Wanted: Your Worst Orientation Stories

While mandatory college orientation programs have always veered toward the absurd, they’ve now sunk to new depths. Today Glenn Reynolds (the Instapundit) noted that some of these programs even imply that every male student is a potential rapist. One student thought his college effectively told him that “You’re a rapist, and we’re watching you.” Reynolds says that colleges are creating “a hostile learning environment based on sex.” To that end, we’d like to hear our readers’ craziest college orientation stories. If there’s enough of a response, we’ll post the best ones starting next week. Send your stories to editor@campusmind.com.

9 thoughts on “Wanted: Your Worst Orientation Stories

  1. About 15 years ago I was hired to the Chemistry department at a state university. In the *staff* training, the presenter told us that absolutely no chemicals were permitted to go down sinks. I thought to myself, “Soap is composed of many chemicals, water itself is a chemical (H2O) and every time I pour the last of a coke or coffee down the drain, I am pouring chemicals down the drain. I raised my hand to mention one or two of these and only got so far as, “About those chemicals,” and the presenter waved a finger at me and shouted that ABSOLUTELY NO! NO!!! chemicals could go down drains. I sat back and thought to myself, “Why have a rep in a scientific institute who is so stupid?

  2. I was the stage manager for my undergrad’s Health and Wellness orientation program, and I am now pleasantly surprised at how generally balanced it was. Sexual assault was certainly discussed, but it was presented calmly and not as a gender-specific issue. Also discussed were alcohol, exercise, sleep, and stress management, all topics for college students that are surely of comparable importance.

    Then again, it’s been a few years since I left, and the old director of our Women’s Center who ran that wonderfully balanced sexual health program has since retired. I hope it hasn’t completely gone down the tubes.

  3. In addition to being told they are potential rapists they probably were informed that they were guilty of white privilege. I live in Amherst, MA and that’s a given at UMass and for our public school system.

    My husband worked many years for the Amherst schools. The teachers were given points in workshops for how much privilege they had. White males got the most points. He took early retirement to keep his sanity. He was the school psychologist.

  4. Gee, when I was in college, I skipped all those mandatory sessions. In fact, I skipped all mandatory activities. I mean, what’s the punishment for not going?

    P.S. Obviously, I didn’t skip mandatory activities like exams. I know what the penalty is for that. But any time the university said “Come down,” I threw up.

  5. I wouldn’t just collect stories, as helpful as that will be. I’d have have a lawyer or team of lawyers available talk with on the phone either individually or in a conference call, answering questions and giving advice.

    That way, if any trouble develops, these students can open their side of the conversation with “I’ve already discussed this with my lawyer.” Bureaucrats not only fear lawyers, they know that the biggest step toward suing is the first one, contacting a lawyer.

    These students can also respond to ‘you are a rapist’ charges, stated or implied, by holding up a smartphone, saying, “I am now going to record what you say. Is this university accusing me or anyone present here of being a rapist? If so, rest assured we will sue this university and you personally for slander.”

  6. Sadly these kinds of things have been going on for a long time. About 15 years ago I worked briefly for a residential life department at a state university. In the *staff* training sessions I was taught, for example, that black people don’t tell time the same way white people do. When a white person says, “I’ll meet you at 3pm,” it means 3pm. When a black person says, “I’ll meet you at 3pm,” it means he’ll meet you at some time roughly in the middle of the afternoon, but maybe not at 3pm. We were instructed to keep this sort of thing in mind when arranging appointments with students. (I remember think that must be why Clarence Thomas was never suited for the Supreme Court: he just couldn’t show up to work on time.)

    This was part of the training provided by the university administration to its employees.

    1. I remember in the 70’s the black head of the organization I worked for would routinely include in announcements of meetings “No CPT” (Colored Peoples Time) for the large staff with many blacks.

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