Sunday, October 5, 2014

Oppression in the Name of Fairness: A Disturbing Trend on College Campuses


Summer has officially ended and the new school year has begun. Students are buckling down for another year of studying, planning their extracurricular schedules, and catching up with old friends. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of the educational community is becoming increasingly hostile, and we feel we must remind our readers that school is not always a safe place to exchange ideas.

Last year, this site published two articles discussing ideological clashes at Vassar that resulted in members of the student body feeling stifled and afraid.

Pro-Palestine sentiments on campus last spring reached a point where they had become anti-Israel. Shouting down dissenters and blocking students from class have occurred on more than one occasion. Pro-Israel groups nationwide, as well as Vassar alums were shocked at the aggression exhibited on campus.

This tension was not isolated to a conflict between pro-Palestine vs. pro Israel. The school’s efforts to promote racial diversity seem to have swung to the other extreme and resulted in white students being painted as oppressors. During last year’s freshman orientation, an event entitled “Who Is Vassar?” was held. Although it was not an official part of the freshman orientation, faculty members were present. The presentation consisted of poetry readings, most of which described Vassar as a racist, homophobic, sexist, and unfriendly environment. White incoming freshmen reported that this made them feel very uncomfortable, as if they were already coming into school with a strike against them.

Earlier in the year, an article published on this site discussed how falsified incidents of bias and questionable disciplinary methods promoted a culture of inequality and fear on campus. Specific female students, as well as the college disciplinary policies as a whole victimize male students while portraying them as villains.
 
At another college, a student who has asked that both he and his school remain anonymous, reported that he was fired from his post as a teaching assistant after he attended an internship with the Ayn Rand Institute. The school reportedly told this student that Rand’s ideology was so vastly different from theirs that they felt he was no longer a suitable candidate to work with their students.
 
One post that I wrote regarding this topic has not yet made it onto this site, but was published on Watchdog Wire. This article discussed The University of Scranton, where I myself experienced ideological discrimination. I found that the school’s Honors Program was less about encouraging academic growth and more about forcing a left-leaning ideology on the students. Those who offered differing viewpoints were ostracized and even openly attacked by their professors.

After I posted this piece, I found that several teachers became increasingly hostile toward me. A future post will discuss my full experience at the University of Scranton and the challenges I spoke as an outspoken libertarian student.
 
School, especially colleges and universities, should be safe havens for ideas; places where different viewpoints can be freely and respectfully shared and debated. Unfortunately, our institutions of higher learning are becoming increasingly stifling. Far from encouraging new ideas, teachers have been seen to go out of their way to destroy them. Students who dare to speak up are silenced, ostracized, bullied, and in some cases punished.

This blog will never encourage people to hide their beliefs or refrain from speaking up against injustice. But students must use caution. Remember that there could be serious consequences for students who disagree with the ideology set forth by their school.

**NOTE**
 If you or someone you know has faced repercussions from your school based on your ideology and would like to share your story, eMail me at ladygrantaire@gmail.com

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