Warning to Freshman Girls Turns Orange Police Chief into Chapman's Bogeyman

Orange Police Chief Tom Kisela speaks at Chapman University on Aug. 25. Fenestra is not a pharmaceutical to relieve shingles but the name of residential halls for Chapman freshman.
Orange Police Chief Tom Kisela speaks at Chapman University on Aug. 25. Fenestra is not a pharmaceutical to relieve shingles but the name of residential halls for Chapman freshman.
Panther Productions

At OC Weekly, we had the Gregory Haidl story involving the rape defendant son of an Orange County assistant sheriff. So many twists and turns were presented in near-chronological order over so many months that it was strongly suggested the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley simply cut and paste his own reporting into a true-crime book.

Over at the Chapman University Panther, a recent speech by the City of Orange's police chief is turning into the student newspaper's own Haidlesque gift that keeps giving. 

It began when Chief Tom Kisela spoke at the annual “We Are Chapman” freshman orientation event on Aug. 25, during which he warned freshman females who drink alcohol that they can become the prey of junior and senior men.

The next day, Panther reporter Rebeccah Glaser's follow-up went up. Accompanying the story, "Students Upset with Perceived 'Victim Blaming' Speech Given by Orange Police Chief," was video of the talk courtesy of Panther Productions.

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The was followed Aug. 28 by the Panther editorial "Victim-Blaming, Student Shaming."

On Sept. 2 came Megan Hertz Jansen's guest column "Protect and Serve Still Applies to Those Who Are Not Sober." Hertz, a junior television writing and production major who attended the speech as an orientation leader, sarcastically details how she could not believe what she was hearing.

"Alcohol Never Raped Anyone," a second Panther editorial on the speech as well as a previously passed city ordinance that cracks down on student parties, went up on Sept. 5.

That same day saw another guest column, "Consent is the Only Way," by Ian Donovan Hyland, a senior television writing and production major whose mother was raped. He wanted rape victims to know,  "I am here for you if you need someone to talk to." 

Here's what Kisela said that sparked the uproar:

“... [F]or the ladies, please be careful about drinking. Many of you haven’t drunk before, you can drink too much–you’ll be unable to control yourself.

“Think about it, new girls on campus, the older guys on campus are gonna teach you about college life."

Kisela, who was raised in Orange and still resides there, then described something he, his wife and some friends saw.

“We have a bunch of girls walking, they’re giddy. And you are giddy–especially when you drink. Ten seconds later, the boys at the house that are juniors and seniors (say), ‘The freshmen are here.’”

Glaser, the Panther reporter, collected reactions from a female student, who accused Kisela of “victim blaming” and of preaching "patriarchal values," and the university's director of Residence Life and First Year Experience, who said the chief did not provide extensive information as to what he would be speaking about prior to the event. The school official, David Sundby, also emphasized Kisela’s views do not represent the university as a whole.

Kisela was an Orange Police captain when he was named chief effective April 15. He attended Villa Park High School, Cal State Fullerton (where he received his bachelor's in history) and Chapman's Brandman University (where he got his master's in public administration). He and his wife of 21 years, Debbie, are raising a teen-age son and daughter in Orange.

Despite the Chapman backlash, Kisela's department "has not received any inquiries, feedback or comments from anyone," according to Lt. Fred Lopez, the Orange Police spokesman.

A view of a Panther editorial on Kisela's speech with a cartoon that I don't get.EXPAND
A view of a Panther editorial on Kisela's speech with a cartoon that I don't get.
Panther Online

"The chief of police did not single out freshman females," Lopez said. "As the father of a young daughter, his primary concern is in line with that of the university: their personal safety." 

Click the link above to the original Panther story to see the video of Kisela's speech. I could not find a version on YouTube to embed here, but we'll put it here if it pops up.


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