According to a report from the St. Louis ABC affiliate, a former vice chancellor at the University of Missouri argued during depositions for a campus sexual assault case that it could be considered sexual assault for a tall male student to ask a short female student out on a date.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs, who resigned from the university in 2017, argued that the alleged perpetrator had committed harassment simply as a result of his “power over” the female student. The power the alleged perpetrator had, according to Scroggs, came nothing more from his physical size.
An excerpt from Scroggs’ deposition highlights her position on the matter.
Q. The allegations against Jeremy Rowles, do you believe that they’ve satisfied subsection 1 of sexual harassment?
A. I think he was perceived as having power over her.
Q. And what was the nature of his power over her? Was it just his size?
A. His physical size.
Q. Okay. So, this part 1 doesn’t require him to be a teacher. When it says person of authority, it doesn’t mean, like, teacher or boss?
A. Well, I suppose it could; but in this case, no, I didn’t interpret it that way.
Although it was certainly bad enough that Scroggs held such a regressive belief during her tenure as vice chancellor at the university, she wasn’t alone in this type of thinking. Current Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX Andy Hayes argued that “power” is derived from the “nature” of the male gender.
In another portion of Hayes’ deposition, she argued that male University of Missouri students should call the Title IX office before asking a female out on a date to determine whether or not they had a “legitimate purpose,” a turn of phrase from the university’s student handbook that determines whether or not an act constitutes harassment.
Q. Is asking someone out on a date a course of conduct on the basis of sex? Let me just ask you that.
Q. So you could ask someone out on a date with a legitimate purpose and not fall within this rule; is that correct?
A. You could.
Q. Okay. What I’m trying to get at here is, a student reading this policy, how did they know what is a legitimate purpose within the meaning of the rule?
A. Well, I’m going to speculate. But if they wanted it clarified, they could call my office. They could ask someone about it if they needed clarification. I don’t know that many students read the rules before they take action.
Breitbart News will continue to report on the situation at Mizzou.