UC Davis Removes Part of Controversial Sexual Violence Questionnaire

November 20, 2014

By Ali Wolf at Fox 40

UC Davis took action today, after getting complaints about the university’s sexual assault training survey for incoming students.

To enroll in classes at UC Davis, incoming students are required to complete an online questionnaire about sexual violence.  But a section on harmful language caught some people off guard.

One slide, titled “Words that Hurt,” asks students to match phrases like “I’d hit that” and “slut,” with reasons why those words are problematic and may help normalize sexual violence.

Some UC Davis students say the activities did not upset them.

“As a freshman, I think I may be taken aback by this but as a senior, I know the programs they do here and why a questionnaire like this is really important,” senior Jordan Galerkin said.

However, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education fired back at the university last month.  FIRE claims the sexual assault training violates students’ rights to free speech.

FIRE says initially, UC Davis defended the exercise.  But Wednesday, the University changed its mind and removed the controversial section.

A UC Davis spokesperson told FOX40: “FIRE did originally contact us about one slide in the online violence prevention program that all incoming students are required to take. We reviewed the material and decided to take the slide out, and let FIRE know. (We did not hear objections from any UC Davis students about it.)

FOX40 spoke to one freshman who was opposed to the activity, but did not complain about it.  Others say if it bothered people, removing the slide was probably a good idea.

“Keeping it up there it was infringing on – politically it was infringing on our freedom of speech,”  freshman Kairo Torres saud.

Registration for winter quarter classes is still open at UC Davis.

Schools: University of California, Davis Cases: University of California, Davis: Mandatory Violence Prevention Program Violates Students’ Freedom of Conscience