Kennesaw State University Men’s (KSUM’s) has concluded its Spring semester of operations, with summer operations on the horizon. This report summarizes key events and lessons for the education of other MHRA student groups.
KSUM has gained over ten members (prospective and official) since its founding. The most successful promotional tactic has been table events, because we engage students directly with a smile.
|When tabling, keep electronic or paper sources ready to back up your responses to objections. Some helpful canned responses are here on AVFM.|
KSUM’s first advisor abandoned ship when she saw the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) unsubstantiated allegation of A Voice for Men (AVFM) being a hate organization. She then assumed that KSUM is a formal subsidiary of AVFM (It’s not) because AVFM hosted the promotional fundraiser for KSUM, and because I work at AVFM.
The ex-advisor maintained ideological disagreement even after being informed that the SPLC declaration was never official. This was an organizational emergency because an advisor must be present for KSUM to host events, namely the November conference.
|Avoid single points of failure! Look at what your organization depends on and plan on how to adapt in the event of a disaster. An advisor’s fear of the boogyman should not threaten your organization.|
Thankfully, a new advisor was found and the KSUM constitution was updated to soften the blow in the event something like this happens again.
Growing Volunteer Effort
It is because of the generosity of you and the MHRM community that KSUM even exists, and it will be because of the MHRAs in the KSU community that the organization grows. But the reality of the matter is that KSUM is stepping up its volunteer effort to handle the workload.
By promoting aggressively and developing mutually beneficial relationships with the other student organizations on campus (such as KSU TEDx, College Libertarians and the Non-Normative Anti-Assimilationist Students), KSUM connects with member bases with relevant interests.
If anything, the KSUM conference on November 1st will generate the interest necessary to build a new officer team. Stay tuned for more details on the conference after AVFM’s conference in Detroit.
Renaming the KSU Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center
Starting March 3rd, KSU hosted Love Your Body Week (LYB), a week-long event meant to raise awareness of eating disorders. We were drawn to LYB because of its gendered execution.
On March 5th, LYB hosted South Smash, an event where people were encouraged to smash their own bathroom scales with sledgehammers.
At the event I met Shameka Wilson, the director of the KSU Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center (WRC). As it turns out, WRC offers IPV prevention services to both men and women, so we asked Wilson why the name was not gender neutral. Wilson said changing the name was “one of her battles,” although she would not say who was battling her, and why. Wilson eventually stopped responding to my emails.
Dean of Student Success Dr. Michael Sansivero and the Non-Normative Anti-Assimilationist Students of KSU (NA) claim that the name of the center is defended by Assistant Dean Dr. Bob Mattox. Mattox allegedly feels it is best that KSU follow conventions that “empower women,” even when branding.
Dr. Mattox will meet with us on May 13th to discuss renaming the WRC to the “Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center.”
Wish us luck.
Resisting Aggression with Defense for Men Audit
I will not recount the full story of KSUM’s struggle with RAD Systems for brevity reasons. Just know that KSU appears to be teaching innocent men to be responsible for violence against women.
KSU Security invited me to enroll in RAD for Men, but no classes were even scheduled. The 60+ day aversion of my emails, phone calls and in-person requests for appointments prompted me to call bosses.
|Restrict yourself to one email a week if you are simply reminding someone to get back with you (otherwise you will seem spammy and no one will ever help you). After two weeks of trying, you can start calling bosses to lay on some pressure.|
A Georgia Open Records request was filed to view the RAD manuals (which have copyright protections strong enough to withstand artillery fire). The KSU Legal Division allowed me to view the manuals only once, but my phone battery only managed to capture a non-representative subset of the content before dying the death of a traitorous coward.
|Keep all recording devices charged and available at all times. There are words and actions you simply should not leave off the record. Wear a coat with many pockets to carry everything comfortably.|
Assistant Legal Counsel Reggie Lampkin later claimed that copying specific pages of the manual or even letting us look at the manual again would make KSU a distributor of copyrighted materials. This violates federal copyright law even though The Georgia Open Records Act says a citizen can get a copy. The state and federal law contention limits us to financial documents, of which we requested records leading back to 2010.
Only financial records going back to 2012 were procured by KSU Security, and they dropped contact yet again.
The records I have contain no summaries, but hundreds of pages of airline itineraries, certificates and letters with individual dollar figures. This made the report difficult to review.
I will be attending RAD for Men during the Summer semester to continue auditing the program material.
Diversifying Reading Materials in the Gender Studies Program
The KSU gender studies program has reading materials geared towards feminist philosophy, slavery of the U.S. southern aristocracy, and LGBT issues. This reading list reflects the popular image of diversity, but the material is not actually diverse enough to tell the whole story.
We learned that the reading materials are determined by individual faculty members by their own courses. KSUM is now going door to door to introduce professors to roads less traveled. In the event we are locked out, we will approach the Board of Regents to stress the importance of complementing existing scholarship.
In this report we covered the current goals and problems experienced KSUM for the Spring semester. As always, take the lessons embedded in the history of KSUM and apply them to your own circumstances. And be sure to tell your own story. A live record of direct experience benefits the MHRA community by showing the consequences of practical, lawful action.
Here’s looking forward to a Summer of growth of compassion for men and boys.