This morning, a UW-Madison TA (Teaching Assistant) appears to have used the following slide in a business class asking students what the probability is of one student to get to make-out with a girl who is drunk from playing a drinking game involving vodka.
The message being shared in such an example in the classroom is both dangerous and inappropriate. What is equally if not more concerning is how many students are defending the TA’s choice of an example. Here are comments that have been made on FaceBook and Twitter in the last few hours:
- “You think that this is the only place where students do this?”
- “I just think it’s unfair that this TA is facing criticism for doing something that was supposed to help students.”
- “it’s awesome.”
The comments by students in support of this probability problem are three times higher in volume than those who see the danger in using such an example. One student who recognized the danger stated this is another example of how a “rape culture” is furthered in our country.
When you enlarge the image, you’ll notice the use of such language on the slide as “Get Lucky” and the statement:
“You know that if she gets drunk today, you guys are going to make out”
Think about the damage being done with that one sentence alone. HOW do you know you are going to make out when she is drunk? That sentence implies making out is a given with this drunk person. Keep in mind the slide also implies none of this is going to happen UNLESS she is drunk.
Upon seeing this slide, here just a few of the questions that popped into my head:
- Was there a second slide that asked, “Given the previous slide’s discussion, what is the probability you will be committing a sexual assault?”
- WHO in the classroom stood up and said, “This example is really inappropriate. We have enough problems on a college campus with students trying to facilitate sexual assaults through the use of alcohol. Will you please use a different example? If you want to include alcohol, how about asking what the odds are that the drunk student will get arrested for underage drinking? You could calculate the odds on whether the student is underage at UW Madison and then what the probability is the drunk student would get arrested.”
- Wait! I “Got Lucky” because she is getting drunk. That is messed up.
For the students who are saying the educator was just trying to be creative and fun, a university professor or TA should have enough educational background to understand what is and what is NOT appropriate to be shared in a classroom. With all of the efforts UW Madison puts into addressing sexual harassment and sexual assault, every educator should be fully aware of how dangerous this drinking game example is to use with students.
One person on Twitter asked why I want to get the educator in trouble. My reply was, “The goal is not get the educator in trouble. The goal is to address the dangerous message using such a game sends to the class AND to ensure this kind of unhealthy message is not used again.“
What would you like to see happen in this situation? SHARE YOUR COMMENTS below.
Earlier today, we received the above image from someone who said the photograph was circulating around UW Madison. We were informed that the picture came from a Business Class at UW Madison earlier today. At that point, we did not share the image publicly. Later, we contacted the campus to ensure we were getting correct information. At the same time, we took very precise steps to ensure the accuracy of what class the picture was taken in earlier in the day.