The Reed College Quest

Freshman Excluded from Conference, Petition Sparks Controversy

Professor Savery excludes Jeremiah True ’18 from Humanities 110 conference after the student creates a “hostile educational environment”

and | March 19, 2015

On Wednesday, March 18, Jeremiah True ’18 sent the Reed Facebook group ablaze with a link to his Change.org petition entitled, “Restore Jeremiah Josias Luther George True to His Humanities 110 Conference.” True was excluded from his Humanities 110 conference on Saturday, March 14 by Professor of English & Humanities Pancho Savery. Savery decided to do this because True made a series of negative contributions to the conference environment over the course of the semester, culminating in a comment about Livy and the rape of Lucretia that created a “hostile educational environment.”

After consulting with Chair of Humanities 110 Michael Faletra, Savery emailed True to say that he excluded him on the grounds that, “The entire conference without exception, men as well as women, feel that your presence makes them uncomfortable enough that they would rather not be there if you are there, and they have said that things you have said in our conference have made them so upset that they have difficulty concentrating in other classes.”

The culminating point of discomfort was instigated by comment that True describes in his petition. True writes: “… I questioned the largely purported 1-in-5 rape statistic. I stated that I did not believe that the rape culture exists.” Savery corroborates this statement, saying, “[True said that] in general, society was paying too much attention to rape and that rape statistics were overblown. He claimed that we needed to spend more time being sympathetic to men who were falsely accused of rape.”

After that comment was made, Savery was approached by a female conference member who wanted to meet before their next class. Savery says that the student, “was so upset by the classroom environment that [True created] that she did not feel comfortable being in class with him. [True] had created a hostile educational environment.” Savery notes that some of the members of the conference who were upset were also survivors of sexual assault.

On Friday, March 13, Savery asked True to not attend the Hum 110 conference so that the other students could speak about their comfort levels in the classroom. Savery explains that he felt they would “not be able to have the conversation with True in the room.”

This conversation lasted the whole 50 minutes of class.

“Every person in the room was upset by the comments he had made, and by his general attitude for the whole semester,” says Savery.

Conference member Tom Maude-Griffin ‘18 says: “The decision to ban him from the conference was virtually unanimous. There were two guys who vocalized issues with banning him… but neither actually said in the conference that they did not agree with the decision.”

According to Savery, True had made other unsettling contributions to the conference this semester, including a comment about Theocritus that “lower class people didn’t have the ability to create art” and a comment about how “we shouldn’t blame the people who were responsible for the Holocaust… because they didn’t know any better.”

Maude-Griffin says that True’s behavior started out only “a little bit patronizing” and then escalated from there over the course of the semester.

“As soon as we started discussing Aristotle he said how did not believe that people who were drunk could not be held responsible for their actions, and similarly (in his line of logic), that racists could not be blamed for their actions because they had ‘never been taught otherwise,’” Maude-Griffin recalls.

The week after True’s Theocritus comment about social class and artistic capability, Maude-Griffin says that True “began the class abruptly and loudly in an angry tone, reading the Honor Principle stating how no student should face a hostile environment, and demanding an apology of only female members of the class despite the equally strong reaction by the male ones.”

Savery, taking into account the conversation he had with his Hum 110 conference and his conversations with True, made the decision that True could not return to the conference. Instead, Savery suggested that True could receive credit for the class by writing the remaining assigned papers, completing the final exam, and optionally attending Pancho’s office hours to discuss the readings.

True does acknowledge that things he said may have made some students in his conference uncomfortable, but emphasizes both that he was polite and that some level of discomfort is inherent in an education that is supposed to make people question their own beliefs.

“I apologize that I caused survivors of sexual assault to feel uncomfortable with my views, but the views were in no way threatening or hostile,” he states in his online petition. “I did not use any obscenities in class, I did not declare any fighting words, I did not commit perjury, I did not blackmail anyone in the class, I did not engage in incitement to imminent lawless action, I did not engage in ‘true threats’, and I did not engage in solicitations to commit crimes.”

Over the course of this past week, True contacted Student Services staff and Hum 110 faculty about his removal from the classroom and how, according to the petition, this “situation was not handled appropriately, and I would like to return to my class.”

Dean of Faculty Nigel Nicholson and Associate Dean of Students for Student and Campus Life Bruce Smith met with Savery to discuss True’s exclusion from the class.

During their meeting, Smith asked Savery if there were circumstances in which True could come back to the conference, and Savery said no. Savery mentioned that True would be filing an Honor Case against him for two reasons: first, the exclusion from class violated True’s First Amendment rights, and second, True was deprived of the full experience of Hum 110 by not being able to come to conference.

Despite his complaint about Savery’s decision to exclude him from the class, True says, “Pancho [Savery] is the greatest teacher I have ever had.”

True posted his petition on Change.org, and he publicized it on Facebook, 4chan, and FunnyJunk. True brought his complaint to the public internet space because he did not want to wait without action for the estimated five weeks of a full Honor Case.

“I will miss out on a wonderful education in those five weeks. I can not wait that long,” he says. “I am concerned for my education, but I am more concerned that there is a mentality on college campuses that this activity [removal from the Hum 110 conference] is permissible and that my country’s sacred right to Freedom of Speech is being ignored.”

After twelve hours online, True’s Change.org petition had received 332 supporters. The post on the unofficial Reed Facebook group generated hundreds of comments until it was frozen by the page administrators. Many students have posted via Facebook statuses that True’s petition and the hubbub surrounding it are the “Spring Crisis.”

In protest to the perceived injustices against him, True has also refused to attend his other classes, has resigned from his position on Honor Council, and has left his role in the spring faculty theater production, The Bald Soprano.

In a statement about his own character, True says, “I believe that I am an emotionally capable, intellectually gifted, cutting wit, hell of a person. I believe I have experienced more trauma and suffering and pain in my life than many of these, well frankly, middle class white girls at Reed could ever know in their lives.”

True distinguishes himself as a “freedom feminist,” differentiating himself from what he calls “toxic radical feminism,” which “speaks out against rape culture at the expense of men.”

Kate Hilts ’16 opposes True’s interpretation of feminism, and offers her own definition.

“Freedom feminism is not feminism,” she says. “Feminism is an understanding of the structures that oppress women and female-presenting people, and a belief that those structures should be dismantled. Freedom feminism is a soft term for a sub-category of men’s rights activism. Moreover, the existence of rape culture is indisputable. There is never any excuse for undermining the lived experience of survivors: academic, statistic, I don’t care. It’s inexcusable.”

Josh Cox ’17, though he states he does not support True’s petition, cautions that it is not honorable to personally attack True for his views.

“Though people feel upset or invalidated by Jeremiah’s beliefs or the way he expresses them, it is still their responsibility to be honorable,” he says. “It is already alienating enough being a black male at Reed, and I doubt people’s public expressions of their hatred for him and not just his ideas is doing much to help.”

True questions rape culture and statistics about sexual assault — both specific to Reed and across the nation — not because he thinks talking about sexual assault is unimportant. Rather, he believes these concepts and statistics are inaccurate, and that this inaccuracy makes anti-rape efforts ineffective.

“I want accuracy, not hysteria and overblown statistics,” he stated in one email to Savery. “I think it’s important to treat rape seriously, and not to over inflate it and cause panic.”

While interviewing with The Quest, True was ecstatic.

“Reedies have forgotten what student activism actually is,” he says. “Student activism can fuck a place up. I have sent the faculty and student services scrambling for cover. It’s been an enormous amount of fun.”

“This is the most fun I’ve had all year,” True continued, “and I have not this much fun since I was a kid. It’s so liberating.”

At the end of his petition, he wrote a haunting statement of his determination:

“No matter what happens. I love you, mom. I love you, dad. I love you my dear, dear sisters. I love you my dearest friends. I love you all, and I will sacrifice everything for you. … I do not want to be a martyr, but I will do that if that is what is necessary to make a statement.”

The Quest plans to follow up on this issue.

The Quest would like to remind the Reed Community that community members can call the Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (SAPR) Advocates at 503/847-9772 anytime or email them at sapradvocates@reed.edu. They will get back to you within 24 hours. If you need to speak to an advocate now, please call Portland Women’s Crisis Line (open to all gender identities) at 503/235-5333.

Comments

  1. Parent says:

    I think that Reed administration should keep a watchful, solicitous eye on Mr. True. Some of his remarks, esp of the martyr ilk, make me (as a parent) concerned for him. Apart from the merits or not of his case, he is still a young guy with his whole life ahead of him.

    • Real Talk says:

      Agreed. This kid is not well. I would say ‘whack job’ but that is perhaps insensitive? He reminds me of that kid who killed all those people in Cali last year. Alarming lack of self-awareness, highly narcisstic, and just…not well. I would keep my eye out for this kid. He could be a serious threat on campus.

      • Student says:

        This disgusts me, I have known Mr. True for about three years, since then this man has so thuroughly impressed myself and my parents for his intelligence and respect. There is nothing wrong with Mr. True, I would go to say anyone would be blessed by his company even to just meet the man, he has no bad intentions he only sought to bring up a tough subject that made some students uncomfortable. This is college, these students are going to be exposed to serious matters and subjects, it is absolutely rediculous that he would be banned from class for expressing and validating opinions and facts.

      • Nima S. '14 says:

        I am a Reed alum and I see this fits into a pattern of the repressive, politically correct environment that prioritizes superficial, holier-than-thou social justice warriors (who are invariably rich, white, and woefully out of touch) over freedom of thought and expression which is the cornerstone of true liberalism. These people want nothing more than prove they are more ~intellectual~, more ~socially aware~ than you, they are not even true political activists and would not be so bold as Jeremiah to stake their lives on their principles. If we acquiesce to their demands, we will be lead down a path of censorship of opinion based on nothing more than unpopularity. Just because you can live in your own bubble on tumblr does not mean the real world works that way, you cannot trigger warning LIFE. I disagree with Jeremiah on the substance of his argument (mainly bc he’s challenging an empirical fact, a statistic, with no empirical evidence to present himself) but people should be allowed to have wrong opinions. Because anything less is plainly fascism, it is a tyranny over the mind to narrow the scope of ideas one is exposed to. People should be able to state wrong opinions, and everybody else is free to consider the merits of the argument and reject it. That is freedom of thought. I want Reed to truly live up to its self-proclaimed liberalism by the honoring the ideals it pretends to uphold bc I know it has great potential, the quality of education is very high but this type of censorship is only going to bring it down. Yes words can be hurtful, but as far as I know, Jeremiah was insulting any particular student(s) (which should get anyone banned) but expressing an opinion about a statistic in good faith. tldr; INTENT MATTERS. Cf. every law ever

        • Robert Riversong says:

          Nima S. ’14: You’re spot on in your critique of the Reed (and everywhere) culture of protective victimhood, and (as you point out) you are entitled to your fallacious opinion).

          But it’s not merely opinion to claim that True did not back up his critique of the 1-in-5 myth with statistical proof (he most certainly did in his letter to faculty) – it’s a demonstrable lie.

          Even ardent anti-rape legislator Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand quietly removed any reference on her website to the 1-in-5 factoid and to the 2007 CSA study which allegedly found such data (it did not), as it was thoroughly repudiated by the 2014 18-year sexual violence study of the DOJ.

          Kudos on your analysis. Shame on you for continuing to believe false statistics and blaming True for being mistaken.

    • Steve Malynn says:

      A true leftist – any dissent must be a sign of mental illness, right mom?

      Your anonymous comment is despicable.

      • Concerned says:

        The young man’s dissent isn’t what has me worried. His cavalier attitude about the experience being the most fun he’s ever had combined with his failure/refusal to attend classes for the last week, and his final,chilling statement about his impending martyrdom is what concerns me. They don’t appear to be the statements of a young man who is balanced. For the sake of the campus community, I hope that I am proven wrong.

        • Martyr says:

          THIS. Come on people. I know you’re smarter than how you’re coming off in these comments. This isn’t about a dissenting opinion. It’s about the fact that he was very disruptive and seems to lack an alarming level of awareness. Calling himself a martyr?? That’s what people do before they kill themselves or others. The school needs to keep a very close eye on him. His hysteria seems to be bordering on mental health issues.

          • Robert Riversong says:

            “seems to lack an alarming level of awareness”

            So, you would rather that he HAD an alarming level of awareness?

      • Melinda Moore says:

        No,Steve, the concern is genuine and has nothing to do with merits or not of his case.
        The martyr talk plus the messages of love to everyone coupled with his ceasing to attend his other classes/activities…yeah, worrisome signs.
        You’re the one bringing up mental illness. Jump to conclusions much?

    • mooproxy says:

      I appreciate your concern, and I do not think that those comments on their own would be wholly appropriate, but it would seem to me that this article seems particularly biased against True, and as such it is worth considering whether his comments have been taken out of context.
      Look at the chosen quotes from other students – they all condemn True. Look at how much space the description from Savery of True’s statements is given as opposed to True’s own description of his comments.
      Of course be wary, but do you think that the college’s own newpaper is going to support the college or the student?

      • MATTHEWALLENTHORNTON says:

        ^ thank you! I have yet to read an article about this case that wasn’t unfairly biased towards the accuser. Its poor journalism and i would fire the person who wrote this article if i was in charge. its despicable that even the school paper has bought into this knee jerk reaction. True makes many valid points in his letter. a touchy subject yes but one that aught to be treated with seriousness and fairness.

    • Robin DesCamp says:

      Jesus was a martyr. What an ignorant, stupid comment you’ve made.

      • Robert Riversong says:

        As told in the movie Vino Veritas:

        Jesus was up and about, chatting with his friends three days later. That’s some sacrifice! We’re going to kill you, but not really. You get to come back to life; then, as a special bonus prize for being such a good sport, you get to spend the rest of eternity as God’s general manager. How the hell is that a sacrifice?

    • Interested Third Party says:

      Firstly I would like to say that I am somewhat appalled by the incredibly weak journalism of this article. It reflects very poorly on the Quest’s journalistic standards, especially considering a issue of such national relevance and which also cuts to the very credibility of everything that Reed tells the world about itself. It comes off as having cherry-picked its interviews and does only a feeble job of considering the accuracy of each sides.
      The following quote by itself suggests that Jeremiah’s concerns of feminist persecution are in fact quite real:
      “Savery was approached by a female conference member who wanted to meet before their next class. Savery says that the student, “was so upset by the classroom environment that [True created] that she did not feel comfortable being in class with him. [True] had created a hostile educational environment.” This appears to be almost identical to comments emailed to True by Savery, but generalized from one student’s issue to that of an entire class. It is obvious to me from personal experience as well as that of women that I know, that the current nature of “Feminism” is not guided by fairness or reason or even equality. Further I have seen ABSOLUTELY ZERO evidence that True was guilty of anything worse than strongly expressing an “unacceptable” veiwpoint and he was punished and continues to be punished unfairly. The sooner the good folks of Reed admit a mistake was made, the better for everyone. In an era where looking at an over-sensitive female the “wrong” way can subject a male to an automatic and unquestioned guilty verdict ( as apparently has happened here) one can personally feel very afraid just for being male. Apparently “Feminists” are perfectly fine with that.

    • Interested Third Party says:

      Although the flash-in-the-pan interest in this incredibly important issue appears to have dwindled (perhaps in the face of more simplistic “Clickbait” ?)– the very serious questions around what Reed tells prospective students and their parents about itself, and what it actually is, will continue for a long time.
      Here is a link to a piece written by Jeremiah True, somewhere around April 8th, 2015 (?)

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X8ixf29QjgAJLoNAO38gSc0hHHrGTYs6fsNe3SvEbKo/edit

      — To my dismay, I cannot dispute it. It stands up to scrutiny when compared to a dissection and analysis of everything else written about the troubling case around Jeremiah True.

      My perception is this: A small number of individuals, mostly female, on the Reed campus, have taken a serious issue, that of the victimization of Women, and twisted it and used it to justify their own dishonorable behaviours. They have used it in this case to justify the character assassination of a fellow Reed student. They have apparently used it to bully fellow students into a shared smear campaign against him. Riding the current wave of “Sexual Assault” witchhunting, they appear to have railroaded Professor Savery into going against every one of his publicly stated principles around free speech. They have worked to create an environment which is the antithesis of everything which Reed College says it upholds. They have sought to shut down reason and reasoned debate, and they appear to have largely succeeded. From the notorious Hum 110 lecture/Protest of Nov. 2014 to the destruction and expulsion of Jeremiah True, they have done to another, that which they cry to the world that they have suffered and seek to redress. And perhaps the greatest crime — is that they have somehow managed to make a great university complicit in their crime of injustice, against not just one student, but against its very ideals. And they show no shame.
      I have a student who was set to attend Reed, because of what we believed it was and what it stood for. The feeble response of college administration to this crises, has shocked me as I have watched this situation evolve. My student, like Jeremiah, rails against injustice. She chose Reed because she believed that it sought truth and would help her learn to struggle against true injustice. I struggle now to make sense of the effort. Yes she is a female. But how can she be safe? She has witnessed first hand in her life the bitter vindictiveness, deception and self-righteous cruelty that some females are capable of. Will she be safe on a campus that has rendered its primary ideals meaningless? Double-speak is the hallmark of Oppression, of Totalitarianism… and it is perhaps the most insidious and soul-crushing form of violence there is. Because it alone does no outward harm, it is not “Violent” in the classic sense… but what it does to the minds of a populace…
      I desperately wish to see proof that Reed does not make one student feel safe by making others live in fear. Where do I go to find that proof? College President John Kroeger appears to be silent on this pivotal issue. Pancho Savery , a man of words, has been notable by his relative silence — except for a few statements that appear to gravely contradict themselves, and some whining about e-mails that vilify him for throwing his student under the bus. Even the college paper appears to have chosen sides rather than truth, taking at face value a unanimous verdict and overlooking its duty as the Fourth Estate.
      Yes, Jeremiah True appears to have acted like an ass, when perhaps he had nothing else to lose. But he has also acted as the poster-child for the type of student that Reed College and Pancho Savery blatantly advertises for. And that is a fact.

  2. Potential Transfer says:

    As a survivor of sexual assault and someone that is looking to transfer to a 4-year university, I want to thank Reed College for eliminating this student and subsequently the threat that he posed to other students, especially survivors, in that class. With so many schools under federal investigation for mishandling rape on their campuses, it is a relief to see one school finally do something to help address the problem.

    Please continue to prioritize your student’s safety over a disruptive bigot’s “right to free speech.”

    (quotations used because True does indeed have freedom of speech; in fact, he is currently suffering the consequences of using it)

    • Klem says:

      So, you are against free speech right?
      Then, I will ask you to leave gender themed classes, and to ban your women’s group, your DV “classes” and so on”
      . As a male survivor of domestic violence (abused by my hetero sexual female white privileged partener), it makes me uncomfortable, and it obviously override your right to education and thinking…

      So now, take your male-abuse-aplogist speech and get out

    • Intrigued says:

      Threat is a strong word. What threat did he pose?

      I’m not trying to be argumentative–I think that it is a bad thing for people not to stand up to a bully, if that’s the issue. And removing him from the class doesn’t do any favors to those who objected to his ideas or demeanor. With him being in class, they actually have the opportunity to confront objectionable ideas (perhaps objectionably delivered) logically. To the extent that most of the class seems to object to j, then they would be doing so with most of the class on their side. So what’s the problem?

    • Steve Malynn says:

      Your Post is a slander against Mr. True – who was and is not violent.

      • Emily says:

        He’s threatening us. He keeps posting on his Facebook page about how he will come to campus and the college should post community safety officers at these locations or we “will be endangering the safety of the students.”
        Check his Facebook page. See what your heroic martyr has been saying, then see if you support his right to spew threatening, harassing garbage.

    • Austin says:

      From what do you infer that there is a safety risk?

      • Linda says:

        from this part of his elation and message to his loved ones:

        I love you all, and I will sacrifice everything for you. … I do not want to be a martyr, but I will do that if that is what is necessary to make a statement.”

    • Asif says:

      Yes, lets silence free discourse at the university level to protect YOUR feelings. You are an example of the greatest danger the next generation faces.

  3. student says:

    @KatieHilts: Your quote is not responsive to what Jeremiah is arguing. You say, “the existence of rape culture is indisputable.” Jeremiah is denying this claim with reference to evidence that supports his position. You point to no evidence for your claim.

    More generally, I wonder, who’s feminism are you advocating for?

    “Freedom feminism is not feminism,” she says. “Feminism is an understanding of the structures that oppress women and female-presenting people, and a belief that those structures should be dismantled. Freedom feminism is a soft term for a sub-category of men’s rights activism. Moreover, the existence of rape culture is indisputable. There is never any excuse for undermining the lived experience of survivors: academic, statistic, I don’t care. It’s inexcusable.”

    I am sorry, but this does not sound like the feminism that applies to most women. Maybe if more feminist-identifying peoples at Reed did some traveling and saw the way women live in the world, they might realize for a second what *structures* oppress women. Hint: they are poverty, war, lack of education, healthcare, no clean water, etc. NOT that problematic dude at SU dances. These people do not have conception of “lived experiences” or “rape cultures” or “oppressive social structures.”

    WAKE UP REED COLLEGE!

    • student says:

      I’m sorry, but “that problematic dude at SU dances” pushed me into the SU bathroom and locked the door. I had to hit him in order to let me open the door. He IS part of the problem. Take responsibility for your actions.

    • Robin DesCamp says:

      Isn’t there something inherently hilarious about one woman proclaiming to define what is and what is not “feminism?” As someone who lost their virginity to rape, I am not afraid of discussing the faulty statistics and the “rape culture” hysteria that is currently the bane of our college system and which assumes that all young men, including my son, are potentia rapists.

      Kate Hilts needs to GROW UP. You do not get to define cultural movements or banish opposing points of view. I hope to hell you open yourself up to some very intense navel-gazing, because you are the exact type of person who drives women, young and old, away from the “feminist” label.

      Come to think of it, that label is outdated. I am a “humanist,” a post-modern feminist warrior who believes we should all play on the same field with the same rules, not be treated like special snowflakes because of our gender and our inherent fragility. Sorry, was that comment triggering for you>

      • Robert Riversong says:

        Robin,

        Nice to hear from someone with some intellectual maturity and wisdom, who sees past the self-destructive dogma of today’s Victim Femisim.

        To understand how the feminist movement has become its own worst enemy, see: Feminism Has Cannibalized Itself

        The rape culture meme is a largely fabricated story based on the fiction that, in a patriarchy, all heterosexual sex is rape and no woman is really free to consent: The Rape Culture Meme

  4. student says:

    @KatieHilts: Your quote is not responsive to what Jeremiah is arguing. You say, “the existence of rape culture is indisputable.” Jeremiah is denying this claim with reference to evidence that supports his position. You point to no evidence for your claim.

    More generally, I wonder, who’s feminism are you advocating for?

    “Freedom feminism is not feminism,” she says. “Feminism is an understanding of the structures that oppress women and female-presenting people, and a belief that those structures should be dismantled. Freedom feminism is a soft term for a sub-category of men’s rights activism. Moreover, the existence of rape culture is indisputable. There is never any excuse for undermining the lived experience of survivors: academic, statistic, I don’t care. It’s inexcusable.”

    I am sorry, but this does not sound like the feminism that applies to most women. Maybe if more feminist-identifying peoples at Reed did some traveling and saw the way women live in the world, they might realize for a second what *structures* oppress women. Hint: they are poverty, war, lack of education, healthcare, no clean water, etc. NOT that problematic dude at SU dances. These people do not have any conception of “lived experiences” or “rape cultures” or “oppressive social structures.”

    WAKE UP REED COLLEGE!

  5. um wut says:

    I mean, it’s just narcissism meets IRL trolling; everything he’s said about the issue seems to make that clear. After reading everything (this, buzzfeed, Reddit, Change.org, funnyjunk, etc.) it just seems like a pretty juvenile response to what sounds like a series of very calm and well-intended requests from Pancho to maintain a positive learning environment for everyone.

    • Robert Riversong says:

      A “positive learning environment” demands that people be exposed to inconvenient truths and opinions and that become uncomfortable.

      It is NOT to prioritized personal sensibilities over the individual and collective pursuit of ideas, knowledge and truth.

    • David Krueger says:

      It wasn’t a request.

  6. Jeremiah stahp says:

    Jeremiah, quit commenting on an article written about you. We are talking about oppressive structures in the U.S. and how they affect the people with whom you must interact in conference so your point of “look at other cultures if you want to see REAL oppressive structures” is moot.

    Just stahp with the trolling, it’s gone too far.

  7. J. Turner, '12 says:

    Lest we ignore this gem written by Jeremiah about his intentions of ripping Reed up:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qqAwKIZIDoIO099J-5O-Qis0ecu2Qtq2eJG3trVUKRM/mobilebasic

    And btw, that “problematic dude at SU dances” is not categorically the same as the dude who holds you down and sticks his hand down your pants. Don’t strawman this shit.

    • Robert Riversong says:

      You must be referring to True’s statement about “New Ideas for University”, in which most of the message was on the order of “What if we instigate a call to morality? What if we can save Reed?”

      • J. Turner, '12 says:

        To quote:

        “1. If the faculty and administration don’t admit that there is a problem with feminism and sexual assault on campuses, we absolutely destroy Reed. We tear them down and show Oregon, the nation, and all prospies that Reed is not a safe place to be, academically. We will exacerbate their PR problems. I will continue this while I am on campus and continue to be politically active in engaging the rights that the college defends within its own codes and rules. Inevitably, a situation similar to the one that we are in would occur. I would again be able to sue the college. It would become a cycle that would inevitably harm Reed and drive its reputation into the ground.
        And then there is the other route.
        2. What if we, the Faculty, us, and the administration, agreed to allow me to sue the college? What if the college itself publicized the suit? What if we put it out into the world and the media that Reed was doing wrong and is acknowledging that and trying to fix it? What if we use this as an opportunity to put a positive media spin on Reed’s rededication to academic free thought? What if Reed publically decried radical feminism? What if Reed refused to support the government’s attempts to implement internal judiciary courts on campuses? What if Reed protested the Title IX policy? What if we bring national attention to sexual assault on campuses and use that impetus to enact REAL change in the justice system? What if Reed brought a CRS case against the FSU due to the group’s dishonorable exclusion of male-bodied people? What if we convinced Reed to take a moral stand against radical feminism and the FSU? What if, in the FSU’s place, we installed a new group? What if we use the basic framework of my new group to introduce a new movement? What if we called this movement Equalism? What if we called the group the ESU? What if we broadcast the importance of this movement in shaping the world for the better? What if this group involves staff and faculty and is academically based? Here’s the truly radical part, what if we made Equalism and the ESU into a think tank? What if our entire faculty and student body contributed to performing research surrounding issues of inequity in our society? What if this campus wide movement contributed to DRAFTING PUBLIC POLICY?! What if one of the duties of John Kroger became to propose bills to Congress? What if Reed publicized its ability to propose bills to conference and the government? What if we turned Reed into a political force for good?”

        But actually I was conflating this with another doc he wrote, in which he also talks about the lawsuit, gaining money for his family, publicity, some other stuff, which was very much less censored for the public and much more reflective of his chain of thought. Can’t find the link now.

        • Robert Riversong says:

          Thank you for confirming my statement: that the majority of what True posted was highly constructive and intended to make both Reed and the world a better place.

  8. Random Bystander says:

    Bringing up the first amendment? Yup, fits the profile.

    Someone should tell him that the first amendment applies only to the government vs the people. Reed, as a private entity, does not have the first ammendment apply to them.

    • Intrigued says:

      You would think that Reed would want to uphold free speech principles even if it is not legally required to.

    • Jeremiah True says:

      You are correct, I am not protected under the first amendment while I attend Reed. I believe I cited the faculty code first. L2read, please.

  9. E. Edwards, '12 says:

    While I understand the need to remove True from his conference, and feel that Professor Savery was both correct and thoughtful in his handling of the situation, I can’t help but be saddened by the end result here. One would hope that Reed would be the place to confront such toxic ideologies on a personal level – to be surrounded with thoughts and opinions differing from yours, and to take that opportunity to examine why you feel the way you do – and nowhere is there more opportunity for that (for STEM fields, at least) than in Hum 110’s conference.

    Instead, True will likely continue to surround himself with – if his mobilization methods are any indicator – 4channers and Redditors, create an insulated bubble of toxicity, and let those thoughts ferment. Those aren’t good places for fostering free thought, 4chan especially – an anonymous trainwreck of pretty much every -ism conceivable.

    I sincerely hope all of this inspires him – maybe not in the next few weeks, but sometime in the future – to evaluate the positions he’s taken on many of these topics, to expose himself to as much varied feminist thought as he does MRA diatribe, and then to evaluate which brings the greater good. “Reason over emotion, after all, right?”

    (Side note: this is, of course, at least partially true from another direction. Reed’s methods of thought can be incredibly insular, and being exposed to many different discussions and philosophies can lead to a more thorough evaluation of your own choices. Speaking as someone who came from the deep South, I tend to value Reed more, since there was no way to get any of those discussions or opinions where I was born.)

    • chairman says:

      “an anonymous trainwreck of pretty much every -ism conceivable.”

      This sounds to me, actually, like the PERFECT environment to foster free thought.

      • Cool story, bro. says:

        Bro, have you even been on 4chan? If ever there was a circle-jerk central (to use 4chan’s own verbiage), that’d be it. Free thought? Open exchange of ideas? Lol better not be feminism, or else you’re something in the neighborhood of Satan. Honestly, 4chan/the lesser depths of Reddit are some of the most ‘speech policing’ places on the internet.

        • Really? says:

          You need to defend yourself on 4chan and any place that isn’t huge. Saying shit like ‘The wage gap is real’ you have to prove it and accept that people disagree and will post facts against you. But I mean you probably are used to living in a hugbox :^)

          • Long-time 4-Channer says:

            Hahahahaha…no.
            A few people might post facts (or more commonly “facts”) against you [sic], but the vast majority of responses to anything will be trolling, memes, offensive content only peripherally related to the idea being discussed, and anything else that anyone can come up with to derail the discussion.

            You don’t go to 4-Chan for serious discussion, and you don’t learn how to have a real conversation or debate there. It’s a cesspool, and everyone there *knows* it’s a cesspool and revels in that. that’s the point of it. If you think it is a useful forum for serious ideas of any kind, you are delusional, and everyone else from /a/ on down the list is LAWLing at you.

    • Jeremiah True says:

      4chan is one of the few bastions of Free Speech that remains free to the public.

      • Anon says:

        Sounds like you’re a huge poser. On 4chan each board has it’s own set of unspoken rules, “board culture”.

        Each user is expected to go by those norms and not disrupt the board culture/atmosphere. Even moot said in a recent interview that 4chan has never been about free speech. /b/ in particular is just a bin to contain edgy shitposters. Same with other shit boards like /pol/, /r9k/, and /s4s/. And by the way, all of those boards also have their own set of unspoken rules.

        The key difference between the boards is the tone which is partly set by the rules, but also set by the community of anons who frequent that board. Hence the first unspoken rule of every board is always, “lurk moar”. Users are expected to be familiarized with these rulesets before posting.

        You really just sound like some edgy kid who discovered 4chan last week and are acting out to show how “cool” you are. Please grow up.

    • Robert Riversong says:

      In fact, True was objecting precisely to the “toxic isms” that you seem to defend. When you refer to “MRA diatribes” you only reveal the depth of your own bigotry.

    • David Krueger says:

      As someone who understands the need to remove him, can you explain it to me? I’m trying to withhold judgement, but I have read pretty much everything I can get my hands on about this, and I haven’t heard a single specific example of something that seems to justify it, let alone necessitate it.

  10. Kelly Moore (Reed aunt) says:

    Honest to God, I don’t get what rape-crisis-deniers want.

    We’ve got thousands of women across the country standing up to say they were raped and received no help. We’ve got district attorneys across the country admitting that they just don’t prosecute acquaintance rape, making it a consequence-free crime. We’ve got hundreds of thousands of women raped every year, at a tremendous cost to each of them and to society as a whole.

    I understand what the rape protesters want — they want fewer rapes and a decreased threat of rape for every woman.

    What do the rape deniers want? To preserve the status quo? To maintain men’s sacred right to treat sexuality as a predatory sport, at infinite cost to women (and male rape victims as well)?

    If people are concerned about the due process rights of the men and women accused, then they should address themselves to that. They shouldn’t deny the holocaust of rape occurring here and everywhere. Rape victims have been silenced long enough.

    • No rape crisis says:

      We want people to notice that the ‘rape-crisis’ is a figment, when rape rates have been declining and now everything is becoming rape. (I have seen people want to change sexual assault to rape. Not to mention a lot of people who say there is a rape crisis ignore male rape victims. Or they will say something like male rape victims are not as important as female victims. But I mean your friend totally got raped and when she went to go tell the cops they laughed at her and tell her to leave while saluting the patriarchy.

    • Andy says:

      I agree with you that disbelief of rape victims, especially by part enforcement, is one of the worst things that can happen to a victim, and is a huge part of the problem of rape in society. It is for precisely that reason that we need to take another look at the statistics being presented to people. We always hear the 1 in 4 statistic mentioned in any discussion of rape. In the words of John Oliver talking about something completely unrelated, “That is an unbelievable amount… as in, I literally didn’t believe it.” People hear numbers like this and wonder why, if it’s so prevalent, they’ve never heard anything from family or close friends who have been assaulted. As it turns out, it’s probably because this number is wildly inaccurate. This causes them to, even if subconsciously, think the issue is being sensationalized and take it less seriously. It’s the same reason DARE has been shown to have no significant impact, and sometimes even increases drug use where it’s taught. Incidence of rape has been plummeting for decades, but it’s still far too high–even one rape is too many. If we’re going to be serious about putting forth our best efforts to eliminate it, we need to be honest about it.

      It’s for a different reason I have issues with the term “rape culture.” I certainly won’t deny that it exists, but it’s a very vague concept, which is problematic. I’ve seen it used time and again as a blanket accusation, and as a way to turn a big gray spectrum into a lump of black and white. Doesn’t value consent? Encouraging rape (absolutely!). Kinda sexist? Encouraging rape (???). Disagrees with me in a discussion on gender issues? Encouraging rape (no!). It’s the same kind of injustice as putting public urinators on the same list as child molesters. So this one is more personal… the thought of raping someone literally sickens me, yet I, as a penis-haver, can be lumped in with these scum for voicing an opinion. That just feels bad.

      In conclusion, please don’t take this as support for Mr. True, who sounds like a genuine asshat. I’m not quite sure what a rape-denier is, and I hope I never meet one. The occurrence of rape has been plummeting for decades; let’s keep that trend going!

      • Black Folk says:

        In conclusion, please don’t take this as support for Mr. True, who sounds like a genuine asshat. I’m not quite sure what a rape-denier is, and I hope I never meet one. The occurrence of rape has been plummeting for decades; let’s keep that trend going!

        —-

        Well, well. That ol’ True was right, says Andy, but don’t think I’ll say so. Ya sees, when the black man is wrong, we’ll let him know and right quick. But when the black man is right, is was our idea.

  11. Intrigued says:

    I am disappointed in the other members of his seminar who were apparently not able to produce better arguments against his rather weak ones. I work with rude, opinionated people and hey, welcome to the real world. You don’t get to kick them out of your environment–you deal with them.

    And what’s with the instructor letting things get to this point? If he’s dominating the conversation, moderate the conversation so that others get to speak. Maybe at this point, J doesn’t return to his original seminar since the waters seem so poisoned, but he should be able to transfer to another one.

    • "Real World Guy" says:

      My work environment, in the real world, is awesome. The best thing about it is that rude, opinionated people get fired, so we don’t have any of those. Sorry your management doesn’t do their job, but it looks like Prof. Savery was doing his.

    • David Krueger says:

      Yeah I am having a really hard time understanding Pancho’s actions here. I mean, if the prof is doing their job, I would expect that there would be a clear request to stop behaving disruptively, escalating to a clear demand to do so, escalating to a clear warning of a reasonable consequence (e.g. being removed from the current conference session), a discussion in which a clear set of guidelines for appropriate conference behaviour are laid out, and an attempt to reach a clear understanding of these guidelines before resorting to such a drastic measure as banning a student from the remaining conferences.

  12. Wendell says:

    One may not agree with all of this student’s words, but I’ll defend this student’s right to say whatever he wants. His is a right guaranteed by the 1st amendment. There is no Constitutional right not to be offended.

    • observer says:

      There’s also no right to be in attendance in a college class.

    • Corrector says:

      His right to free speech was not infringed. You do not understand the concept. When you use your right to free speech (which doesn’t even apply here as Reed is a private institution) you are still held accountable.

      A teenager calls his mom a bitch and gets grounded. Infringement on free speech? I think not.

    • Alum says:

      Nope. Reed is a private institution, so no right to free speech applies. Additionally, the right to free speech does not mean you can say whatever you want whenever you want without consequences. There are limitations on it, the classic example being you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Jeremiah’s actions – his words *and* when and how he chose to say them – were disruptive to the learning experience of his peers, so he was removed from the situation.

      • Free speech advocate says:

        You know the “You can’t say fire in a crowded movie theater line” was 1.) never a rule and 2.) was overturned 46 years ago. In fact it was overturned in 1969 in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, where the Supreme Court deemed, and I am going to quote, “…Whitney has been thoroughly discredited by later decisions. See Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494, at 507 (1951). These later decisions have fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Final note, the ‘fire in a movie theater’ line is in relation to the act of sedition. In fact if we never overturned the Sedition Act of 1918 then it would be illegal to criticize the Government and it’s decisions. Which would include protesting. But you know it is okay when you can pick what gets censored.

    • ara says:

      Wendell, the first amendment applies specifically to ‘the people’ v ‘the government’. I know Reed also subscribes to the general spirit of the amendment with regard to class discussion, but as is clear from student accounts, True’s behavior went from simply questioning and providing an alternate viewpoint to harassment. If this happened at a workplace, it would be no different. Except that True is a kid, and he gets an option to finish and complete his course. I hope he learns something about the complexities of ‘freedom’ and oppression, and the sometimes subtle but important implicit heirarchies in any conceptions of ‘freedom’.

      • David Krueger says:

        I have seen allegations of harassment, but I haven’t seen any specific descriptions of what he did that was in fact harassment. What am I missing?

  13. Alumnus 2011 says:

    As an alumnus, class of 2011, and former student senator, I have to say that this student needs to restore control over his flights into utter fantasy provoked by the shock of his dismissal from conference. For his own sake and that of the community, he has to understand that his actions only appeal to an outside extreme conservative fringe that has only hostility to Reed and its values of inquiry and that is despised in turn by the vast majority of students and professors at Reed. The fact that he has come to internalize some of the values of this group is troubling; what is more pathetic is that he believes he can appeal to other Reedies this way.

    Second, True should reflect on his likely social death and the personal consequences for himself and the community of his irresponsible conduct. It is the case that appealing to outside authorities to gain the upper hand in Reed controversies is //always// and has always been a facile and socially suicidal move. Even if he gets reinstated, he has marked himself as someone who cares more about himself than his classmates and the Reed community.

    However, the community should probably try to remember that there are plenty of sociological determinations that inflect this case. 1/ True probably legitimately has felt ostracized as an African-American male at Reed and experiences understandable class resentment towards more affluent caucasian students, and 2/ he might legitimately feel that he has been stereotyped as an ‘aggressive black male’ in this situation. From reading his petition it is evident that he is having fantasies of martyrdom linked to an experience of persecution. There’s no point in trying to decide whether this experience has a rational basis. Further, True is actively descending further into pathological conspiratorial thought (against ‘radical feminism’) in response to his ostracization by the community. The dynamic of this process is in part determined by how the community behaves towards him. I would suggest something more constructive than merely denouncing his behavior.

    • J. Turner, '12 says:

      ^^^ Yes, this. Well put.

    • Black Folk says:

      he has to understand that his actions only appeal to an outside extreme conservative fringe that has only hostility to Reed and its values of inquiry and that is despised in turn by the vast majority of students and professors at Reed.

      The fact that he has come to internalize some of the values of this group is troubling; what is more pathetic is that he believes he can appeal to other Reedies this way.

      True should reflect on his likely social death and the personal consequences

      However, the community should probably try to remember that there are plenty of sociological determinations that inflect this case.

      You tell us, white lady! Damn that True. Stupid, stupid, stupid, but not for the reasons you think. We need to get Brother Al out there.

    • Jeremiah True says:

      I don’t understand why you just assume that I feel ostracized because I’m a black male? I mean, that’s generalizing about an entire subset of individuals.

      • Black Folk says:

        I don’t understand why you just assume that I feel ostracized because I’m a black male? I mean, that’s generalizing about an entire subset of individuals.

        Boy, they generalizing about YOU. And not for bad reason. How many interviewers did you tell to put “nigger” as the first word of the story if they wanted to interview you? If ya ain’t feelin’ ostracized for being a black male, you are doing a damn good job of playing the part.

    • Robert Riversong says:

      “he has to understand that his actions only appeal to an outside extreme conservative fringe that has only hostility to Reed and its values of inquiry”

      How very bigoted of you.

      As one who attended some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation solely for the intellectual experience (and refused the paper chase), and as one who has spent 45 years in the trenches of non-violent social change, I am very impressed with Jeremiah’s willingness to stand for his beliefs and act on his convictions, regardless of personal consequences. It could hardly be more evident that his goal is to improve his own college community and the world at large.

    • David Krueger says:

      “There’s no point in trying to decide whether this experience has a rational basis.”

      – Excuse me? Am I hearing that right?

  14. whatwhatwhat says:

    Jeremiah is problematic = Jeremiah’s views are hurtful, based on misinformation and motivated by a more general desire to cause disorder and distress to others.

    Unfortunately, I sympathized with Jeremiah when the news of this first broke. After reading all of the articles, I cannot disagree with him more. The problem with his ideas is not that they are radical — the problem is that they are harmful and just plain wrong. The piece he wrote (see link below) in which he explicitly states his intention to sue the college and use the money to benefit his family is yet another reason to be critical of Jeremiah. Too bad that Jeremiah was not aware of this, but Reed is not afraid of lawsuits. Reed has contracted lawyers who they consult to assess the possible legal implications of serious disciplinary actions, prior to taking them.

    This is seriously concerning: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qqAwKIZIDoIO099J-5O-Qis0ecu2Qtq2eJG3trVUKRM/mobilebasic?pli=1

    • observer says:

      From said google doc:

      “What if we use the basic framework of my new group to introduce a new movement? What if we called this movement Equalism?”

      Pffffffffffffffttttttttttthahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahaahaaaaaaaaaaaaahahaahahaahaaha. Ha. Ha.

      Oh man. That happened.

  15. Steve Malynn says:

    Kudo’s to the authors for a balanced report of the controversy.

  16. Kalina says:

    I’d send you an email about this, but I’m writing my thesis and don’t have the time to look up your procedure for submitting corrections, so:

    The first sentence should say “set ablaze,” not “sent ablaze”;

    and

    It’s “in protest against” rather than “in protest to.”

    Other than that, thanks for a very informative update on this whole mess!

  17. chairman says:

    This is a brilliant display of hysterical group-think of trend-jumping liberals who have become the dominant voice of so much mainstream media and academia. A lovely case to point to when people say that the idea of “political correctness out of control” is a right wing talking point and ridiculous. This is absolutely political correctness out of control, political correctness as originally defined — by actual leftists used to criticize other leftists who religiously followed the talking points coming out of Moscow. Because here we see it doesn’t matter that this man believes in gender equality, believes in open debate, believes in reasonable discourse — he speaks out against the abstract structures that are IDEOLOGICALLY FORCED to be true like “rape culture” (and ENTIRELY meaningless phrase) and the roundly debunked “1 in 5” statistic and is met with hysteria, shaming and personal attacks.

  18. Nat says:

    Wow you guys would have lynched Socrates. I thought True’s arguments were factual, well reasoned and the responses in the comments section a bunch of ad hominems. College is supposed to challenge you, make you feel uncomfortable and make you think. None of that seems to be in evidence. What does seem to be in evidence is a lot of subtle and not too subtle racism. If you disagree with him how about posting a point by point rebuttal with citations? Reed College: what a fall from grace.

  19. Wells, '10 says:

    Front the little I have read about this whole mess, Mr. True seems somewhere between very dramatic adolescent to adulthood growing pains and a genuine mental health crisis. I do not pretend to know where he is on this spectrum, but there is something clearly very aberrant and anti-social about his behavior. When I was a student at Reed, I felt that there was a great deal of tolerance for a wide variety of … outspoken … individuals of all shapes, colors, creeds and beliefs. That he was expelled from Hum conference in such an environment leads me to believe there is something about his behavior that genuinely disturbs the classroom environment. For this reason, I fully support the school’s collective decision to remove him from the class.

    I would like for Mr. True to be given the latitude to recover from this mistake and to continue his education at Reed provided he can positively contribute to the Reed community. Such is the expectation of every student at Reed – past, present and future.

    However – and what is ignored by those touting the 1st amendment as some form of constitutional protection for his behavior – Reed College is a private school. The campus and grounds are owned by a private entity, which is quite free to determine who is and who is not allowed on their property and under what conditions.

    Regardless of what you think about Mr. True’s opinions and the way he has chosen to express them, it is clear that collectively the students and faculty of Reed College have decided that his actions are toxic to the well-being of his Hum conference. If he continues to be a threat to the well-being of the community at large, it is entirely within their right to expel him from the campus permanently – as they should, in my opinion, if continues to be a corrosive presence at Reed.

    • Black Folk says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I laugh and wonder when that boy ever once figured that Reed College and freedom of ANYTHING were EVER on the same planet?

    • David Krueger says:

      I think a lot of people are in your position: having read little, and making a judgment largely on the basis that the majority is correct. Unfortunately, this reasoning is self-perpetuation, and IMO a cause of many problems in the world.

      While I agree that his being banned from HUM conference certainly suggests (in isolation) that “there is something about his behavior that genuinely disturbs the classroom environment.” I’ve struggled to find any explanation of what that something was.

      Having spent quite a bit of time on it at this point, the lack of specific allegations against him makes me seriously question the justice of the decision, and in my current estimation outweighs the fact that he was banned from conference.

      I’m also surprised that people are not more curious to know the details of the situation. For instance, what specifically did he do that was disruptive, and were there previous failed disciplinary attempts before Pancho took this extreme measure?

    • Mike Peters '80 says:

      Thank you for writing the email I was intending to write.

  20. Concerned Parent says:

    I too am concerned about this young man’s welfare. Let another class bring him in if they are willing. While I disagree with most of what he says, I’m surprised these brilliant Reed kids aren’t delighted to take his lame arguments apart. Isn’t it a little boring when everyone is a liberal (like me).Citing Time magazine, YouTube, really? This guy is a cupcake, don’t let him bully you. The best way to deal with a bully is to nail him between the eyes (with words only, of course).

  21. Heidi W. says:

    As always, Dr. Savery is courageously and gracefully bringing much-needed ethical rigor to Reed. He consistently holds the intellectual and emotional well-being of his students above all else, and has quietly cultivated a pedagogy which is at the heart of Reed’s recent successes in the academy and in the media.

    I hope that the Reed community is showing him the gratitude that he deserves…

    Heidi ’13

  22. Garth says:

    I would suggest that Mr True consider the possibility of studying law or some other academic field that is required to maintain integrity to a relevant curriculum. Essentially, any field where real effort and sacrifice will be required and people more interested in spending time in an echo chamber rather than broadening their horizons won’t make it past the first week.

    Clearly the guy has intelligence and it’s being wasted in this supposed place of ‘learning’.

  23. Michael Nelken BA'60 says:

    Coming from a prior Reed class, I am astonished that anyone could be voted out of Hum conference for anything whatever that he/she said. What has become of rebuttal, counter-argument and disagreement, my old friends? Absent physical violence, shouting or time-hogging filibuster, how can any scholar, young or employed, choose to shut off and avoid disagreement? Of course, in the good old days we simply did not allow blacks at Reed. Solved the problem.

    • Black Folk says:

      You didn’t have blacks but you didn’t have them white “feminists” either. You got to eat what ya caught. Now the colleges are full of girl girls who don’t like yer gonads to start with, and demand ya hand ’em over for the duration. I bet ya wouldn’t last a week there now.

  24. Black Folk says:

    God or the probability tables only know why I stumbled into this manure pile, but here I am laughing at everyone. But this is America, getting more so every year. So the rest of laugh hardest at the rich. Who would they be? I looked up Reed College’s tuition and costs. Hell, that be you!

    Toss him out! Teach the other 25 you’ve got all about what white rich girls and the rich white boys chasing ’em care about. Rape culture. Got it.

  25. Any Mouse says:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qqAwKIZIDoIO099J-5O-Qis0ecu2Qtq2eJG3trVUKRM/edit?overridemobile=true#

    The end of this document, “Would you join me in creating a new Reed? Will you fight with me to get my idea up and running?” sounds eerily like the unabomber manifesto.

    My main worry, is that Jeremiah might put his or other students’ safety in jeopardy. A lot of his statements and ultimatums seem like warning signs to watch out for. such as the closing to the “A New idea for Universities” document, “(tomorrow?)”. As well as his comment “I will sacrifice everything for you. … I do not want to be a martyr, but I will do that if that is what is necessary to make a statement.” it sounds as though there are more issues at hand, than just getting booted out of class.

    There’s some sort of martyr-complex going on, and maybe other things at play too.

    I would highly suggest the CSO’s to keep a watchful eye on this student. I would hate for him to put himself or anyone else at the school in any danger.

  26. Lew Traveler says:

    How disappointing.
    What could have been a learning experience and a triumph over a potentially disruptive person by the efforts of a group has been turned into a reinforcement of weakness.
    Don’t agree with him. Show him where he is wrong, don’t run away and reinforce both his beliefs and your own inability to function in the real world.
    This is not a good advertisement for Reed or their students.

  27. shaka says:

    Reed College is full of rich privileged kids who can’t handle anything real. Grow up kids. It’s a cold word, put your jackets on.

  28. Welcome to the Real World says:

    People who do things like this get fired fast. Very openly opinionated people don’t stay at jobs long. This isn’t reddit where everything is a circle jerk, it is a college class which the main goal of it is to prepare you for a high paying job.

    • Kalina says:

      That is definitely not the main goal of Hum 110…?

      Honestly, why are people who have nothing to do with Reed commenting on this article?

      • ändivan reid mullein says:

        It probably has something to do with the national media coverage afforded to a 19-year-old of notable intellect and equally questionable judgement decrying the (perceived or real—it doesn’t matter) injustices he’s suffered as a college freshman while struggling to navigate barriers to access and equity within a private liberal arts institution. You know—kinda like the inequity and debasement endured when one’s peers unabashedly propagate that just because you weren’t penetrated during a sexual assault, you weren’t susceptible to “violent intrusion and brutal, psychological damage.” I mean, after all, it’s not as if these are “crimes which women feel afraid to report because they fear backlash and victim blaming.”

        It could also be the public fascination and temporary infamy ascribed to anyone exhibiting an unmitigated willingness to throw themselves upon a burning pyre of social media, narcissism, and oppositional defiance. Welcome to the internet, everyone.

        Speaking directly to Mr.True, you’re obviously a smart kid; but you’re 19 years old—and it shows. You’re simply not done forming your fundamental opinions at this juncture—which isn’t to say you, like your peers, aren’t already a fully realized individual. This statement is not discrediting or minimizing your current and former experiences, discounting your individuality, or invalidating your identity. New experiences will continue to contribute to your capacity to gain further depth and understanding in the upcoming years. I don’t know what that will look like for you, and I won’t presume to know. Undoubtedly, you possess moxie (as evidenced in your letter to faculty), internet savvy, academic prowess, and a steadfast penchant to explore unpopular perspectives. These are undeniably formidable attributes. My hope for you and your capable mind is that you continue to develop and grow in the manner that promotes the greatest advancement of your intellect while nurturing your capacity for empathy. In tandem—these traits serve to help you effectively communicate meaningful views without undue polarization… Just because you’ve identified a data-driven, compelling argument doesn’t mean you’ve crafted an approach that empowers others to see your point of view. I wish you the best.

        • Robert Riversong says:

          “effectively communicate meaningful views without undue polarization”

          I must assume you also objected to the lunch counter sit-ins, the freedom rides, the Selma march, the draft card burnings, the pouring of priest’s own blood on draft records – all of which created extreme polarization to the point of provoking a violent response – and changed the world for the better.

    • Melinda Moore says:

      I’m in the investment world…so not true that very opinionated or obnoxious people get fired.

    • Robert Riversong says:

      “it is a college class which the main goal of it is to prepare you for a high paying job.”

      If you confuse liberal education with vocational training, you shouldn’t be in college.

      • Black Folk says:

        O.K., come to Jesus time. If a college degree wasn’t the entry ticket to what’s left of the middle class, how many people would bother? Mr. True made a big mistake. He actually believes that Reed or any other college is about education or free debate or discovery of anything.

        It ain’t about any of that, and it’s time someone told the boy the facts of life. White folks are good about the facts of life, because they pretty much got all the money and when you got the money the facts of life are what you say they are.

        Come on, True. Get with it, boy. You’re not there for an education, you’re there for a diploma.

  29. Robert Riversong says:

    “Freedom feminism is not feminism,” she says. “Feminism is an understanding of the structures that oppress women and female-presenting people, and a belief that those structures should be dismantled. Freedom feminism is a soft term for a sub-category of men’s rights activism. Moreover, the existence of rape culture is indisputable. There is never any excuse for undermining the lived experience of survivors: academic, statistic, I don’t care. It’s inexcusable.” – “Kate Hilts ’16

    This is precisely the sort of mythological propaganda that True correctly objects to.

    One of the many willfully dismissive codewords of the Victim Feminism community for any critique of their ideological certainties, is MRA (men’s rights activist), but what True refers to as “freedom feminism” is similar to what many of the most thoughtful feminist academics refer to as “equity feminism”, which supports equal rights rather than angelizing women,demonizing men and demanding paternalistic government protection for helpless women “victims” (who are often little more than victims of their own gullibility and carefully nurtured hypersensitivity).

  30. […] Quest, the college’s student newspaper, also reported that True was known for his behavior and upset students throughout the entire course with his […]

  31. Chuk says:

    The teacher is unable to moderate discussion with someone who disagrees? Threw him out because of bad feels? Ignored the will of the founding fathers and restricted his speech (I am NOT saying he have the right to it, rather, that he should have the right to it, especially in an educational environment). Some of my best friends are opposed to my views. Instead of shunning, let’s make him prove his point. Or maybe, possibly, entertain the idea that we ourselves are wrong.

  32. Robert Riversong says:

    I spent considerable time yesterday, commenting and replying to comments here, but see that every one of my posts has been removed.

    Nice to know that dissident voices are censored at every level of life at Reed.

    • Richard Sympson says:

      That would certainly be a problem if it wasn’t for the hitch where your posts are still up for all to see.

      • Robert Riversong says:

        I had to delete the cookies from this site which apparently blocked my comments from appearing on the screen whenever I returned here.

        No other website blocks one’s own comments from appearing in this manner.

        • Bwahahahaha says:

          It’s a leftist plot!

          Most of us had the same issue, but tried to figure it out first before crying censorship.

          • Robert Riversong says:

            Tried to figure it out? I DID figure it out.

            But I comment on hundreds, if not thousands of sites and no other site creates this problem.

            Given that every comment here is moderated and the site uses a rather strict set of approval criterion, my conclusion was perfectly appropriate.

            Sorry if you don’t have the intelligence to comprehend that.

        • Robert Riversong says:

          This is a consistent problem here. I had to remove the “comment_author” cookie from my Firefox browser again to be able to see my new comments.

          • Aaron Grossman says:

            Robert, its truely a shame yor posts was censored. Across the pond in the UK we beleive its just moraly wrong to just go rite ahead and delete civel disagreein coments just cause they is agianst the point of vew of the blokes at Reed who are writtin this. Reed is known for being all for free speech an all but its not, and horendously too! They is acting in such a litrally bad way that you see yor coments just dissapearing from thier “independant” paper. Who realy knows if theyl delete this too. Aint it seriusly abserd. Good luck to ya mate.

  33. […] was left to a student paper to contact some of the other students for information about what actually […]

  34. Concerned Parent says:

    Mr True, I believe in your right to speech and I agree your politically incorrect topics merit discussion. Your tactics and strategy to get kicked out of class and ultimately Reed (your obvious end game) will only make you a flash in the pan, soon forgotten – not the springboard you hope for. I urge you to be patient about reaching your goals of raising awareness to men at risk, back off your false appearance of aggression and welcome your misguidedly frightened dorm mates back. Return to classes where you are still welcome and show the haters they are wrong about you. Mend broken relationships. Apologizing costs nothing. You know deep down Pancho is a good guy and does not have the power to kick you out alone. Eat again. Slow and steady wins the race. You need to take care of yourself. I pray for you and care for you. Please hang in there, you have a potential for a great future. God bless you and keep you safe, my friend.

    • Black Folk says:

      Damn right, Mr. True, you go apologize to them white people and sing ’em some Camptown Races just to show ’em ya mean it.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        Dr Mr Folk, Let me get this straight: If I expect Mr True to show some class, to use his smarts to lead the way to reconciliation with Administration without compromising his principles and objectives, and use his savvy to get the most out of a Reed education, then you think that I’m a flaming racist. But if I expect Mr True only to continue stewing alone in his room, and refusing to go to class, not taking care of his health (?), acting in a disturbing way that is scaring his dorm mates away from their dorm (?), then I am good little white boy? I suggest you watch Mr True’s Pod Aweful podcast if all you think he can do is grunt threateningly at this point. Watch and see he’s clearly a bright guy who at this point is unfortunately painting himself into a corner unnecessarily. Given your definition, I’d prefer to be the “racist” you claim I am as I believe Mr True is a smart, shrewd man who can really succeed in his life with some patience and strategic thinking. I think he can get on track and still be an activist. I am still very worried about him and the path he is taking. If you think I’m patronizing then I say “bingo!” as I am indeed a father and I do indeed care for Mr True – he is a very smart man who can go places. Read the transcript of the Humanities takeover if you want to see how sharp and awesome Mr True can be and stay within the rules of civil discussion and WIN. Peace to you and may God bless you.

        • Black Folk says:

          They wrote a song about that Reed College, ya know.

        • InsideObserver says:

          Concerned Parent, your points hold credit. I’m not sure why Mr. Folk, as you called them, are pulling the race card and deters from the issue at hand.

          I can assure you that Mr. True is taking care of himself. The antics were a way to cause everyone to look his way and prove that this is how a disruptive student may act, still within the guidelines of the school I will also add, if he was already being punished for it before he actually did act disruptively.

          He had the uppermost respect for Dr. Savery, and Dr. Savery and Reed commended Jeremiah as their student. Everything was going smoothly for Mr. True’s future at the school. Then the professor essentially stabbed Mr. True in the back. If Dr. Savery had admitted he did not follow school policies and apologized and allowed Jeremiah back in conference, all would have been fine. But he chose to cater to feeling rather than academia. The professor, some students, and the school are now gaslighting and demonizing Mr. True to try to turn this in their favor since he made it a very public issue. It’s rather despicable. So he continues to push back rather than shut up like the students from his conference wanted him to to begin with.

          Professor Savery should have been held accountable to those students as it is his responsibility for the discussion, not Mr. True.

    • Robert Riversong says:

      “Your tactics and strategy to get kicked out of class and ultimately Reed (your obvious end game)…”

      That must explain why, in his Change(dot)org petition, True stated that “I love my college. I love my education.” and why he wrote in his rambling piece “A New Idea for Universities” that “I want to use my suffering as a catalyst for campus-wide reform…in order to make this school safer and more inclusive for all students, not simply gender/race police and quiet people who are afraid to speak.”

      It’s fascinating how many people impose their own biases and distorted perceptions onto Jeremiah’s behavior and intent.

    • Wes says:

      Well said. Mr. True is clearly feeling overwhelmed by his exclusion from class, chest-thumping braggadacio notwithstanding. He makes some worthwhile points, and Professor Savery’s email, along with many of the comments of his fellow students, make clear that Mr. True’s opinions were the basis of his exclusion. Perhaps the classroom environment had become contentious, but was this soley the fault of Mr. True, or did other students, with equally strong opinions, contribute to the rancor? It seems to me that he may have been excluded because it was easier to target the “rape culture” denier rather than the alleged victims of sexual assault, even though all may have been equally at fault in disrupting the educational environment.
      Mr. True needs to calm down and start taking the high road. He should apologize for his over the top antics, while sticking to his guns that he was unfairly banned from his class.

  35. Robert Riversong says:

    I have published a perspective on this controversy that others might find instructive, including the story of another very similar incident at Reed which Pancho Savery resolved much more constructively.

    Illiberalism & Hypocrisy on America’s Campuses

    • Robert Riversong says:

      I’ve added an Afterword to the essay in the link above, showing my email correspondence with Pancho Savery, and his avoidance of addressing the issue transparently.

      • J. Turner, '12 says:

        Or he has better things to do than respond to every random person crawling out from whatever corners of the country with too much free time and self-importance, and more opinions than tempered reflection.

        Anyways have fun rabble-rousing. This thread fizzled out a while ago, if you and the handful of trollers and stragglers hadn’t noticed.

        • Robert Riversong says:

          Nice to know that you care nothing whatsoever about the truth of this incident, and can’t differentiate between “tempered reflection” such as mine and the kind of trolling you’re prone to.

          Evidently, your education at Reed didn’t serve you well at all.

  36. Tommy Swiss says:

    Whether this guy needs “help” or not is totally irrelevant. The school has failed to explain how “… harassment is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the victims of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school.” (Davis V. Monroe County Board of Education, 1999.) ”

    This is a high bar that the Supreme Court has placed on cases such as this. Simply making people feel “uncomfortable” , does not reach that threshold. Reed College should cease this madness immediately, reinstate Mr. True, and make a public apology while criticizing Pancho’s activist behavior.

    e-mail Pancho @ saveryp@reed.edu (its public record) and explain to him as I have that United States Citizens cannot accept restrictions on speech just because it doesn’t “sound good.”

    • Robert Riversong says:

      Davis v. Monroe applied to a public school board, as a governmental agency. It does not apply to a professor at a private college.

      However, the principle should be part of any school’s faculty policies, and expulsion from class should be allowed only in the most extremely problematic cases.

      There’s been no evidence presented that indicates True’s behavior rose to that level, and the email to him from Savery refered ONLY to the content of his comments and the fact that the content of his comments made other students uncomfortable (Savery, of course, now denies that was the reason).

  37. MATTHEWALLENTHORNTON says:

    As a sex abuse survivor I want to say that I think Pancho’s reaction was over the top and deconstructive. I’m glad people like true exist to challenge the sheepole. I would also be disturbed by such a touchy subject and would be upset if someone tried to de value the violence that was acted out towards me. In reading Trues letter I do not think this was his intent. The knee jerk reaction that was displayed is wrong. True should be allowed to speak his mind. The people in this conference that feel uncomfortable with this should use it as an opportunity to grow, heal and stretch beyond the wounds they have incurred. I don’t think were doing enough to address sex abuse in our culture but i think the responsibility hangs on the heads of men to encourage each other in healthy sexual expression and frankly ridicule and belittle the sex industry and exploitation of women. Free speech is more valuable than me feeling good. I protect it over my own feelings of shame and outrage around shitty incidents.

    • Black Folk says:

      Courageous people know that there’s no freedom or learning or understanding without risk and “disruption.” I don’t know exactly what they’re running at Reed, but they’ve got no right to call that nursery school a “college,” that’s for damn sure.

  38. Robert Riversong says:

    Jeremiah gives an excellent 38-minute interview with Charles C. Johnson, published on YouTube, in which he explains, with clarity and even erudition, what really happened in his Hum 110 conference, why he made what was perceive as “bizarre” demands of journalists, and why he is engaging in his activist shake up of what he sees as a too complacent college community which has violated its own policies and principles.

  39. WotansSohn says:

    I just had a brain storm… Apparently anyone who disagrees with the existence of rape culture and the 1 in 5 number is a backwards bigot who can’t read simple facts. Well I was a nearly raped and murdered by a black male. I have been assaulted by black males. I’ve had my public education ruined by black males. I know numerous people who have been harassed by black males on college campuses (unsafe learning environment). I know the statistics, even though they’ve been padded, say blacks commit violence at rates higher than any other ethnic group. So are you a “black-violence denier” and backwards like the “rape culture denier”?
    The irony is that the people who scream statistics about rape will accuse you of being a racist if you use statistics to prove that the Blacklivesmatter narrative is bs.

    I wasn’t privileged enough to attend a private college.

  40. Alex says:

    I won’t be surprised if the number of applications for 2016 entry increases.

  41. Robert Riversong says:

    I’ve added a PostScript to my essay, href=”https://riversong.wordpress.com/illiberalism-hypocrisy-on-americas-campuses/”>Illiberalism & Hypocrisy on America’s Campuses.

    The Larger Picture – Speech Codes on American Campuses from Greg Lukianoff, the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate (2014)

    Greg Lukianoff is an attorney and president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and a graduate of American University and Stanford Law School.

    FIRE has found that 65% of the 392 top colleges in the country – both public and private – maintain “red light speech codes”.

    Only 35.6% of students – and 18.5% of faculty and staff – strongly agreed that it was “safe to hold unpopular positions on campus”.

    Click the link to read the rest of his thoughts on this subject.

  42. Scott Free says:

    Here is an example of what is happening at PSU also in Portland. Very scary stuff.

  43. Interested Third Party says:

    Although the flash-in-the-pan interest in this incredibly important issue appears to have dwindled (perhaps in the face of more simplistic “Clickbait” ?)– the very serious questions around what Reed tells prospective students and their parents about itself, and what it actually is, will continue for a long time.
    Here is a link to a piece written by Jeremiah True, somewhere around April 8th, 2015 (?)

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X8ixf29QjgAJLoNAO38gSc0hHHrGTYs6fsNe3SvEbKo/edit

    — To my dismay, I cannot dispute it. It stands up to scrutiny when compared to a dissection and analysis of everything else written about the troubling case around Jeremiah True.

    My perception is this: A small number of individuals, mostly female, on the Reed campus, have taken a serious issue, that of the victimization of Women, and twisted it and used it to justify their own dishonorable behaviours. They have used it in this case to justify the character assassination of a fellow Reed student. They have apparently used it to bully fellow students into a shared smear campaign against him. Riding the current wave of “Sexual Assault” witchhunting, they appear to have railroaded Professor Savery into going against every one of his publicly stated principles around free speech. They have worked to create an environment which is the antithesis of everything which Reed College says it upholds. They have sought to shut down reason and reasoned debate, and they appear to have largely succeeded. From the notorious Hum 110 lecture/Protest of Nov. 2014 to the destruction and expulsion of Jeremiah True, they have done to another, that which they cry to the world that they have suffered and seek to redress. And perhaps the greatest crime — is that they have somehow managed to make a great university complicit in their crime of injustice, against not just one student, but against its very ideals. And they show no shame.
    I have a student who was set to attend Reed, because of what we believed it was and what it stood for. The feeble response of college administration to this crises, has shocked me as I have watched this situation evolve. My student, like Jeremiah, rails against injustice. She chose Reed because she believed that it sought truth and would help her learn to struggle against true injustice. I struggle now to make sense of the effort. Yes she is a female. But how can she be safe? She has witnessed first hand in her life the bitter vindictiveness, deception and self-righteous cruelty that some females are capable of. Will she be safe on a campus that has rendered its primary ideals meaningless? Double-speak is the hallmark of Oppression, of Totalitarianism… and it is perhaps the most insidious and soul-crushing form of violence there is. Because it alone does no outward harm, it is not “Violent” in the classic sense… but what it does to the minds of a populace…
    I desperately wish to see proof that Reed does not make one student feel safe by making others live in fear. Where do I go to find that proof? College President John Kroeger appears to be silent on this pivotal issue. Pancho Savery , a man of words, has been notable by his relative silence — except for a few statements that appear to gravely contradict themselves, and some whining about e-mails that vilify him for throwing his student under the bus. Even the college paper appears to have chosen sides rather than truth, taking at face value a unanimous verdict and overlooking its duty as the Fourth Estate.
    Yes, Jeremiah True appears to have acted like an ass, when perhaps he had nothing else to lose. But he has also acted as the poster-child for the type of student that Reed College and Pancho Savery blatantly advertises for. And that is a fact.

  44. J. Turner, '12 says:

    There you go, guys. Anything else to say about this matter and “unfounded character assassination”?

    Jeremiah True arrested for sex abuse.

    http://www.kptv.com/story/28835442/court-docs-reed-college-student-arrested-for-sex-abuse

    • Robert Riversong says:

      If you’re trying to offer a perfect example of “unfounded character assassination”, you’ve done an excellent job.

      From your link:

      According to court documents, police say the teenage girls were practicing at Normandale Park when he walked up to one of them “and made physical contact with her by caressing her hair and arm.”

      • J. Turner, '12 says:

        Yes, I too can read.

        You have multiple times in this comment thread accused someone of making assumptions or over-drawing conclusions while simultaneously extrapolating content from their statements beyond what the statements themselves contain. I’m pretty sure you’re unaware that you’re doing this.

        No, he didn’t rape someone. Yes, he touched an underage girl he didn’t know without consent. No, he didn’t “fondle” her. And accordingly he was arrested for a misdemeanor, not a felony.

        What’s your damn point?

        • Robert Riversong says:

          My point could not be more clear: that you are engaged in precisely the “extrapolation” or willful misrepresentations that you accuse me of, and in which I have never engaged.

          • J. Turner, '12 says:

            Uh, right—no, I was asking what your point in quoting the article was, what you thought that was supposed to substantiate. As to the rest of that, whatever, not really my job or interest to explain your own phrasing back to you.

          • Robert Riversong says:

            Clearly, it’s you “job” to engage in intellectual dishonesty and unsubstantiated character assassination.

            Is this what you got form your Reed education?

          • J. Turner, '12 says:

            You are a funny little man.

            I don’t really see the value in explaining anything to you.

          • Robert Riversong says:

            What you mean to say is that you’re incapable of engaging in intellectually honest, rational discourse and prefer moronic and malicious TROLLING.

          • J. Turner, '12 says:

            Sure, that, whichever. I was just aiming to post a link, beyond that I don’t care about discoursing with you, no. Your posts are ill-articulated and rapidly devolve into insinuations about personal character and merit thinly veiled as critiques of intellectual content. That’s not worth my time to seriously engage with.

          • Robert Riversong says:

            And yet you’re compulsively incapable of ceasing to respond, even if you manage nothing but digging yourself deeper into a hole of intellectual incompetence, dishonesty and pernicious projection of your own quite evident failings.

          • J. Turner, '12 says:

            “Your replies are becoming less and less about perpetuating intelligent debate and more and more about telling me how ignorant I am and how I’m just spewing socialized beliefs. I can’t fight someone who believes their opinions are fact and I will not argue with someone who hypocritically spews their own opinionated views as indisputable fact.”

          • Robert Riversong says:

            As already noted, you are incapable of anything even approximating rational argument, and are a complete and utter fraud.

          • J. Turner, '12 says:

            “There is a generalized misperception in these modern, “post-prophetic” days about what it means to be a prophet. The most common misunderstanding is that it displays some kind of arrogance to label oneself a “prophet”. But nothing could be further from the truth.

            One does not decide to become a prophet, as one might choose to take on a profession. One is given the role by the Spirit of the Universe, and can choose only to accept it in humility or to reject one’s destiny. The calling often comes in the midst of some sort of Vision Quest, as it did in my case. And to accept the role of seeing and describing what most cannot see, are afraid to confront, and spend their lives in hiding from, is to accept being an outcast. As it has been said, a prophet is never welcome in his own time.

            But I was also born into a prophetic tradition. My direct lineal ancestor, Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin (in what is now Poland but was then part of Bohemia), also known as the Choseh (seer or visionary) of Lublin (1745-1815), is considered to be among the greatest of Hebrew prophets, on par with the biblical Isaiah. And I have always accepted my destiny regardless of the personal cost.”

            *slow clap*

          • Robert Riversong says:

            Thus you have proved that quoting out of context for the purpose of character assassination is your one and only strength and purpose in life.

  45. J. Turner, '12 says:

    All day erry day.

  46. Craig says:

    I found out about this by listening to a youtube channel. One with an emphasis on poking fun at silly progressives and social justice warriors. Then I saw the article he was reading from, to my horror I saw “Reed College”.

    I knew the school had a very progressive student body. But I didn’t think the college would stoop to installing independent thought alarms.

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