COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State University move-in day for underclassmen was held Saturday with efficiency and precision, but one corner of off-campus housing caused a controversy.
Some students, staff and parents said the banners hung on a home at the corner of Lane and Indianola Avenues were too welcoming, especially to women and their families.
The two banners put up for move-in day are down now, but two of seven OSU seniors who live there said they were hung just to make people laugh and no offense was meant.
Pictures posted on Facebook and Eleven Warriors show the banners stating “Dads, we’ll take it from here,” and “Daughter daycare 2.0,” meaning this was the second year for the banners during move-in day.
The reaction has been varied; the seniors living there said an English professor scolded them, while some parents were upset and others took pictures in front of the banners. Inappropriate or not, the seniors say it was in just in good fun.
“Our motives were not to insult or look down on anyone, not to be sexist,” said Justin Miller, an OSU senior. “Our motive is just to have fun, it is college.”
His roommate, senior Alex Sheets said “people have been saying we are misogynist, we are sexist, we are degrading towards women. My dad, he is a good Christian man, I am a good Christian man, but we just do this for fun. We are not trying to cause any havoc or stir up any trouble, we are just trying to have some fun.”
While some female underclassmen understood it was done as a joke, they still thought it was inappropriate.
“I thought they were a little patronizing!” said sophomore Sarah Liptow. “I do think it was all fun and games, but there is a fine line between joking and frightening some people.”
She said a group of teenage guys can vibe off of each other and sometimes forget what they are doing or saying could be hurtful.
“I don’t think that is right, it seems condescending as if we need someone to watch over us,” said freshman Sara Litchney.
OSU has a strict sexual harassment policy and student code of conduct that was updated in 2014 it spells out what is inappropriate behavior. A spokesperson said student code violations go with a student regardless of whether it is on or off campus.
A post to the WAVY Facebook page over the same weekend showed a similar display. In the picture, signs hanging from the balcony of a home just off the Old Dominion University campus read “Rowdy and fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time,” another with an arrow pointing to the home’s front door said “Freshmen daughter drop off,” and a third painted on what appears to be a large white sheet says, “Go ahead and drop off mom too.” The President of ODU said he was outraged at the offensive message the signs sent.