What? Colonizing Boulder and subsidizing Ward Churchill ain’t enough for the Culture Warriors at CU? From Vincent Carroll, “Suspect Academics”:
ike most large universities, the University of Colorado does not prescribe a narrow core curriculum Ã¢â‚¬â€ a particular course in Western civilization or U.S. history, for example, in which every student must enroll.
But apparently some gaps in education are more critical than others. Enter Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Contemporary Research University and Student-Citizens,Ã¢â‚¬Â a course that someday could be required of every incoming freshman.
And what a doozy it is, too. Students who canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fix within 50 years the beginning of the Civil War Ã¢â‚¬â€ and believe me, they exist Ã¢â‚¬â€ would be required to immerse themselves in the latest theories regarding Ã¢â‚¬Å“white privilegeÃ¢â‚¬Â; they would consider such questions as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Am I My ParentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Values?Ã¢â‚¬Â They would contemplate the CU code of conduct, while mulling the Ã¢â‚¬Å“moral/ethical and behavior consequences of actions regarding alcohol, sexual assault/harassment.Ã¢â‚¬Â
They would do all of this for college credit, no less, and even sop up a bit of history along the way. Yes, students would be expected to learn at least one sliver of the past: the history of universities! After all, who could imagine going through life unaware that the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Golden AgeÃ¢â‚¬Â of the American university ended in 1975?
—which, curiously, is around the same time disco really took off. Coincidence? Or something more sinister…?
But I digress:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“CU 101 is rationalized variously as a course about diversity, as a course to encourage responsible drinking behavior and as a course on the history of the university in classic and modern civilizations,Ã¢â‚¬Â complained the chairwoman of the universityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Arts and Sciences Council, Barbara Buttenfield, in a letter to the Silver & Gold Record earlier this month.
Just so. The course is a mishmash. On the one hand, it would function as a mind-boggling extension of summer orientation Ã¢â‚¬â€ a point that CU regent Tom Lucero has made since its conception. All students would have to pay, in effect, for the sins of the few who canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stay out of trouble with intoxicants or who erupt in ugly displays of intolerance. As Charles de Bartolome of the Economics Department told Provost Phil DiStefano at a meeting last month with the Arts and Sciences Council, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The course seems to be about changing student behavior, not academics.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The neglect of academic content, however, is hardly the courseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worst fault. It is also Orwellian in the way it tries to reorient studentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ social and political views, at least as regards race and gender. On those issues the perspective is akin to what might be expected in a politicized ethnic studies department Ã¢â‚¬â€ based upon the syllabus published in the Boulder Daily Camera [...]
Not that this bothers student body President Hadley Brown. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is something I think is sorely needed,Ã¢â‚¬Â she told the Daily Camera. Ã¢â‚¬Å“So many students at CU lack multicultural education and education about white privilege.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Translation: “my understanding of the Duke Rape Case is limited to my perusals of Pandagon and an anthologized essay by Foucault that I didn’t quite understand, but that sounded, like, totally revolutionary. NOW STEP AWAY FROM MY VAGINA!”
Amazingly—but quite predictably, I’m sad to say—the mainstreaming of “multiculturalism” continues virtually unabated in academia, even as in practice many liberal European governments that have actually set social policy based upon multiculturalism’s (illiberal) precepts are furiously backpedaling, hoping to undo the damage done their countries by anti-assimilationist rhetoric, soft totalitarianism (implicit in policies of enforced “tolerance”), and an Otherness movement that has, in a very real sense, altered Western epistemology itself, in the process turning intellectual laziness into an academic sub-specialty.
If CU wants actually to help its students, it might consider “deconstructing” some of its own academic shibboleths, which as Ms Brown shows roll effortlessly and meaninglessly out of the mouths of already-indoctrinated babes.
But doing such would no doubt contribute to their “delinquency”—given that, to many in today’s academy, a failure to embrace “progressive” dogma is itself a type of social hate crime.
Frankly, I’m surprised that today’s universities don’t hand out “diversity quilts” in lieu of diplomas.
Probably has something to do with “self-esteem.” Or the fact that “quilts” are themselves indexically problematic, conjuring as they do thoughts of women using machine embroidery to add “texture” to their gal crafts—which is the mental equivalent of reifying “White male privilege”.
Those of you interested can check out the complete
syllabus here. It bears noting, too, that this course is “a work in progress,” according to Carroll. Still, as he also notes:
Earlier this month [...] the university sent letters to 400 students who expected to live next year in the Cheyenne Arapaho dormitory, informing them that they must take the course or find another place to live.
Is next fall the dress rehearsal for a full-scale rollout sometime later? Given the implacable influence of the diversity lobby in higher education, it would be foolish to bet against a mandate.
”Diversity means never having to accept ‘I’m Sorry’”.
Quick. Somebody make a bumpersticker.