Fordham RAs reduced to tears by PragerU video on campus rape

Anthony Gockowski
Investigative Reporter

  • Fordham University has launched an investigation after students were reduced to tears by the screening of a PragerU video during a Resident Assistant (RA) training on sexual assault.
  • The film was shown as an example of the conservative perspective on campus sexual assault, and was juxtaposed with a trailer for "The Hunting Ground," a documentary presented as an example of liberal views on the issue.
  • Some RAs were apparently upset by PragerU video's claim that there is “no evidence that rape is a cultural norm” on college campuses, as well as "the depiction of the experiences of victims as a ‘left-leaning political agenda.’”
  • Fordham University has launched an investigation after students were reduced to tears by the screening of a PragerU video during a Resident Assistant (RA) training on sexual assault.

    In an effort to provide “political context” for the issue, Dean Christopher Rodgers showed two separate videos pertaining to sexual assault, the first of which was a trailer for a documentary called “The Hunting Ground,” while the second was a PragerU video disputing the “1-in-5” statistic commonly cited as evidence of a campus rape epidemic.

    "During this video, many more RAs left the room—many of them women. Some were in tears."   

    According to a statement from RA Rowan Hornbeck, who was in attendance during the training, Rodgers was simply attempting to “show examples from the right and from the left that influence students’ perceptions of sexual violence on campus.”

    [RELATED: UCLA profs try to stop Prager from conducting symphony]

    As a result, The Fordham Ram now reports that the school’s Department of Public Safety and Title IX Coordinator Anastasia Coleman have launched an investigation into the matter.

    In her statement on the training, Hornbeck notes that many students “were in tears” after the PragerU video, upset by its claim that there is “no evidence that rape is a cultural norm” on college campuses.

    “During this video, many more RAs left the room—many of them women. Some were in tears,” Hornbeck writes, noting that she was “shaking” after the video finished playing.

    Hornbeck goes on to bemoan the fact that the same PragerU video was shown during a “Resident Director Training a few weeks prior,” with “many RDs” raising “concerns about this video being upsetting to RAs.”

    [RELATED: Profs say critics of ‘1-in-5’ statistic are ‘confused’]

    “One female RA informed me that once the video started playing, her RD said ‘I can’t believe they’re actually playing this, I’m so sorry,’ and another RD left the room because they could not stand to sit through the video again,” Hornbeck continues, noting that “numerous RDs” asked that the video not be “shown to the RAs,” but Rodgers “chose to show it without any type of warning anyway.”

    Declaring that “‘political context’ has no place in discussions about sexual violence,” she takes particular issue with “characterizing the depiction of the experiences of victims as a ‘left-leaning political agenda,’” calling it “demeaning, invalidating, and extremely inappropriate.”

    Adding that the episode “shows a complete disregard for the feelings and emotional well-being of the [RAs] present,” she concludes that Rodgers “is not fit to hold his position as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator” because “no one who undermines victims’ experiences and disregards the emotional wellbeing of students should hold any administrative position at this Jesuit institution.”

    Campus Reform reached out to the university for a statement on the matter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski



    Anthony Gockowski

    Anthony Gockowski

    Investigative Reporter

    Anthony Gockowski is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. He has previously worked for The Daily Caller, Intercollegiate Review, and The Catholic Spirit.

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