by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Welcome to Harvard!
“Fatphobia” and “cisheterosexism” perpetuate “violence.” “Using the wrong pronouns” constitutes “abuse.” And “any words used to lower a person’s self-worth” are “Verbal Abuse.” Those are just a handful of the things the school told all undergraduate students in a mandatory Title IX training session, according to materials reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
The online training, which all undergraduates were required to complete in order to enroll in courses, includes a “Power and Control Wheel” to help students identify “harmful” conduct. Outside the wheel are attitudes that “contribute to an environment that perpetuates violence,” a voiceover from the training states, including “sizeism and fatphobia,” “cisheterosexism,” “racism,” “transphobia,” “ageism,” and “ableism.”
Inside the wheel are behaviors that the school says constitute “abuse” and could violate its Title IX policies. “We all have an essential role to play in creating a community that cultivates gender equity and inclusion,” Harvard College dean Rakesh Khurana told students in a video introducing the training. “Completing this course is a critical step in establishing a shared understanding of the values here at Harvard College.”
Harvard launched the training in 2016, according to the Harvard Crimson, and announced in 2018 that completing the training was a prerequisite for course enrollment. The school is vague on the repercussions for violations of its sprawling interpretation of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex, stating that violations “may” result in “termination, dismissal, expulsion” or “revocation of tenure.”
A spokesman for Harvard’s Office for Gender Equity, which conducts the Title IX training, did not respond to a request for comment. Harvard did not respond to a request for comment.
The training also presents scenarios that involve potential Title IX violations and explains how students should react to them, instructing students to “prioritize social justice and inclusion” and to “intervene” whenever “harm” occurs.