Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Saturday, November 27, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Proposed CTIS class not a win, but a disappointment

By Thresher Editorial Board     11/30/16 12:46am

While the Critical Thinking in Sexuality class will finally be implemented (see p. 1), the curriculum for the mandatory five sessions features omissions that are simply wrong.

These mandatory sessions won’t include discussions about contraception and pornography to accommodate for students whose religious beliefs may be in conflict with these ideas. First, it is an insult to women to equate the moral weight of contraception use with that of pornography; contraception is a sexual health necessity used by 99 percent of women according to the Centers for Disease Control, while pornography is not. Director of Sexual Violence and Title IX Support Allison Vogt, who has been highly involved in the creation of the curriculum, stated students can learn about contraception on their own. Students can learn about anything on their own. The whole impetus for this course was for students to learn about topics that are essential to the entire community’s health and safety that they would not necessarily seek out on their own. By Vogt’s logic, students can simply google the word “consent” or perhaps watch the “consent is like tea” video on YouTube.

In addition, Vogt said sex will not be discussed in the mandatory sessions; the topics in those sessions will include domestic violence, healthy relationships, consent and stalking as well as sexual assault recognition and prevention. It is utterly ridiculous to have mandatory sessions on sexuality that don’t discuss sex, as we cannot adequately address sexual transgressions without understanding the context in which they occur. If you don’t know what healthy sex and sexuality are supposed to look like, how can you know when it goes wrong?



SA President Griffin Thomas said some students felt their parents would object to their receiving a Rice education if they were compelled to take a mandatory course that went against their religious values. Here, it is counterintuitive to the entire purpose of higher education that we would tailor the learning of adults to a few parents’ wishes.

How do we expect there to be any critical thinking if students are not presented with ideas and opinions that may differ from their own? The notion that students ought not to engage with potentially contentious topics is ludicrous, and an insult to our intellectual fortitude. We are not snowflakes. In any case, personal opposition to something is very different than learning about it. Especially in the case of contraception education, a lack of knowledge has direct negative consequences for other people and society as a whole.

The point of CTIS was to remedy failures to our education system prior to university. Rice likes to think of itself as a bastion of higher thinking, but we are brought down by the same false logic and prejudices that plague our society in dealing with the pressing issues of sexual health and safety.



More from The Rice Thresher

SPORTS 11/16/21 11:43pm
Forbes wins regionals, Women’s XC qualifies for NCAAs

Sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes followed up her conference title with a first-place finish at the NCAA South-Central Cross Country Regional on Friday in Waco, TX, helping the Rice women’s team to a second place finish. The result earned them a spot in this Saturday’s NCAA championships for just the seventh time in program history. 

OPINION 11/16/21 11:11pm
From the opinion editor’s desk: The opinion section is a space meant for the Rice community

As the semester nears its end, it’s time to reflect on the state of the opinion section this fall amidst a near return to normalcy, and to look forward to another semester of opinions. We’ve had a multitude of opinions and editorials published on a wide range of subjects. Still, some people coming to campus for the first time or who did not engage much with our paper while we were working online last year may not be all that familiar with the opinion section. I want to reintroduce the possibilities that the section offers for all of the Rice community.

OPINION 11/16/21 11:10pm
It’s time to talk about Willy

Last week, the Board of Trustees announced that Reginald DesRoches, Rice’s current provost, will be the next president of Rice University. DesRoches will be the eighth president in the history of the university, and the first person of color and foreign-born person to hold the position. We applaud the Board’s selection of DesRoches, and wish him great success in his new role. But because there are seven months left before the beginning of his tenure, we would like to pen one of our final editorials to President David Leebron and the Board of Directors. It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite subject — one that has found itself in our news section repeatedly — the statue of one William Marsh Rice. 


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.