In a push by the Federal Government, universities across the country were required to strengthen their policies and punishments with respect to sexual assault. When Yale University released it’s guidelines, it caught some negative media attention because in some instances students convicted by the university of sexual assault would not be expelled. The term that most critics focused on was “nonconsensual sex” as situation more complex than simply rape.
Yale University has followed up on this criticism by releasing a series of hypothetical scenarios with which it hopes to provide some guidance as to how the university defines “consent.” One of the criticized scenarios features two gender-neutral students studying together and one continually invites the other one to have sex. The other student rejects the offers for a time and then eventually agrees, initiating physical contact. According to Yale, this is consensual. Although, were a complaint to arise, Yale would recommend that the first party attend a sensitivity training about inappropriate sexual pressure.
Another scenario featured an encounter in which consent was given at first and then rescinded, but the second party continued anyway. Yale’s discipline board would seek to substantiate the facts and if they did, the recommended punishment “would be a multi-semester suspension or expulsion, because the consent was not sustained.”
The reaction to these scenarios has been mixed. A board member of Students Active for Ending Rape or SAFER called the Yale document “one of the better examples of a solid, detailed definition of consent.” A spokesperson for the American Association of Women believe that the scenarios might actually make it more difficult for students saying, “they’ve done a disservice to students who might be reading this and wondering which scenario they fit in.” All, however, praise Yale for keeping their focus on a very important issue.
People may be paying higher auto insurance rates if they didn’t go to college or work blue-collar jobs, according to a new report from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA)
The CFA found major auto insurance companies like GEICO, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive charge higher rates from drivers who only have a high school diploma or a lower-status job.
Liberty Mutual, for example, charges a high school graduate 10 to 13 percent more that a college graduate, according to the report.
Companies must be doing this for a reason, but the CFA doesn’t offer any. It is unclear how education and occupation affects the level of risk involved when driving a car. Do people with less education or lower-level jobs get into more accidents? If that’s the case, then why don’t other companies like Travelers, USAA, State Farm, and Allstate use education or work status to calculate their rates? There could be a trade-off, like taking into consideration claim history, credit score, and whether the company also insures your house, business, etc., instead.
A 2012 survey showed the majority of American consumers believes using occupation or education to set rates is unfair.
CFA says it is working to stop the discriminatory factors used in calculating auto insurance premiums. The group seems to assert that giving auto quotes based on occupation is akin to a quote based on race.
“The American public knows that it is unfair for auto insurers to use factors like education and occupation in setting rates,” said J. Robert Hunter, CFA’s Director of Insurance, a former Texas Insurance Commissioner and former Federal Insurance Administrator. “In effect, auto insurers are discriminating on the basis of income and race. States should prohibit the use of these demographic factors that bear no logical relation to insurer risk.”
Earlier today, IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner Danny Werfel admitted that agents in Cincinnati unlawfully targeted other groups on top of the much-publicized scrutiny of tea party groups. The Cincinnati office, which approves certain group’s registration for tax exemption, admits to using a “Be On the Look Out” list or a B.O.L.O. list for a wide range of groups.
Congressional Democrats also released a list of targeted groups, pointing out that the word “progressive” in the title was a common thread in addition to “tea party” and, ironically, “patriot.” The Associate Press also included the keywords, “Israel” and “Occupy,” suggesting that the I.R.S. casts a wide net for potential tax violations.
"There were a series of these types of lists being used in this part of the IRS as part of their review of tax-exempt applications," said I.R.S. Commissioner Werfel.
Werfel reports that the IRS is currently working to redact all personal data from its evaluations of applications for tax exemption. He cites poor leadership for the persistent and unfair targeting.
Werfel did not expound on the other groups targeted or put on the B.O.L.O. lists, perhaps due to their sensitive nature. Also unclear is the extent to which B.O.L.O lists are used in other branches of the I.R.S. Conservative groups complained of undue attention in other respects besides their application for tax exemption. For example, many small businesses are now complaining of unprovoked audits. Moreover, of the 298 group applications the IRS gave extra scrutiny, 96 were those of tea party groups. The IRS has not divulged the details of the remaining 202 groups.