by Katherine Timpf • National Review
Nobody likes a mean person, and it’s better to be nice. But there is nothing nice about restricting students’ speech.
The University of Montana Western has a policy that allows for punishing students for “mean” words or “facial expressions” — and that punishment could technically be as severe as expulsion.
“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,” states the Student Code of Conduct.
Another area of the code states that “committing any act prohibited by this Code of Conduct may result in expulsion or suspension from the University unless specific and mitigating factors are present.”
“Factors to be considered in mitigation may include the present attitude and past disciplinary record of the offender, as well as the nature of the offense and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it,” the code continues. Continue reading
By Elizabeth Harrington • Washington Free Beacon
The University of Arizona is encouraging college students to cry “ouch!” when they hear something offensive, make artwork about race relations, have story time, play four corners, and take a “time out” if they feel uncomfortable.
A new guide for faculty on “Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom” offers tips for “inclusiveness” and how to establish a “safe space” in the classroom. The guidelines are voluntary for faculty and were first reported by the College Fix.
The guidelines offer “Strategies for Engaging Students,” which include the “One Diva, One Mic” rule and allowing 20-year-olds to yell “ouch” and “oops” in class. Continue reading
When we limit students’ ability to discuss controversial ideas, we allow harmful prejudices and thoughts to fester. Classrooms should offer more.
By Jonathan Helwink • The Federalist
In his seminal work, “The Closing of the American Mind,” Allan Bloom recalled having a debate with a colleague about education. During the debate, the colleague said that his duty as an educator was to get rid of his students’ prejudices. Bloom wondered: Would his colleague render his students passive, indifferent, and subject to authorities like himself? Or was he just showing off?
Bloom’s response: he said he tried to teach his students prejudices. Prejudices, to Bloom, were avenues to knowledge. Error is the enemy, but error points to the truth, and therefore deserves our respectful attention. This notion is undervalued on college campuses, where increasing numbers of students learn to become citizens in a republic. But Bloom’s method could point to a new way forward for free expression on campus. Continue reading