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Why you shouldn't send your child to live on-campus at a secular university: Reason #2,387

You may have seen it elsewhere in the blogosphere, but the legal advocacy group FIRE is warning the University of Delaware about its creepy leftish re-education camps, aka, dormitories.

Actually, the news of the University of Delaware's program doesn't come as too much of a surprise to me. Word has been leaking out for some years now that various state universities are using the residence hall "campus experience" as an opportunity for indoctrination, though by my recollection the other cases I've heard of have involved RA's who stood to lose their jobs if they didn't toe the line in various indoctrination sessions of their own. But that fact itself betokened attempts to brainwash students who were not RA's. This program is the most explicit I've heard of, though, almost a parody of itself. If you wrote it up as satire, no one would believe you. The two chief items of religious education, not surprisingly, are "oppression" and environmentalism. I won't steal FIRE's thunder. You can see the examples for yourself. FIRE has saved all the pdf's, which looks like it's a good thing, as a commentator on LGF says the University of Delaware is taking down the copies on its own web site.

Some classes at secular universities can be fine. But living there is something else, again.

Update: Wow, that was fast! University of Delaware has backed down and formally discontinued the program. Via LGF. Hey, it's a step in the right direction!

Comments (14)

I went through something like this my freshman year, when only engineering students were required to take sensitivity training. Though not nearly as severe as this program, the trainers' insulting presumption I was a dumb bigot didn't endear their program to me. It was a good inoculation against identity politics.

The sad thing is, many companies have now hired consultants to protect themselves from lawsuits and to reeducate their employees. It's a nice little protection racket, proving ethnic/gender studies departments have better business sense than more substantive liberal arts fields.

This is statement is amazing:

“[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

I bring this up because just recently Charles Johnson was calling the BNP a racist, neo-Nazi group. I don't know how to do the hyperlinks, but here is the link.


Here is a response:


Now I knew nothing about the BNP prior to this, but is this a group that should be shunned, or are these charges a product of our "reeducation"?

Well, X, I'll pass on giving an opinion on the Johnson vs. Brussels Journal fight, because I don't feel like I know enough to have a clear opinion. I've been following it a teensy bit, and I can see both of their sides to some extent, and that's all I can or will say on the topic.

But certainly, that particular quotation you give from the brain-washing session is one of the most outrageous. I gather, as Kevin says, that insane guilt-tripping of white students has been going on in "sensitivity training" sessions for a long time as part of freshman orientation on some secular university campuses. We've all heard about that, I'm sure. My advice there is to have your kid take classes first somewhere that doesn't do that, even if it isn't where you ultimately want him to get his degree. Even some on-line classes would be enough to start the ball rolling and do his initial college admissions at a transitional institution. Then have him go in as a transfer student to the big secular university. Orientation is likely to be less of a brain-washing thing for transfer students, especially if it is somewhere near home and the young person is going to live at home rather than on campus. And if there are on-going programs like the University of Delaware one targeting dorm residents, he'll be free of all that and can concentrate on academics, which is what some of us still think (hope) the university can exist for.

Well, X, I'll pass on giving an opinion on the Johnson vs. Brussels Journal fight, because I don't feel like I know enough to have a clear opinion.

Not a problem. I thought you may have understood what is going on better than I do.

My advice there is to have your kid take classes first somewhere that doesn't do that, even if it isn't where you ultimately want him to get his degree

I went to a Jesuit university and although I never experienced anything to this degree, I did come across this kind of thinking in Urban Studies and African Studies. I remember a student who wrote a paper about “whiteness”. This “whiteness” was considered to be an attitude of bigotry, oppression and exploitation. I was amazed about the ease in which a paper like this was written. Could you imagine a paper about “blackness” that described “blackness” as ignorant, savagery and criminal? Somehow abstracting the worst stereotypes of Europeans and turning it into an attitude in of itself is considered “progressive”.

It's bad enough that there should even be African Studies Departments. But if the universities insist on having them, it would be nice if they cd. keep the craziness sort of quarantined over there so it's easily avoided. Unfortunately, they don't.

I like the idea of the quarantined craziness.. but oh, it does seep out. I remember a WOST class that met before one of my classics classes, and one day they were learning how to say "NO" if someone approached them in a way they did not like (the example was if a stranger touched their earrings while admiring them). They were supposed to say "I do not like the way you are touching me, please do not do it again, agreed?" and keep on until the person agreed. and this was a 101 class full of freshmen(and women, *of course*)How is that educational?
I was in school at a secular university only a few years ago, and I simply skipped all the orientations and tried to thoroughly research all profs before taking their classes. I escaped generally unscathed (and with some good stories...!)

What does "WOST" mean?

At our local big university, you cannot get keys to your dorm if you don't go through freshman orientation. They are also trying to make it mandatory for students to stay on campus for a night during orientation even if they are not going to live on campus when they go to school! Hence my advice about transferring as well as not living on campus. Transfer orientation is--or so I'm told--quite different.

WoSt (Women's Studies).

Thanks, Todd.

No wonder then. A pseudo-discipline is a pseudo-discipline. Y'can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. And so forth.

You know, I had wondered before why students ever attend the orientations-- they seemed worthless and boring at best. Now I know!
It's troubling that "simple" decisions (my child will go to X University because she wants to study Y and they have a good program) now must be complicated by investigations into problems like this. How sad that there are people out there with so much madness *and* so much energy to spread it around.

It is my impression, based on experiences of my son and his friends, some kids absorb PC propaganda in college like a paper towel and other kids totally ignore it.

I'm not a shrink, but it seems that less mature, not very social kids are vulnerable. Mature, social kids with real-life interests and activities stand better chance.

If I would be a parent of college bound kid who is a sort of a loner, I would be careful to college selection to limit PC damage.

Having said that, it is a big burden on parent to protect kids from all PC, all the time propaganda in college.

I think the important thing is not to put them into a situation that *no sane person* would want to be in where they are going to get actively punished for not mouthing the PC propaganda. I think sometimes when people talk about the problems of PC in college, everybody assumes that we're all worrying about our kids' becoming PC, imbibing it. Well, that's a legitimate concern. But my greater concern is not having my kids' lives messed up because they won't toe the line. The problem with some courses and programs is that the actual assignments, the grading, etc., penalize you if you don't say the right things. In the case of this Delaware dormitory program, there must have been some sort of incentive/disincentive way to force the kids to put eco-propaganda on their dorm doors, to cut their "ecological footprint" by 20%, to do a project in which they "advocated for oppressed racial minorities," and all the other garbage.

FIRE went to court for a girl in another case who received a poor grade in a course because she would not *mail to her congressman* a letter advocating gay marriage. She was willing to write it, as an exercise in stating the case. She just wouldn't mail it. Her teacher penalized her for this, which was crazy. We have to realize that some college PC nuts have realized that there are kids out there who let mere talk roll off their backs. And they're mad about that. They are determined not to *let* them let it roll off their backs, to force them to say "shibboleth" to it in one way or another.

I recalled another moment in my undergrad years in the late '90s. An English class assumed white privilege, but some students distanced themselves by invoking a narrower privileged class--the old WASP elite--and claimed the curriculum lumped in everybody with the WASPs.

This memory provokes a few thoughts:

The old WASP classification was probably used by Jews, Catholics, and other ethnic minorities to break down barriers to their own advance in society. Members of the old elite would patronize these minority groups to acquire political and social power. They could use their enlightened opinions to justify their rule.

On the other hand, expanding WASP privilege to White privilege refocuses attention away from the old WASP elite(assuming it existed).

Finally, since most educators are minted by the Ivy League, or would like to have the same elite opinions, they'll adopt the habits of the Ivies. Many Ivy League students really are incredibly privileged, so attacks against that kind of privilege might be more potent. However, anti-privilege habits of thought are applied to all of higher education.

Thus we are treated with the spectacle of professors lecturing on the horrors of white privilege to public university students who have never enjoyed the privileges of the ruling class.

From the President's letter:

"While I believe that recent press accounts misrepresent the purpose of the residential life program at the University of Delaware, there are questions about its practices that must be addressed and there are reasons for concern that the actual purpose is not being fulfilled. It is not feasible to evaluate these issues without a full and broad-based review."

This sounds like as close as one could get to a full admission that the program is junk. He seems to have jerked it so fast I wonder how much approval/knowledge the Pres had of the program before the stench became overwhelming.

Perhaps it's evidence of a thaw. I remember how little coverage Harvard got when it dropped its sexual harassment reporting policy. With it, professors could be turned in anonymously and not only never confront the accuser, but not even be informed of the nature of the charged. Someone in charge eventually said "Uhh, we are going to go back to the old system. You may have heard of it--due process?" There were some bleats from the usual suspects about the reversion, but it passed on largely unnoticed. Almost like a silent Stalingrad of Political Correctness.

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