Ve Have Vays of Making You Conform

I am not sure this even needs an introduction.  Comparisons to "1984" are invoked in political discourse almost as much as those to Nazi Germany, and most are overblown, but the George Orwell novel is all I can think of when I see this:

It may be almost 2007, but it feels more like "1984" at Michigan
State University. The university's Student Accountability in Community
Seminar (SAC) forces students whose speech or behavior is deemed
unacceptable to undergo ideological reeducation at their own expense.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is challenging
Michigan State to dismantle this unconstitutional program, which
presents a profound threat to both freedom of speech and freedom of
conscience.

 
"Michigan State's SAC program is simply one of the most invasive
attempts at reeducation that FIRE has ever seen, yet it has been
allowed to exist at the university for years," FIRE President Greg
Lukianoff said. "As bad as it is to tell citizens in a free society
what they can't say, it is even worse to tell them what they must
say. Michigan State's program is an immoral and unconstitutional
program of compelled speech, blatant thought reform, and
pseudo-psychology."
 
According to the program's materials,
SAC is an "early intervention" for students who use such
"power-and-control tactics" as "male/white privilege" and
"obfuscation," which the university cryptically defines as "any action
of obscuring, concealing, or changing people's perceptions that result
in your advantage and/or another's disadvantage." Students can be
required to attend SAC if they demonstrate what a judicial
administrator arbitrarily deems aggressive behavior, past examples of
which have included slamming a door during an argument or playing a
practical joke. Students can also be required to attend SAC for
engaging in various types of constitutionally protected speech,
including "insulting instructors" or "making sexist, homophobic, or
racist remarks at a meeting." When participation in SAC is required,
"non-compliance typically results in a hold being placed on the
student's account," an action that leaves the student unable to
register for classes and thus effectively expelled from the university.
Students are required to pay the cost of the SAC sessions.
 
Once in the program, students are instructed to answer a series of
written questionnaires. In their answers, students must specifically
describe how they are taking "full responsibility" for their offensive
behavior and must do so using language that the director of the session
deems acceptable. Most students will be asked to fill out this
questionnaire multiple times, slowly inching closer to what
administrators deem to be "correct" responses.

PC indoctrination at our nation's universities is alive and well.  It just astounds me that a group of adults thought this was acceptable.

  • My mental image is from A Clockwork Orange, when Malcom's eyes are being forced open as he watches "instructional" movies.

  • Myrtle

    The proper comparison is not with the Nazis but with the Cultural Revolution in China. The Nazis didn't care about rehabilitating those that didn't conform to its ideology; the Chinese did.

  • dearieme

    It falls between two stools. Most of it should be scrapped. On the other hand, capital punishment should be applied for practical jokes.

  • Craig

    Just like we had a revolution against Big Media, I think we need a revolution against Big University. The left-wing brainwashing, stifling of speech, promotion of sexual deviancy, and waste of taxpayer money that takes place at virtually every University needs to be stopped somehow.

  • I'm with Craig.

    Among other things, it seems that if the ultimate goal was the higher education of individuals and the community at large, then there would be a non-traditional way for older adults to obtain their first 60 credits or so.

    An engineering degree is an engineering degree, but if a guy comes in at 30 years of age with a full resume behind him, and is well read, he ought to have the option of testing out of the non-major related courses. Full tuition should still be charged so as not to create a loophole for people to try and scam the system, and when I say test out, I don't mean a typical CLEP test which schools like ASU hardly recognize or allow anyway. Testing out of one course might mean a couple of weeks meeting with professors, and submitting to both written and oral exams so as to ensure that the knowledge of the student is not simply learned by rote.

    However it would be done, the point is that a life's time of productive living should count for something in academia.

    I'll be going back to school next year, and I'm dreading the thought of some of these trumped up classes meant to make me more socially and culturally aware. I could teach the class much more effecitvely than some tenured sinecure whose view of culture and society are hardly reflective of reality.

    Rant off. . .