Letter to the Editor: New developments in Title IX lawsuit raise questions

Dick Reif

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Editor’s Note: This Letter to the Editor is in response to an article published Tuesday titled “Ludlow sues Medill senior for defamation in sexual assault case.”

The situation surrounding a Medill senior’s legal action against Northwestern and Prof. Peter Ludlow can be best described as Catch 44 – twice as crazy as Catch 22. It has morphed from a “she said vs. he said” dispute to a “she sues and he counter sues” situation in which the only winners will be the lawyers for both sides. As an NU grad (Medill ’64), I have several questions:

1. Mr. Pager noted that Ludlow hasn’t taught his philosophy course during the 2014 Spring and Fall Quarters. Does he remain on NU’s payroll, and if so, why? How can a school charging students more than $61,000 a year justify paying a faculty member who’s not working?

2. Have any of the parties in both lawsuits tried to reach an out-of-court settlement? That makes more sense than paying lawyers $800 an hour while the meter still ticks.

3. Why do NU students take a two-faced approach to sexual violence? They staged protests against Ludlow, but later invited an artist previously charged with sexual abuse to perform at A&O Blowout. If that event’s organizers had done their homework, they would have discovered that Big Sean was charged with sexually abusing a women at a Lewiston, New York, concert in 2011. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful imprisonment and paid a $750 fine, which is about what he pays for two bottles of Cristal Champagne. I realize that many rap “artists” have rap sheets, but booking one charged with this particular crime insults all women on campus.

NU taught my generation of students to embrace excellence. Now they welcome the worst.

Dick Reif (Medill ’64)