Lincoln University president Robert R. Jennings is in hot water after expressing his thoughts about sexual conduct between male and female students.
In September of this year, Mr. Jennings spoke to an auditorium full of female students at Lincoln’s annual All Woman’s Convocation, and offered what he thought to be a bit of fatherly advice to the young women about sex and men.
“We have, we had, on this campus last semester three cases of young women who after having done whatever they did with young men and then it didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to turn out, guess what they did,” Mr. Jennings said. “They went to Public Safety and said, ‘He raped me.'”
The HBCU president’s comments caused major controversy once a clip of his speech hit Youtube, with many commenters feeling as though Mr. Jennings was placing the blame of sexual assault and rape on women.
He went on to add, “Don’t put yourself in a situation that would cause you to be trying to explain something that really needs no explanation had you not put yourself in that situation.”
Jennings comments come during a time where the Obama administration is cracking down on sexual assault cases on college campuses with their “It’s On Us” public awareness campaign, their “1 is 2 Many” campaign and their NotAlone.gov website.
Marybeth Gasman, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania and expert on historically black colleges reportedly called Jennings comments “disturbing, offensive and sexist in nature.”
“The president blames young women for being raped by saying that when they have sex with someone and regret that act, they then create a story [of rape] to explain it,” added Gasman.
Jennings, who has been the head of Lincoln University since January 2012, said that his comments were taken out of context, as the clip only showed four minutes of his 26 minute speech. He said that he was referring to three difference cases on campus where the women had falsely reported rape as revenge against guys who had been unfaithful to them.
While a university spokesperson said that all three cases were investigated by the university and reported to authorities, Michael Noone, who is the first assistant district attorney in Chester County where Lincoln is located, said that he has no reports of rape from the university last semester.
Do you think Mr. Jennings remarks about women and rape were inappropriate, or do you think that the president’s words were taken out of context? Weigh in on the subject and leave your comments below.