Some Colleges Now Requiring Students to Give Details of Their Sexual History to Register for Classes
“This course is mandatory…If you do not complete the training by this date you will receive a registration hold until the training is complete.”
This is done in a roundabout way through mandatory Title IX training, but the end result is the same.
Hans Bader writes at Minding the Campus:
College Students Required to Detail Sexual History Before Registering for Classes
Colleges are increasingly demanding that students disclose details of their private lives in Title IX training. For example, Campus Reform reported that a “mandatory online course at the University of Southern California (USC) asks students to disclose the number of sexual encounters they have had over the past three months” as part of its “Title IX training.” This might well violate students’ rights under state law to privacy or freedom from compelled speech.
A college email told students they must complete the Title IX training in order to register for courses. “This course is mandatory…If you do not complete the training by this date you will receive a registration hold until the training is complete.” Some students at USC found the training too intrusive. “It was just full of super personal questions,” Jacob Ellenhorn, a student at USC, told Campus Reform.
A federal appeals court allowed a woman to sue for constitutional privacy violations over questions that required her to discuss her home life, in Robinson v. Reed (1978). She sued over a race-relations seminar that delved into “attendees’ personal, private, and off-duty lives.” The court explained that the “government may not require an individual to relinquish rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as a condition of public employment. Inquiries into personal beliefs and associational choices come within this protection.” Similarly, that appeals court ruled that people can sue over disclosure of the “most private details” of their life, in Fadjo v. Coon (1981).
The University of Southern California is a private university, not the government. But students have been subjected to similarly intrusive questionnaires at state universities, which are bound by the federal Constitution, including its free-speech and privacy guarantees, because state universities are considered arms of the government. The Supreme Court has made that clear over and over again.
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