I majored in acting at Illinois State University. We had a lovable acting professor named Patrick. Patrick's greatest tool as a teacher was his passion. Passion for the work. Passion for acting. Passion for the students.
He wasn't a bad drinking buddy either.
Well, Patrick has gotten himself into some trouble. Seems he's gone and kissed a student. A male student. You can read the article here.
When I attended, this would not have surprised me much. I never felt threatened, but it happened. There were some occasions when a complaint went to the head of the department, or the dean. Usually I thought this an overreaction.
College friends have written about it. You can read some here, here, here and here. Some feel that Patrick has been wronged. Some think if the student's feelings had been brought to Patrick's attention he would have stopped. Some argue, well, it is a theatre department. Behavior as a norm is a little more experimental. All, go on record as his friend.
I can't help but think that these are excuses that friends make for another friend. That if the victim had been a women and the Professor less lovable, we wouldn't hesitate to call it harassment. Even in this case, some who knew Patrick, feel he crossed the line years ago.
I made fun of Mark Foley, who I'm not sure did anything illegal, here myself and I'm embarrassed by another Congressional cover-up. I don't think we enabled a sexual predator in Patrick, but I think I should be consistent.
He's a friend.
I think his behavior was inappropriate and unprofessional.
I'd still go drinking with him anytime.