KSUM Gathering More Food for Feed the Future

KSUM Members standing over part of their contribution to the Feed the Future program
KSUM Members standing over part of their contribution to the Feed the Future program

KSUM has been stockpiling food to donate to the Feed the Future program on KSU. If you want to be a part of the upcoming effort to raise awareness of homelessness, please bring some of the items needed by the KSU C.A.R.E. center to a meeting.

Remember that the donations are not tax-deductible, and no expired food will be accepted. There is perfectly good food in many pantries that no one eats, and would be better used making a homeless person’s dark day a little bit brighter.

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Deadline to RSVP for KSUM Conference

Hey folks, Sage here. God, conferences are hard work.

Since the KSUM conference is free, one does not technically have to RSVP to show up and mingle. However, NOT RSVPing is a bad idea, and it makes things harder for both Kennesaw State University and KSU Men.

For example, I will be looking at the number of people who RSVP’d and using that figure to order food. If you did not RSVP, there will not be enough food for you because I didn’t know you were coming.

KSU also uses RSVP figures for their own purposes, and they need to know a solid number soon. For that reason, the deadline to RSVP for Male Students in Peril is October 18th, 2014. This is exactly two weeks before the conference.

If you miss the deadline, you can still attend, but your experience will not be as good as it should be because your attendance would go over the capacity for which we prepared. If you want the full experience, RSVP, RSVP, RSVP. It can be done in seconds.

Thank you for your attention, and have a great day.

RAD was Never for Men

Hey all, this is Sage. I’ve been auditing the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Systems implementation on Kennesaw State University (KSU) since January.

On July 1, 5:00 p.m. EST, I attended Resisting Aggression with Defense for Men (RFM). RFM is a men’s self-defense program implemented at KSU in 2012, ten years after its women-only counterpart. RFM took place in the University Room of the James Carmichael Student Center, which is where the upcoming KSUM conference will be held. Three cops were in attendance, plus four men, including myself and the KSUM Secretary. The cops were not the best teachers, but they were professional and kind as individuals.

I cannot say much about the presentations because RFM was cancelled after the second class had met but before that same class had ended. RAD Systems requires at least four participants, so they pulled the plug when only two people attended the second meeting (including myself). Not even KSUM’s Secretary returned due to his disgust with the content.

Trudi Vaughan, Georgia State Director of RAD, and a trainer at KSU (complete with a shady history), served as a contact for several unproductive months. I was prompted to investigate RFM after I read Vaughan’s statements about RFM in The Sentinel (KSU’s paper):

[RFM] focuses a lot on what your responsibilities are as a man. […] When women say ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean ‘no until you talk me into it’; it means no. […] Typically males are raised to always stand up and fight. […] The whole educational aspect of this is letting them know that it’s okay to make a better choice, a better decision.

Non-Normative Anti-Assimilationists pressured KSU to install RFM, but this does not mean RAD Systems was interested in helping men. The founder, Lawrence Nadeau, wrote the following introduction in the RFM manual:

In all honesty, this program would not exist if it did not benefit the R.A.D. programs for Women. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has clearly stated that institutions offering R.A.D. programs for women must have a like offering for men. So to continue meeting the needs of women at educational institutions, we as an organization must address the safety needs of men attending those same institutions. This high quality program will in my opinion, never reach the lofty status that the R.A.D. programs for Women have, but it will, simply by existing, perpetuate the growth of our network and it’s destiny driven programming for women.

The founder says to men that RAD for Men is for women, and that RFM’s existence is obligatory, given a statement by the OCR.

To be fair, there are two positive aspects to the RFM manual.

One, it states that violence is not just a women’s problem by making solid references to male victimization.

RAD-for-Men-Violence-is-not-just-a-womens-problem-1024x612

 

Two, it has a gender-neutral definition of rape, assuming you do not care about the order in which the words her and his appear (I personally don’t).

RAD-For-Men-Rape-definition-1024x612

 

This is great, but these positives do not redeem RAD Systems for several reasons.

First, the statistics were from dated sources such as the 2002 FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and a 1997 publication of The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls. The cops said they “just teach what RAD gives them,” which means KSU’s 2012 introduction of RFM included content that went without updates for years. RFM was founded ten years after the women’s course only after students pressured security, so would RFM ever have existed if KSU students had stayed silent? And given Nadeau’s comments, were the facts reported because RAD cared or because RAD had to be pressured? I cannot answer these questions, but it is my opinion after six months of research and correspondence that RAD Systems is not compassionate enough to (re)invest in the well-being of men.

Second, the neutral rape definition is legally worthless. When I had my only chance to photograph other RAD manuals via an open records request (a state right granted to me that was later deemed to be in contention with federal copyright law), I could only take so many shots before my battery died. A page in the RAD instructor’s manual also had a fair definition of rape, but that same page refers instructors to definitions of crimes in state codes.

State-code-1024x612

 

In Georgia, rape is defined as follows (O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1):

(a) A person commits the offense of rape when he has carnal knowledge of:

(1) A female forcibly and against her will; or

(2) A female who is less than ten years of age.

Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. The fact that the person allegedly raped is the wife of the defendant shall not be a defense to a charge of rape.

(b) A person convicted of the offense of rape shall be punished by death, by imprisonment for life without parole, by imprisonment for life, or by a split sentence that is a term of imprisonment for not less than 25 years and not exceeding life imprisonment, followed by probation for life. Any person convicted under this Code section shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-7.

(c) When evidence relating to an allegation of rape is collected in the course of a medical examination of the person who is the victim of the alleged crime, the law enforcement agency investigating the alleged crime shall be responsible for the cost of the medical examination to the extent that expense is incurred for the limited purpose of collecting evidence. 

Legally, only men rape, so sayeth the Patriarchy. Regardless of the definitions it presents, a RAD course follows the host state.

Finally, the propaganda throughout the manual dwarfs all aforementioned positive aspects. RAD Systems is protective of its copyright, so I cannot distribute the entire manual without having a gavel shoved sideways up my ass. Still, you deserve quotes in context. To appease the gods of fair use and journalism, let us close with commentary that addressed RAD’s endorsement of the White Ribbon Campaign, RAD’s citation of the 1-in-4 statistic, and RAD’s take on rape culture.

I finally found the “responsibilities” mentioned in The Sentinel:

After a brief email discussion with the Board of Regents, KSU has autonomy in terms of program funding. For that reason, I have turned to research alternative self-defense companies with which universities can do business. The findings will be presented to KSU administration, alongside a long-overdue request for basic respect for both men and women, and nothing else.

This is not over.


KSUM is the first AVfM-sponsored men’s rights student organization, and it works on missions like these to correct institutional corruption on campus. KSUM needs your help to fund a conference on educational equity issues affecting male students. If everyone reading this donated $1 every hour, KSUM will reach its goal today. Will you part with just one dollar to put men’s rights on campus?

The KSUM Conference on Educational Equity Needs Your Help

Kennesaw State University Men (KSUM) is the first men’s human rights student organization to emerge from the A Voice for Men (AVfM) community and the first men’s rights organization in the state of Georgia.

We grew a flower in concrete, and with your help we can put men’s rights on campus permanently.

KSUM is hosting a conference on educational equity called Male Students in Peril (MSP) on November 1, which is five days before KSUM’s one-year anniversary and ten days before the officer election that will take KSUM into the future.

We tell KSU students that there is no need to speak of men’s humanity in hushed tones. It is up to us to end educational inequity on campus, and we ask students one simple question: Do you wish to live in a culture of fear, where you are not allowed to speak about the humanity of certain groups of people?

Although students signed a petition saying they wanted KSUM, our members both old and new have been frightened to speak openly. But here are some people who are starting to crawl, slowly but surely, out from under the boot of dogma.

KSUM Signatories (private information blurred)
KSUM Signatories (private information blurred)

We have a chance to show one of the fastest-growing universities in Georgia what equity looks like, and believe me, they need that lesson. I understand the fear of saying what people won’t like, but no risk is too great if it means announcing to the world that men are people too.

MHRM leaders will voice the taboo truth at the KSU Carmichael Student Center on November 1 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST (speakers are subject to change).

Jonathan Taylor is the founder of A Voice for Male Students, and is the keynote speaker of the Kennesaw State University Men conference. Johnathan Taylor (keynote) is an expert in composition and argumentation, a walking statistics portal, and the founder of A Voice for Male Students (AVFMS). AVFMS is the go-to resource on educational equity issues affecting males.
Photo of Karen Straughen (GirlWritesWhat), a prolific antifeminist Karen Straughan (a.k.a. GirlWritesWhat) is a Canadian writer, lecturer, and videographer known for her encyclopedic treatises on the gender zeitgeist. She spoke at the New York Libertarian Party, at Ryerson University, on CTV, and from a panel seat next to a flabbergasted Naomi Wolf.
Dr. Janice Fiamengo is an increasingly powerful critic of feminism in academia. Janice Fiamengo, Ph.D, is a professor of English at the University of Ottawa and a former feminist. She courageously speaks out against double standards and dogma in scholarship, even in the face of academic animosity.
Dr. Miles Groth is a psychologist that focuses on issues affecting males. Miles Groth, Ph.D, is a professor of psychology at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, and the founder of Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies. Groth is the current editor of New Male Studies, an open-access, interdisciplinary journal for research of issues facing boys and men worldwide.
Paul Elam is the founder of A Voice for Men. Paul Elam, a former mental health professional, is the founder of A Voice for Men, the men’s rights flagship organization. AVfM is now an international community with 24/7 radio broadcasts and subsidiary publications in Italy, Brazil, Sweden, Ecuador, and Australia (with upcoming publications in Farsi and Hebrew).
Sage Gerard (Victor Zen) is a men's human rights activist and the founder of KSU Men. Sage Gerard (a.k.a. Victor Zen) (organizer, master of ceremonies) is the founder of KSU Men, the first men’s rights student organization to emerge from the AVfM community. Sage was interviewed by USA Today, Mother Jones, PJTV, The New Republic, and other publications for activism that can help change campus life in the future. Sage currently serves as the Collegiate Activism Director of AVfM.
The venue is the University Room in the KSU Student Center.
The venue is the University Room in the KSU Student Center.

We secured space for up to 422 people, along with the necessary production equipment.

But we have a problem.

Ticket revenue comes after the event, so we need $13,000 in 30 days to cover promotion, facility fees, security, speakers, lodging, and travel. If we go beyond our goal, we can arrange for extended time, additional speakers, or catering.

One of our stretch goals is to hire Dr. Fred Jones, who spoke at the ICMI. His inclusion would be groundbreaking because he is a former professor from the Coles College of Business, the home of KSU’s flagship business program. If KSU students see a distinguished KSU professor speak about the risks facing young men today, then words cannot express how successful this event will be.

Ticket sales will start on August 1.

I hate to bring yet another financial burden onto this community, but I’m afraid the timing is as good as it is ever going to be. If every AVfM reader repeatedly donated just $1 an hour, we would reach our goal today.

The media is starting to notice us. Recently, Jenny Jarvie from The New Republic and the Los Angeles Times reached out to us, as did a Josh Pate, a Kennesaw journalist who interned for KSU student media.

The resistance is also growing. People are repeatedly ripping down our banners and writing little notes on our flyers.

“HAHA “men’s rights” What rights don’t men have – from a man”
“HAHA “men’s rights” What rights don’t men have – from a man”

I also get emails full of sheer insanity.

She seems nice
She seems nice

Kennesaw citizens are also a-twittering.

Tweet, tweet, motherfuckers
Tweet, tweet, motherfuckers

KSU will soon have its own Title IX-backed football program and an entire new campus from Southern Polytech State University (SPSU) next year. In fall 2011, 4,590 of 5,784 SPSU students were male (79%).  KSU is currently (and long has been) a predominantly female campus (~60%), with 24,604 students by fall 2012. The merge will create a roughly 50/50 split in the student body between men and women. This break in enrollment trends creates new opportunities and a need to watch over future developments.

No more rhetoric; it’s time for results. This is a huge opportunity, folks. We’re not just expanding the dialogue, we are installing the first AVfM-backed student organization on campus and making it last, regardless of what ideologues think about us.

The game-changing KSUM election is coming, and we need people who are just as passionate about men’s rights as I am, if not more so.

All I am asking is for you to get excited and make history, because KSUM will not survive without people who care.

Will you help KSUM put men’s rights on campus by donating or volunteering?

Note that donations go to KSUM, NOT AVFM.

» CLICK HERE TO DONATE «

» CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER «

KSUM Heats Up Struggle Against Gynocentrism

Dr. Bob Mattox is one of the Assistant Deans of Kennesaw State University, and an authority over the KSU Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center (WRC). I sat down with Dr. Mattox, Mrs. Wilson (the director of the WRC) and Dr. Gunn (The director of counseling) to discuss renaming the WRC. A record of the meeting is available for review, with KSUM (prospective) advisor names bleeped out for reasons related to preserving organizational stability. (EDIT: The meeting recording link is broken. Will re-upload when the KSUM YouTube channel is redeveloped).

Given my previous discussions with the Non-Normative Anti-Assimilationist Students of KSU and Dean of Student Success Dr. Sansiviro, my initial impression was that the WRC was simply an IPV counseling center with an arbitrary gynocentric sign slapped on the front. That impression was close, but not quite right. Turns out that the WRC is a neutral IPV center with aggregate services for women that distort the brand.

For those of you unaware of the story leading up to this meeting, I met Mrs. Wilson briefly when attending KSU’s Love Your Body week. In that chance discussion, I learned that the WRC had services available for men as well. Obviously, one of KSUM’s activist missions was set to changing the name of the WRC to reflect services rendered. As I state in the video above summarizing the meeting, the WRC combines two functions that can be found in the first two bullets of the WRC mission statement:

  • Advocacy and support for members of the KSU community who are survivors of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence.
  • Training and education on a variety of topics that address women’s and gender issues.

The branding is in a catch-22. If the name stays how it is, campus men will be unaware of the support available to them according to the first bullet point. If the name changes to simply “Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center,” then women on campus would be unaware of the female-specific programs in the center. Mrs. Wilson mentioned these services included helping women transition to a career with a child at home, or things of that nature.

Dr. Mattox responded to my concerns about campus engagement with preliminary talk of reorganization by late 2015. New buildings are under construction all over campus since KSU has acquired tons of capital from its ongoing Southern Polytech State University (SPSU) acquisition. The merge is a game changer across the entire state of Georgia. SPSU is predominantly male university with strong engineering programs, but a small student population of about 6,000. In Fall 2011 (when SPSU did the last release of its fact book), 4590 of 5784 students were male (79%).  KSU is currently a predominantly female campus (~60%) with 24,604 students by Fall 2012.

The new KSU student body, assuming these numbers remain roughly the same by next year, is estimated to be 29,194 with a 50.7% male population. The estimation will simply have to be loose given the lack of up-to-date information from SPSU, but we can conclude that the gender population gap on campus is closing.

KSU’s adaption to the 50/50 split, according to Mattox, is to isolate the IPV Center from the women’s resource division. This would leave the IPV center as the gender neutral entity it was supposed to be in the first place, and put the WRC in its own location. Title IX was the next topic off my tongue. While I am personally unconvinced that a gender-centric center would accomplish anything other university services could not, I wanted to make sure that a men’s center had a presence if a women’s center was available.

Mattox told me that a men’s center is in KSU’s future.

But given that the IPV center has gynocentric aggregated functionality with no equivalent male aggregate, counsel will be contacted once more to discuss KSU’s current Title IX standing. Mattox defended the name as being useful for traditional reasons, and since every other campus in the University System of Georgia is doing the same thing. Erin Pizzey was kind enough to talk to me on the phone before my meeting. Considering that she was the person who started the tradition, her “LOL wut” was remarkably useful in blowing Maddox’s appeal to popularity and tradition out of the water.

But it turns out these IPV administrators never heard of Pizzey.

I have suggested that KSUM act as a future volunteer pool for the reorganization effort, because KSUM is meant to be a place for action, not commentary. In exchange, the administration will offer assistance in seeking tenured academic advisors who are not afraid of political ramifications. The search will extend to SPSU, where the faculty is certain to have more experience with men.

The meeting with Mattox, Gunn and Wilson has opened many incredible opportunities for KSUM to make KSU a more equitable community.

But as always, KSUM remains an ongoing story. Every accomplishment contributes to a lasting presence on campus, and therefore a proven model for a grassroots activist organization.

Renaming the Women’s Resource Center

Both male and female victims of domestic violence not only deserve help, but deserve knowing full well that help is available.

Shameka Wilson, Director of the KSU Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center, has told me during the recent Love Your Body Week that renaming the center to something gender neutral was “one of her battles.” The gender studies coordinator Laura Davis and the Interdisciplinary studies chair Robbie Lieberman were aware of Wilson’s position toward the name when I approached them about the GWST program’s reading materials.

Male victims should not be led to believe that no services are available to them due to “Women” being in the name of the center. What good is offering support if half of the student population does not know you offer it?

Male victimization is by no means a negligible problem. In fact, on the top floor of the Social Science building, a directed study report on the often unreported IPV victimization of males can be found in the hall to the right of the elevators. I emailed the contact and got some references on male victimization for your review.

IPV study in Kennesaw State University Social Science building
IPV study in KSU Social Science building

Some may wonder: Should KSU Men’s name change under those same standards? No. KSUM specializes in men, and we allow other organizations that specialize in women to do what they wish to support women. But the WRC is a state-funded center with obligations to the public, not just to women.

Back on March 10th, I emailed Mrs. Wilson to follow up on what it would take to rename the center. She did not reply for two weeks, so I tried sending the email again on March 25th. The email read as follows:

Shameka,

This is Sage. I am the redhead you met at Southern Smash last Wednesday. We spoke briefly about a unisex name for the WRC, and you told me that it was “one of your fights.”
As someone who knows male victims that struggled (and sometimes still struggle) to find help as victims of IPV or rape, I know it is vitally important for these men to know help is available.
I am connected with a large network of human rights activists concerned about the issues facing men and boys, and I am sure we can help you rename the Women’s Resource & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center to something gender neutral so that both men and women can have a place to go in their time of need.
Would you kindly tell me what exactly needs to be done to rename the center?
Regards,
Sage
On March 26th, Mrs. Wilson replied:

Hi Sage,

I don’t think the fight is renaming the Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center but creating a safe space for men to receive the resources and support they need to move from victims of interpersonal violence to survivors. The Women’s Resource Center at KSU aims to serve women in a holistic way by providing life skills, academic, and personal support in other areas other than interpersonal violence, so I think it’s safe to say the name won’t go anywhere.

However, you have made some very valid points as I too know males who have been victims of interpersonal violence. Let the men you come across know they get up to 10 free sessions at the Counseling Center here on campus and they are certainly welcome to set-up an appointment with me as well. Please let me know if there is something I can do to assist these students.

Best,
Shameka

Mrs. Wilson’s response, while well-meaning, does not solve the problem of male displacement. The WRC’s current name would be appropriate if Title IX was not being enforced and the center was truly specialized in women, but the name makes it harder for male victims to find help because they get a clear impression that the center is for women alone.

The failure to reach out to men is a failing of KSU. It is not our job to seek out individual men one by one and do free marketing for KSU, it is to see to it that symmetrical services and promotion are offered so that KSU does not have an excuse to ignore men.

Davis and Lieberman are unaware of who is capable of renaming the center, but Wilson has not responded to my last inquiry to find that decision maker:

Hi Mrs. Wilson,

While I would be happy to point victimized men your way, I still find a name change to be vitally important to creating a more informed and engaged student body.
I understand changing the name of a center can be a complicated process that involves lots of printing and publishing news stories, but the investment would be worth giving all victims the help they need.
There is no rush, of course, and my organization would be willing to help KSU see this through. Do you know who I can contact to petition changing the name of the center?
Thanks,
Sage

That email was sent on March 27th. It is now April 12th, and there is still no reply.

Shameka Wilson said that changing the name of the center was a “battle.”

Who is she fighting, and why would they fight her?