As a former student of Prof. Schaffer, I was appalled to read that he was let go (“Controversial sex professor gets the boot,” Sept 12, p. 1), but I can’t say I wasn’t surprised. I’m actually a bit surprised it hadn’t happened earlier.
The class certainly opened itself up to this kind of ridiculous scrutiny; the subject itself can be controversial regardless who’s teaching it. I just don’t understand how the girl who got the ball rolling on this didn’t know what she was in for. Did she miss the first day? Not talk to friends who had already taken the class? How could she not know what she was getting in to?
While at times the class could be more provocative than educational, you’ll rarely find one better-attended or more beneficial. I’ll suffer through Hermaphrodite pictures to learn about testicular cancer-awareness. Rare is the college course that has legitimate practical applications; rarer still is the professor students enjoy listening to. Schaffer’s
class was both and GW was better because of it.
-Alex Mizrahi, alumnus
I read the article by Ms. Levy and was outraged and disgusted. Being an alumnus of GW and having attended Professor Schaffer’s Human Sexuality class, I was astonished that the school and a student could do something to this professor.
Professor Schaffer is a very gentle man whose purpose is to educate, not harass, his students. He is an excellent professor and his class was very educational. I
completely disagree with the student who said that Dr. Shaffer “does not teach, but reads extremely sexual student responses (to take-home papers).” Dr. Schaffer did read from students’ papers, but with the goal of educating us. If a stu
dent is unhappy with a class, then they should withdrawal. Getting a professor fired because your view on sex is different is not right; it’s cruel.
The student also stated that Dr. Schaffer gave out condoms. Let’s face it, people have intercourse. When did it become a crime to protect someone? I think GW needs to resolve this issue but needs to realize that although one person did not like this class, thousands of other students did and many more would have if there had been more available sections. I remember friends that did not have the privilege of taking Dr. Schaffer’s class and how disappointed they were.
I would like to make it known, if GW turns it shoulder on one of their best professors, Dr. Schaffer, I will also turn my shoulder on GW by never giving another donation, and I hope that other alumni follow suit. This situation needs to be resolved, but firing someone and not letting them defend themselves is unfair. Don’t our laws state that you are innocent until proven guilty? Why in this case is Dr. Schaffer presumed guilty, but can’t prove his innocence?
– Steven Keehn, alumnus
To my shock this morning I received an e-mail alert saying “Controversial sex professor gets the boot.” I was confused, since I have never known there to be a controversial sex professor at GW. Later, as I read the article, I learned this so-called controversy was surrounding Professor Schaffer.
Everyone loved Professor Schaffer. Everyone wanted to take his class, and as far as I am concerned, unless you have Professor Schaffer, the class is not worth taking. It is for his honesty that people love him. He was able to say “penis” without stuttering and able to answer our questions without blushing. Rather than preach abstinence and teach us to be “proper,” he spoke openly and candidly about everything we wanted to know about. I am appalled and disgusted that because one frigid girl is too embarrassed to deal with her own sexuality that a talented and respected professor is shut out of GW, a school which lacks a certain type of professor – the ones that make you want to come to class.