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Thread: A Year of Discontent on Campus

  1. #1
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    A Year of Discontent on Campus

    A Year of Discontent on Campus
    An examination into incidents reported to the Bias Response Team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Christian Schneider
    Feb 6

    When students settled in to a sociology class on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on September 14, 2018, the professor started describing certain theories he said he was eager to critique in a proposal that he was thinking of sending to the sociology department.

    Yet, the professor added, some theories and beliefs couldn’t be critiqued; he called them “sacred cows” within academia.

    This statement angered one student, who complained to university administrators that use of the term “sacred cows” was inappropriate.

    “The way he used this term was offensive to me, because in some cultures, cows are deemed to be sacred, and his employment of the term as a snarky rhetorical device demonstrates the lack of awareness or concern this person has towards future colleagues and students who might be from those countries,” the student wrote.

    “I grew up in India, and found his use of this terminology to be condescending and racist,” the student added. “I would not feel safe around him, and feel that his confident lack of awareness perpetuates the unsafe white-centric and white-supremacist environment of UW-Madison.”

    The student filed this complaint using the university’s “Bias or Hate” reporting website, which encourages campus community members to report any uncomfortable interaction they encounter on campus. Students may file behavior reports anonymously against other students for words uttered in private interactions, or may report professors for words said in front of a classroom. The site began taking reports at the school in 2016, at a cost of $60,000 per year.

    During the 2018-19 school year, 107 bias and hate complaints were filed at UW-Madison, each of which I retrieved through a freedom of information request. While the information identifying students and professors was redacted, the breadth and scope of what campus community members are willing to report one another for is revealing.

    UW-Madison isn’t alone—In 2017, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found 232 American schools with Bias Response Teams. This number is almost certainly outdated—in 2020, it is difficult to find any major public university that doesn’t have some sort of reporting structure, whether they call it a campus “climate,” “bias,” or “caring” system. And with students defining themselves both by their group affiliations and victim status, such structures allow them to portray their campuses as snakepits of hate and vituperation, where discrimination runs rampant.

    The UW-Madison website itself offers an unwieldy, broad definition of “bias” incidents that should be reported to administrators.

    “Bias,” according to the school, comprises “Single or multiple acts toward an individual, group, or their property that are so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that they create an unreasonably intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, learning, or program environment, and that one could reasonably conclude are based upon actual or perceived age, race, color, creed, religion, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, spirituality, cultural, socio-economic status, or any combination of these or other related factors.”

    Of course, such a system lets individual students decide what violates their own feelings of propriety.

    In some ways, Bias Response Teams are more stifling than the pernicious campus speech codes of the 1980s—they turn classrooms, dorms, and student unions into surveillance states, where thoughts expressed in private conversations can make their way into the hands of a university diversity administrator. The university is effectively imposing a nebulous speech code, then crowdsourcing its enforcement. In fact, at the UW-Madison, the campus Bias Response Advisory Board includes two members of the UW Police Department —making the board a literal “speech police.”
    Many, many nearly unbelievable examples at the link.

    The Dispatch
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  2. #2
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    Cow farts matter
    If it pays, it stays

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbit View Post
    Cow farts matter
    Especially at schools like Texas A&M, Iowa State, and other ag heavy universities.

  5. #4
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    "“I grew up in India, and found his use of this terminology to be condescending and racist,” the student added. "

    How does "go fuck yourself" sit with you , Sahib?
    You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.

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    What would be great is if somebody just said, "No." to these kids when they make this ridiculous complaints.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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