Rochester—Being a guy is tough because the male brain is clogged by thoughts of sex most of his life, a 56-year-old student wrote in an assignment at Oakland University that has since led to his suspension.
In a journal entry inspired by the Van Halen rock band song, “Hot For Teacher,” Joseph Corlett described his English lecturer: “Tall, blond, stacked, skirt, heels, fingernails, smart, articulate, smile. I am toast but I stay.”
Corlett, a Lake Orion resident, said he was told that no material was off-limits in the journal he was assigned to keep for his Advanced Critical Writing class, yet he has been suspended for three semesters at OU and barred from campus.
But he is fighting back and appealing the decision. Corlett’s compositions have been posted online by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
“How can the university’s attorneys not know that this is unconstitutional?” said Corlett, who has been married for 30 years. “This isn’t any kind of question. They have to do the right thing and drop this. They are on the wrong side of the constitution.”
OU spokesman Ted Montgomery declined to comment on the case, saying it was a “student conduct issue.”
There are currently 462 other students on OU’s Persona Non Grata list, according to OU Police Capt. Mark Gordon. Students, staff, faculty or visitors can be barred for the housing area or from campus for behaving disruptively, threatening community safety or committing an illegal activity. Those on the list are barred either for a limited time or indefinitely.
There isn’t a formal appeals process, Gordon said.
“Generally, a letter is sent to the dean’s office asking for reconsideration,” Gordon said.
Corlett, who works in the surface restoration business, is hoping to resolve the situation at OU instead of taking the issue to court.
He regretted dropping out of Bowling Green State University when he was 18 and decided to return to college in 2008.
“It was like my mid-life crisis,” said Corlett. “I had to go back and get my degree.”
He first attended Oakland Community College before going to OU where he was enrolled in the writing and rhetoric program.
He was assigned to keep a journal to write freely. Many of his entries are sexually charged.
In one passage, he writes of other teachers to whom he is attracted.
“I’m not a maniac for every female, although I try to find something attractive about everyone,” he wrote.
In another, he reflects on the eternal debate about which type of woman men prefer – Mary Ann or Ginger from 1960s television series “Gilligan’s Island.” He called his teacher “my Ginger.”
Corlett’s teacher could not be reached for comment.
But in his journal, he wrote what appeared to be a note from her.
“Dear Joseph: While your writing is fair, it is completely inappropriate. I have broken your rule and torn out the offending pages. If this continues, I am obligated to report this to the Dean, otherwise I should consider this matter closed.”
Schools: Oakland University