For many college professors research, not teaching, is the activity that takes up the bulk of their day-to-day responsibilities. There are of universities that are more research-heavy than others, and research goes hand-in-hand with anyone in the sciences. So inevitably there will be times when the subject of study crosses boundaries and begins to make people uncomfortable. In this particular instance it’s the Ivy League students of Columbia University that are getting skeeved out by professors who are watching/studying drunk Columbia students as part of a ‘sexual health and violence’ study.
Student’s names are never recorded, but while they’re getting hammered at the bars here in NYC on the weekends there’s a group of professors stalking and monitoring them, recording every interaction and and movement. Columbia University‘s professors are doing this to learn more about the nature of how social interaction impacts sexual experiences.
The NYPost reports:
“I don’t want a professor watching me at a bar,” said a 19-year-old Columbia sophomore.
“It just feels stalky. A bar’s a place where I unwind and drink a little and maybe act a little irresponsibly. Having a professor watching me drink and socialize would be the opposite of relaxing.”
Sociology prof Shamus Khan and three postgraduates have been observing students as they kick back on the weekend, to learn more about how social interactions impact sexual experiences.
Their field research, which also includes in-depth interviews, is one aspect of a larger study, known as the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation, which aims to identify factors that contribute to sexual misconduct on campus.
So it’s creepy but being done in the name of science, got it. But now we get to the crux of the problem: underage drinking.
“It’s also problematic because a lot of students are underage [in bars], and that would cause a lot of anxiety if you see a professor.”
One student said he was at the popular Columbia bar 1020, and another kid came up to him and asked, “Who’s that old guy?”
“I was like, ‘Oh, that’s Shamus Khan. He’s a famous professor at Columbia,’ ” he told the Spectator.
Researchers can attend Columbia parties only if the host approves of their presence — and they have to identify themselves to any students to whom they end up speaking. They won’t observe students who don’t want to be watched, either.
I don’t know about you bros, but I wouldn’t be bothered at all by someone chilling in the corner and taking notes. Part of doing good research is being as off-hands as possible, so the onus is on the professors/researchers to be invisible. And there’s a chance that some quality research could come out of this study, so I’d be all for it….That’s me though, what about you bros? Would you be cool with this?