Wednesday, 9 February 2005

Ok. legislator wants professors to only screw students figuratively

Eugene Volokh has a lengthy post questioning the wisdom of an Oklahoma state legislator’s proposal to define any sexual activity between a student under 21 and a university employee as “rape”.

I tend to agree with Eugene’s position—the position, incidentally, staked out in the most recent addendum to the Millsaps faculty handbook (I think; I’ll look it up when I’m at work tomorrow)—that relationships betwen faculty members and students they are currently instructing are inappropriate, for a variety of reasons that he details in his post. I generally also think that faculty members are just asking for trouble if they get involved with undergraduates—whether or not they are responsible for assessing their work—but I can’t see any good reason to make consensual sexual conduct illegal as long as both parties are over 18.

Can we get rid of the Florida manatee plates also?

This post at BTD reminded me of a few news stories recently. There are cautionary attempts to get rid of license plates that say things like “Protect Life” with a picture of a baby next to it. If opponents of the plates succeed in getting rid of them, can we also get rid of the damned manatee plates on similar grounds? I don’t see any real difference in the two; both are value judgments (wholly normative) and equally objectionable, if either is objectionable.

Apologies for the light blogging of late. I’ve been prairie-doggin’ it lately, due to an avalanche of school work.

Prof responds on bad essay

The Jawa Report has a Foothill College professor’s response to allegations of political bias in grading an essay assignment about the writing of the Constitution.

I also like Rusty’s response to student complaints that he gives too many F’s:

In fact, not a semester goes by where at least one student doesn’t accuse me of giving them an F because I don’t like their politics or have some personal vendetta against them. The fact is that neither is true.

The reason I give so many students an F is because there is no lower grade to give.

As the Blogfather would say, “heh.” (þ: Steven Taylor)