perceptions regarding the incident, the impact of the incident and their wishes and expectations regarding protection in the future.” Mediation, on the other hand, “allows both you and the accused to discuss your respective understandings of the assault with the guidance of a trained professional,” says the school’s sexual-assault center.
Rarely have primal lust and carousing been more weirdly paired with their opposites.The more prestigious the institution, the sillier the attempts to reconcile the competing bureaucracies, as MacDonald details.
While women’s studies professors bang pots and blow whistles at antirape rallies, in the dorm next door, freshman counselors and deans pass out tips for better orgasms and the use of sex toys. The academic bureaucracy is roomy enough to sponsor both the dour antimale feminism of the college rape movement and the promiscuous hookup culture of student life. The only thing that doesn’t fit into the university’s new commitments is serious scholarly purpose.As long as there are academic jobs supporting both, there'll be both. If not threesomes.