Pat Hall (2021)

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Dublin Core

Title

Pat Hall (2021)

Description

In October of 2021, an alleged sex competition taking place on the first two floors of a sophomore dorm, namely Pat Hall, was brought to light. According to The Record, the male students living on those floors had assigned point values to specific female students who were attending Saint Ben’s. It was agreed amongst the participating men that these points would be “won” upon completion of sexual acts with these women 23. This flagrant objectification of their female peers sparked enough outrage among students that a protest was held outside of the Refectory on the Saint John’s Campus on October 21st, 2021. This event attracted hundreds of Bennies, Johnnies, staff, faculty, and members of administration who stood in protest of this kind of sexist behavior with signs that displayed phrases such as, “How many points am I?”, “Women owe you nothing!”, and “Bennies are not objects!”. This event was not only covered by the schools’ newspapers, but also by the Star Tribune,24 CBS,25 Kare 11,26 , and various other media outlets. The institutions launched a private Title XI investigation to inquire about the legitimacy of the competition’s existence as well as perpetrators and/or victims involved. According to an email sent to Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s community members, 40 individuals were interviewed that were believed to have information relating to the incident, including both complainants and respondents. The findings were deemed confidential. The email writes, “Due to student privacy laws, we are not able to share further details regarding the complaint resolution process”.

Students, staff, and faculty continued to wonder about the kinds of consequences, or lack thereof, that the students responsible faced. As far as the community was made aware, no students were found responsible or disciplined. However, this email sent from the President’s Office also included tangible action steps the institution was taking in an attempt to “make our campus spaces safer and more inclusive spaces for everyone”.

Training: Additional SJU RA training was completed the following January revolving around sexual misconduct policies and reporting process and bystander intervention, as well as training provided for student leaders that related to healthy masculinity healthy relationships, alcohol use, and Title IX. Over 500 SJU student athletes completed CERTS training which covers topics related to consent, equality, respect, and safety in sexual encounters.

Clubs/Organizations: The Men‘s Development Institute (MDI) at Saint John‘s, later coined the Johnnie Development Institute (JDI) to promote gender inclusion, was reinstated, taking inspiration from the Institution for Women’s Leadership (IWL) at Saint Ben’s.

Leadership: The following November, a Title IX case manager was added to the institutions’ Title IX staff to efficiently coordinate the process through which sexual misconduct investigations are launched. A coordinator for Project EMBRACE was also added to the health services team, which is a project that is federal funded from the Office of Violence Against Women. The President’s Advisory Council met to identify ways to address sexual misconduct and gender development and create a plan to move forwards

Safety: Bus monitors were also added to the Link on weekend evenings to prevent and manage problematic behavior, such as harassment and sexual misconduct violations.

Despite these efforts, the tight-knit community surrounding our institutions felt unsatisfied and deeply concerned with the culture of toxic masculinity present at Saint John’s. Many students felt unsafe with the “hush hush” nature of the Johnnies, as no one was willing to come forward or call out their peers for blatantly sexist and unacceptable behavior. Decades of institutional sexism in combination with gendered sexual expectations, toxic masculinity, power imbalances, gendered spaces, and a long-lasting “boys will be boys” mentality manifested itself into what became infamously known as Pat Hall.

Date

October 2021

Citation

“Pat Hall (2021),” College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University Libraries, accessed June 15, 2024, https://csbsjulib.omeka.net/items/show/1600.