Taking indoctrination to a whole new level

Posted by: ST on October 30, 2007 at 10:22 pm

To say what’s happening at the University of Delaware is shocking is an understatement. I mean, we all know that the majority of college faculties across the country are liberal, and as a result liberal indoctrination through “education” ensues, but, as Jason Steck explains, the program at the University of Delaware goes much further than that:

The details of the program at the University of Delaware are positively Orwellian. Students living in residence halls are required to attend a lengthy list of seminars explicitly intended as “treatment” for attitudes that are presumed to be politically deficient. Their progress through these seminars and their compliance with the list of mandatory ideologies is monitored and reported up a hierarchical chain with written reports. Students that fail to express their enthusiastic support for the required thoughts can receive negative reports and, given the mandatory nature of the program, may be subject to academic or other sanctions.

John Leo at Minding the Campus writes:

The indoctrination program pushes students to accept the university’s ideas on politics, race, sex, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism. The training is run by Kathleen Kerr, director of residential life, who reportedly considers it a “cutting-edge” program that can be exported to other universities around the country. Residential assistants usually provide services to residents and have light duties, such as settling squabbles among students. Kerr and her program are more ambitious. She has been quoted as saying that the job of RAs is to educate the whole human being with a “curricular approach to residential education.” In this curricular approach, students are required to report their thoughts and opinions. One professor says: “You have to confess what you believe to the RA.” The RAs write reports to their superiors on student progress in cooperating with the “treatment.”

Here’s an example of some of the UDel’s “required thoughts”:

“A RACIST: 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. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination. (This does not deny the existence of such prejudices, hostilities, acts of rage or discrimination.)” – Page 3

—–

“REVERSE RACISM: A term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege. Those in denial use the term reverse racism to refer to hostile behavior by people of color toward whites, and to affirmative action policies, which allegedly give ‘preferential treatment’ to people of color over whites. In the U.S., there is no such thing as ‘reverse racism.'” – Page 3

—–

“A NON-RACIST: A non-term. The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called “blaming the victim”). Responsibility for perpetuating and legitimizing a racist system rests both on those who actively maintain it, and on those who refuse to challenge it. Silence is consent.” – Page 3

Read more here. The PDF document FIRE has obtained detailing UDel’s “residence life education program” can be perused here.

Put another nail in the coffin on the liberal lie about supporting “free thought.”

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  • 22 Responses to “Taking indoctrination to a whole new level”

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    1. forest hunter says:

      The author of the drivel found in the UD link has the following quote as part of her noble accomplishments.

      She was a legal staff worker with the National Lawyers Guild and developed curriculum at SF City College for working class women navigating the welfare and prison systems

    2. Angevin13 says:

      When the left forces its views on us, it’s always portrayed in terms of making people “good citizens”…

    3. PCD says:

      Who says Liberal Democrats are patriotic or really believe in democracy and the Bill of Rights.

    4. Severian says:

      It’s painfully apparent that while most on the right take Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” as cautionary tales the left has adopted them as blueprints for the future.

      The only difference between this and the political reeducation camps run by the Chinese and Cambodians and such is the mortality rate.

    5. John Galt says:

      Severian:

      The only difference between this and the political reeducation camps run by the Chinese and Cambodians and such is the mortality rate.

      Absolutely brilliant. If it could be distilled down to a simpler “quip” it would make a great button of bumper sticker.

      Good job!

    6. Leslie says:

      This isn’t education. It’s indoctrination.
      :-w

      Severian: I agree with you about the left and Orwell. Apparently the left doesn’t know that “Animal Farm” is a satire on the Russian Revolution and that (and maybe Orwell pointed this out himself at some point in time) “1984” is a cautionary tale about totalitarianism in any form.

      :-?

    7. Lissa says:

      Oh wow. Just wow. The definitions cited had me literally gasping in horror.

      So — since I’m a half-white, half-Chinese woman, can anyone tell me the proper mix of guilt and remorse I’m campus-mandated to be feeling?

      Gag.

    8. JZ says:

      In regards to the situation at the University of Delaware, it is unfortunate that FIRE has chosen to vilify the university with such ruthless rhetoric. In one fell swoop, FIRE has completely flipped this issue on its head, and in doing so, has been able to control the spin on the entire story.

      I am currently a senior at the University of Delaware and I was a resident assistant (RA) for the maligned Office of Residence Life for one semester last year. Not only has FIRE grossly misconstrued what is actually occurring at the university but they have added unnecessarily loaded language in their presentation of the issue which has further incited the criticism being foisted upon Delaware.

      To make clear before people paint me as a mouthpiece for the university: I am no longer working for the Office of Residence Life and I left voluntarily at the end of last semester. Also, I can only speak from my own experience and my observations of the system as a whole, and my statements do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other RAs.

      In my time working with this department, I was often at odds with many policies put in place but never did I feel that the office’s programs were “Orwellian” a “grave intrusion into students’ private beliefs” or coercive, as FIRE portrays them. In fact, I was skeptical of the effectiveness of many of the office’s programs but never did I think they endangered students’ right to free speech or their intellectual welfare.

      To put it simply — the university wants to promote diversity and facilitate social tolerance among its students. There is no subversive indoctrination, no hidden agenda. The university feels, to paraphrase what I gathered from my time employed by the Office of Residence Life, that students should progress as individuals during their time spent at Delaware and feels it is responsible for exposing them to what it deems character-building social concepts and qualities.

      The university does have in place an extensive program to promote tolerance among its students living in the residence halls. Yes, it has a list of “competencies” it hopes students achieve in their time at the university and it does hope students embrace a notion of “citizenship.” However, there is no “comprehensive manipulation” as FIRE claims.

      In my time as an RA, I was required to attend a class titled, “Contemporary Issues for Resident Assistants.” The purpose of the course was to educate RAs about the range of divisive issues facing college students and to prepare RAs to deal with any problems they might encounter in working with residents. We frequently covered diversity-related topics — issues relating to religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality, gender, etc. — and the purpose of the course was to learn how to be tolerant of and understand different people and situations.

      To be fair, not all of the material in the class dealt with these issues, however. We were also taught how to deal with sexual abuse, roommate-to-roommate conflicts, alcohol abuse, and a host of other issues which were relevant to working with largely underclassmen residents.

      Some of the coursework and activities were bluntly direct in their message. The university very obviously strived to instill in us near-universal tolerance and acceptance — or at least the cognizant awareness of what problems we might encounter in our positions and how to deal with them — so that we would be better equipped to do our jobs working with residents.

      However, there was no stipulation that we as students had to agree with the university’s position on these issues. In fact, few in the class (all fellow RAs) truly believed everything we were taught and felt much of the material was overstated, silly and patronizing. But none were actually against what was being taught. Most of us readily agreed that the university had the right intention — trying to make its students better people, which is what all universities try to do after all, right? — but misfired on the execution of those lessons.

      As for the “training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs)” that FIRE says students are supposedly required to attend: never in my experience did I see any students forced into a meeting they had an issue with or truly did not feel comfortable attending. While students were greatly encouraged to attend these meetings and these may have been promoted as mandatory, there were no consequences for absence. In fact, my meetings were attended by fewer than 50 percent of floor residents. How did I advertise them? Email notifications followed by knocking on each resident’s door to tell them when the meeting would be held. Hardly coercive, in my view.

      In general, it was a common occurrence for students to skip meetings at their leisure and there were no repercussions besides a “please try to come next time.” There were literally zero things we could do to punish residents, and moreso, no RAs that I knew felt the need for such punishment.

      In the one-on-one sessions, they are intended to be relatively short meetings between a resident and an RA with the hope of building a rapport between both sides to better create a “floor community.” The RAs were given rough guidelines as to how to conduct these meetings, but they were largely left up to the RA to plan and conduct. Yes, RAs were expected to ask somewhat-personal questions to better get to know residents, but I have never heard of a situation where students were generally offended or made uncomfortable by an RA’s questions or conversation. The entire point of these meetings is to promote a positive relationship between RA and resident, not to interrogate residents or scare them away from future interactions. Again, in my experience, these were encouraged but never forced onto residents; if a resident ever had a serious issue with this kind of meeting, I cannot see a request to be excused for personal reasons being denied.

      If anything, any problems relating to residence hall suppression of freedom of speech is due to problems relating to the work of individual RAs and not the system as a whole.

      I could go on and on with examples from my semester as an RA. From my first-hand experience, FIRE’s allegations are largely unfounded and serve only to stir a pot that is essentially non-existent. I truly hope the FIRE’s Web site re-evaluates its statements and tones down its rhetoric as to prevent the university from taking flak it does not deserve.

    9. PCD says:

      5, John Galt, how are you? Nice to see you again.

    10. LenS says:

      “Yes, RAs were expected to ask somewhat-personal questions to better get to know residents, but I have never heard of a situation where students were generally offended or made uncomfortable by an RA’s questions or conversation.”

      Sorry, JZ but you’re not convincing. Of course you heard no complaints. Only a very brave person or a fool would stick their neck out in such an environment. The risk of being labeled a troublemaker or racist in your freshman year is generally not going to be worth the effort. Most students will simply go along with the agenda as the path of least resistance. Just as tens of thousands of students humor ideological professors every day just to get a decent grade.

      As a Delaware resident, I’ve written my legislators and asked that they stop all financial support for the University until this program is canceled and the people who created it are fired. Of course, if the University is willing to give up all public funding, then they can continue to discriminate against evil white racists like myself until the end of time.
      But I very much doubt that they will want to give up the cash.

      Finally, I would also note the danger of RA’s abusing this power to take sexual advantage of students. “Sleep with me to prove that you’re not homophobic or racist or sexist.” Power corrupts and this program reeks of corruption.

    11. forest hunter says:

      To put it simply — the university wants to promote diversity and facilitate social tolerance among its students. There is no subversive indoctrination, no hidden agenda.

      What do you do with this excerpt from page 3?

      Responsibility for perpetuating and legitimizing a racist system rests both on those who actively maintain it, and on those who refuse to challenge it. Silence is consent.”

      You go on to say…..

      The university very obviously strived to instill in us near-universal tolerance and acceptance — or at least the cognizant awareness of what problems we might encounter in our positions

      Do you mean like this load of crap…….

      In the U.S., there is no such thing as ‘reverse racism.'” – Page 3

      I would hope that this next from you rings true but…..

      In fact, few in the class (all fellow RAs) truly believed everything we were taught and felt much of the material was overstated, silly and patronizing. But none were actually against what was being taught.

      …..if one is not against the inane babbling of the author and her anarchist friends, perhaps more damage was done than one might think. The elements of cultural competency are being redefined for you, but in your best interests I’m sure.

    12. Great White Rat says:

      Nice job of ducking and weaving, Len, but the central questions still remain:

      Why is UD pushing the RAs to hold floor meetings and one on one meetings specifically to advocate a leftist viewpoint? We’ve already seen that disagreeing with the “diversity” dogma has earned students unfavorable reports. Can you cite us even one instance where the RAs were encouraged to push a right-of-center concept on anyone? Things like understanding the merits of capitalism, or why they should be skeptical of AGW proponents, or even treating people as individuals instead of as members of either “privileged” or “oppressed” groups.

      By the way, who gets these reports you file on the students anyway? Who gets to read them and what happens to them? And why is it any of their business? Did you ever ask?

      You’ve seen the official UD definitions of things like “racism” as cited above. Do you deny that such a document exists? If not, explain why you think it is not a completely bigoted and hate-drenched piece of garbage.

      Oh, and if you still maintain that UD isn’t off the extreme far left end of the political spectrum, explain this official university web site, including, among other links, items like “Culture of White Supremacy” and “Detour Spotting for White Anti Racists”.

    13. Steve Skubinna says:

      JZ, you left out one salient fact: are you a white? Because if you are, you’re a racist and we don’t have to deal with you. If you are not white, well, then, pleace accept my most groveling apologies for everything and anything you ever experienced or will experience in your life. Please drop by my house and take anything there as partial compensation.

      Nice try sugarcoating this. People not in academia know totalitarianism when they see it.

    14. Great White Rat says:

      My apologies, Len…my remarks above were meant for JZ, not you. My error!

    15. Leslie says:

      JZ says:

      However, there was no stipulation that we as students had to agree with the university’s position on these issues. In fact, few in the class (all fellow RAs) truly believed everything we were taught and felt much of the material was overstated, silly and patronizing. But none were actually against what was being taught. Most of us readily agreed that the university had the right intention — trying to make its students better people, which is what all universities try to do after all, right? — but misfired on the execution of those lessons.

      Ah. Hah. JZ, you will, I hope, learn “in the fullness of time” that what you were doing was applying real-world common sense to doctrinaire issues. This is something that workers in the real world (into which, I expect, you are about to venture) do more often than not.

      Whether it’s Dilbert sighing and trying to get work done despite the interference of the pointy-haired guy, or a worker in the old USSR doing his best despite the commissar’s insistence on adherence to the latest unworkable five-year plan, it’s always the same thing. The dingbats upstairs issue ridiculous instructions, and the workers downstairs are left to carry them out as best they can.

      Sounds to me like you did the best you could.

      >:d<