The Right to Offend and Be Offended, Higher Ed Edition

Some people think they have a right not to be offended. Especially on college campuses. For whatever reason, an idea exists that if you are offended by something, somebody deserves to be punished, or at the least receive some sensitivity training.

Claremont McKenna is one of the few colleges today that has refused to be a total whore to the "-isms" which often spread this nonsense. Still, in the greater Claremont Colleges, political correctness can wreak havoc.

Two recent examples.

At Harvey Mudd College, one of the world’s premier engineering schools (an undergrad-only competitor to CalTech, Georgia Tech, MIT), the dean of students yesterday sent the following email:

This morning, the following writing was viewed on the white board of an HMC dorm room – "Hillary is a foxy lesbian". It seems that the student residents wrote this message as part of a joke, without thinking about the impact it might have on others. It refers to a prominent public figure.

The message has been erased. Campus Safety has been notified. But those who might be concerned about this incident are encouraged to stop by and speak with us in the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity, or with a member of the HMC Multicultural Ally Program. Some of the other resources include the Counseling Service, the Office of Black Student Affairs, Chicano Latino Student Affairs and the Queer Resource Center.

In accordance with communications protocol, all Claremont Colleges students were notified of this "incident". Laughable.

In a more publicized incident, at Scripps College, the best women’s college in the West, Dean of Students Debra Wood expressed alarm at the racism and sexism in advertisements for a "White Party". A White Party, of course, means "wear white." Djtimbo The advertisement had a picture of a white male dressed in white with two black females dancing in the background. Wood said the ad "harmed women and African-Americans." Harmed? Huh? Compared to what MTV broadcasts every day? Of course, at the end of her email, she notes:

The Scripps Dean of Students Staff, faculty members and members of the Diversity Coordinating Committee stand by to support members of our community, and support may be found at the Office of Black Student Affairs and Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center.

For some reason, I think these college administrators just want an excuse to promote the various minority support groups.

A Washington Post blog has more commentary on the Scripps incident. They nominate Dean Wood as "Idiot of the Year."

You can’t make this stuff up.

13 Responses to The Right to Offend and Be Offended, Higher Ed Edition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *