Students at Pepperdines University have staged a protest outside their dining halls over what they say is a “toxic” environment for their male counterparts.
The protest was staged after a group of about 10 students took to the streets to express their anger over “toxins” such as the prevalence of “trolling”, and to protest the “male privilege” of the institution.
Key points:”Toxic masculinity” is the concept that masculinity is an attribute to be respected and praised, rather than a weakness, students saidIn response to their protests, Pepperdins Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Academic Services, Dr Nick Wootton, said “toxicity” was the most common word used in campus environments”Toxins”, he said, included things such as “trolls” who were “trying to create an environment where they can be as anonymous as possible”.
He said the students were concerned about “trivialised” male behaviour in the workplace and in the wider society.
“This is the culture we want to build in our universities, and the culture that we want our students to live in,” Dr Wooton said.
“We want our student body to be a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment.”
In my view, toxic masculinity is a toxic environment for the student body.
“He said Pepperdens “totally supports free speech” and “tolerance” of differing views, but said that “tolerating trolls is not tolerating hate speech”.
The protests began last Friday night after about 10 Pepperdini students attended a dinner where an “interview with the university’s Vice Chancellor” had been cancelled, after being deemed inappropriate by a member of the student council.”
It was one of the most outrageous things I’ve ever seen,” said one student, who wanted to remain anonymous.”
The way they were behaving in front of a group, the way they behaved in front (of the student government), it was a real disconcerting experience.
“When I walked up to them afterwards, they were just saying ‘thank you for coming’ and they didn’t seem very apologetic about what they had done.”‘
Toxic environment’ to ‘fear for the safety of students’The protest group called on the university to take action to tackle the “toxin” of toxic masculinity, and to ensure the “safety of students”.
They said that a “trigger warning” had also been put on their Facebook page to prevent students from experiencing “trouble” while in the dining halls.
“To me, the toxicity in this campus environment is really concerning,” one student said.
“We are constantly threatened with harassment and intimidation.”
I don’t feel safe going out.
I can’t get to class without being harassed.
“Toxicity in this environment is an issue we need to tackle.
Toxic masculinity is toxic masculinity.”
Pepperdines Vice Chancellor and Academic Affairs Dr Nick Wilton said the “safe spaces” for students to discuss controversial topics were set up in the College of Engineering.
“Our campus has been created in such a way that we have safe spaces for students, and students are not expected to speak their minds,” he said.
He said a “zero tolerance” policy for toxic behaviour was in place.
“PepperDines is a community that embraces diversity and inclusion, and we expect students to respect that diversity and not feel that they have to conform to certain ideas,” he told news.com, as the protest was underway.
“But, in this particular instance, a toxic culture was created that is really damaging to our students.”
He defended the students’ right to protest, saying the university had an obligation to provide safe environments.
“That’s not a place where we would encourage bullying and harassment,” he argued.
“There are a lot of other ways that we can address these issues.”
If we’re going to be able to support a lot more students, we need safe spaces.
“Students said they were also concerned about the lack of female staff on campus.”
What are the conditions for women to be in these positions?
Are they treated like second class citizens?
Are there any policies that are put in place to prevent sexism?” one student asked.”
You have to be very conscious that there is a lot going on that needs to be addressed,” Dr Wilton responded.”
All the things that are going on at PepperDines are not really about women.
It’s really about a toxic masculinity that’s being cultivated and fostered by the university.
“Topics:women,courts-and-trials,community-and_society,courting-andmarriage,tourism,community,gender,religion-and/or-beliefs,mens-rights,harris-burnie-2688,parramatta-2150,vic,australiaFirst posted March 24, 2019 12:06:16Contact Pauline Mac