University was once where young minds were exposed to ‘dangerous’ new ideas and foreign concepts. But now, that’s precisely what young minds are being protected from.
There used to be a joke asking “what’s the opposite of diversity” with “University” being the correct response. Increasingly, that joke is becoming less ‘true’ and more ‘sad’. At least as far as divergent ideas go, anyway.
Rather than being confronted with new ideas that challenged old ways of thinking, with a mosh pit of competing ideas thrown into the mix to see which ones win out, students are having that thinking done for them.
Students are presented with the ‘right’ conclusions to life’s big questions, whether they’ve asked them or not. And what happens if you don’t buy into academic orthodoxy? You could face a range of negative consequences.
A policy at the University of Montana Western prevents students from being “mean, nasty, or vindictive in spoken or printed or emailed words, facial expressions, or gestures.”
In the Student Code of Conduct at UMW, there are a set of “Civility Standards,” which makes it against the Code of Conduct for students to be “mean” or make unruly “facial expressions” in discussions, as pointed out by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s speech code of the month.
“While discussions may become heated and passionate, they should never become mean, nasty, or vindictive in spoken or printed or emailed words, facial expressions, or gestures,” the Student Code of Conduct at UMW states.
The Code of Conduct clarifies that “all of the expectations below apply to face-to-face as well as virtual interactions.”
According to the policy, violations of the Student Code of Conduct can result in suspension of a student’s technology account, suspension, or in extreme cases, expulsion.
In addition, the “Civility Standards” also state that students are expected to “be kind to others at all times” and to “never involve students or community members in campus politics to gain support for your point of view or to gain personal allies.”
Laura Beltz, policy reform program officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) told Campus Reform that the terms used in the policy are all subjective, and could be used to unconstitutionally punish students.
Did you catch the part about what consequences ‘offending’ students could face?
“suspension of a student’s technology account, suspension, or in extreme cases, expulsion”
Someone could be expelled from school for hurting someone’s feelings.
So much for Universities for being the testing grounds for unfettered free speech. They much prefer the Jackboot of conformity.
So much, also, for the Academy embracing the words of Plutarch: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
Has anyone in academia bothered to ask the question: if we’re not teaching students how to grapple with difficult ideas to arrive at truth, how will we ever move beyond what we know?
Or is that exactly the point? Will the ‘ideas that move us beyond’ be curated and provided to us?
I mean, really, what could POSSIBLY go wrong with THAT approach?
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now: Pussification: The Effeminization Of The American Male
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