Ohio student who got F for using 'biological women' speaks out as university waffles with prof's punishment

Melanie Rose Nipper received a formal reprimand, which was later rescinded by the University of Cincinnati, after she gave Olivia Krolczyk a zero for using 'biological women' in an assignment.

Krolczyk told Campus Reform that the failing grade only encouraged her to speak her opinions.

Olivia Krolczyk, a University of Cincinnati student who received a failing grade for using the term “biological women” in an assignment, told Campus Reform in a July 10 interview that the grade only encouraged her “to continue to speak my opinion because I am going to call out professors who continue to do this to me and other students and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

This comes as Melanie Rose Nipper, the professor who failed Krolczyk, was given a formal reprimand last month by the university for violating Krolczyk’s free speech rights.

As part of the reprimand, given on June 14, Nipper will have to undergo training regarding the university’s free speech policies and submit her syllabi for approval from her department head, which is not automatically required by the university.

Nipper, during an interview with the The Cincinnati Enquirer on June 9, said she was notified by the Office of Gender Equity and Inclusion that Krolczyk made a formal complaint that Nipper had violated the university’s freedom of speech policy.

[RELATED: ‘Anyone who takes my class automatically gets an A,’ former university lecturer states]

“It is for the University’s individual students and faculty to make judgments about ideas for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress free speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose,” the policy says.

The Cincinnati Enquirer then reported that Melanie Rose Nipper’s reprimand will be removed from her personnel file. However, Nipper is still required to complete free speech policy training and submit her syllabus to her department head for approval.

Krolczyk blasted the decision in a statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “UC is affirming that professors will have no consequences for failing students with dissenting opinions… they will not uphold a student’s rights to free speech and will take no action to ensure that the educators hired are acting in a professional manner,” Krolczyk said.

Nipper is an adjunct professor at the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Cincinnati and has worked at the university since 2021. The class where she gave Krolczyk a zero was Gender in Pop Culture.

Nipper appealed the decision on June 19. “I believe that my restrictions on harmful language were justified in this case, as they were necessary to create a safe learning environment and to ensure that the student fully understood the course material and could create a final project without any epistemological barriers,” Nipper wrote.

Nipper called the term “outdated terminology,” during the interview, noting that similar instances of students using such terminology have occurred in the past and needed correcting.

The classroom provides a forum for debate until “you are, intentionally or unintentionally, participating in a systemic harm of some kind,” Nipper said.

[RELATED: ASU professor calls traditional grading racist, suggests ‘labor-based grading’ instead]

Using terms such as “biological women” is “unacceptable based on the community, the marginalized individuals that are at stake, and also the foundations of the course,” Nipper continued.

Krolczyk first detailed the incident with Nipper in a TikTok video in late May and in an interview with The New York Post in June.

Nipper confirmed Krolczyk’s version of events in her interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer.