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MIT Harassment Hndbook Constitutes Fascist Policy

By Anders Hove

As soon as I saw the front cover of The Tech last Tuesday morning, with its graphic pictures of the booklet-burning melee at Senior House, I knew what I wanted. I had to get my hands on a copy of "Dealing with Harassment at MIT."

That same day, I stopped by Balkan Subversive and Revolutionary Literature on Brattle Street. After winding my way into a back-room of that cramped, dusty, and dark underground crypt, I managed to locate Radovan and ask him for his volume of "Dealing." But Radovan recoiled in shock upon hearing my request; how dare I even breathe the name of that evil manifesto!

To my relief, however, someone -- a Mossad bagman, no doubt -- clandestinely slipped a copy into my mailbox later that day. Imagine the Institute's angst if they knew one of these top-secret books had fallen into my hands.

As I soon learned, "Dealing with Harassment" is the single most dangerous document to come out of the 'Tute's Star Chamber since "Jim Tewhey's 10 Best Ways to Plant Rutabaga." As if to warn of the filth contained therein, the cover boasts an Ionic column, the most phallic of flourishes. The truly dark secrets, however, are inside. Take this appalling statement for instance: "Behavior that might be found to be harassment includes .<\f>.<\f>. rape." Fascists! Now I can understand how "blocking handicapped access repeatedly" could be harassment, but rape?

The most shocking element of this sinister policy is stated twice, once in the preface, then again on page 18. The Institute warns that we members of the community should not try to test the bounds of freedom of expression and freedom from harassment. (UA Presidents take note: nothing here about testing the Bush Fund, yet.)

Thus the Institute outlines its cynical plot to use ideological justifications to both prevent and subvert the noble activities of free-rapists, free-wheelchair-ramp-blockers, free-gropers and their brothers, and -- well -- mostly brothers in the fight for liberty! While this sort of terror was once completely arbitrary, imposing itself only on select administration bureaucrats, now it will be extended to the entire community.

The outrageous page 18 continues: "People who are offended by matters of speech or expression should consider speaking up promptly and in a civil fashion." Imagine the disruption that will ensue when people start questioning the offensive things other say. "People who learn they have offended others by their manner of expression should consider immediately stopping the offense and apologizing."

This is clearly more than just a guide to victims of harassment. The unwritten implications of these abominable statements is that soon MIT's already iron-fisted Campus Police will be replaced by TP's, legions of still more repressive Thought Police who will unleash the Institute's famous fire hose on insensitive non-apologizers all across campus.

We have all heard what administration sympathizers have had to say about this guide. They tell us that the administration was only trying to offer an olive branch to the community. They tell us that words like "might" and "under some circumstances" are proof of the moderation of the writers of this handbook. They say that the book's length, 68 pages, shouldn't even deter those who could never bring themselves to pass a HASS-D. Still more, we are told that if the Pentagon were to produce a handbook saying that, under certain circumstances, stealing the U.S. nuclear launch codes might constitute espionage, we would burn that booklet too.

Well they may be right. Someday, when the Navy boys are off in Las Vegas for a another nice Tailhook party, I'll drop by for those codes, just to test bounds of free expression. Until then, I intend to keep burning every harassment guide in sight.