May 23, 2007

Indoctrination 101.

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 — 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 “The Contemporary Research University and Student-Citizens,” a course that someday could be required of every incoming freshman.

And what a doozy it is, too. Students who can’t fix within 50 years the beginning of the Civil War — and believe me, they exist — would be required to immerse themselves in the latest theories regarding “white privilege”; they would consider such questions as “Am I My Parents’ Values?” They would contemplate the CU code of conduct, while mulling the “moral/ethical and behavior consequences of actions regarding alcohol, sexual assault/harassment.”

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 “Golden Age” 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:

“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,” complained the chairwoman of the university’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 — 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 can’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, “The course seems to be about changing student behavior, not academics.”

The neglect of academic content, however, is hardly the course’s worst fault. It is also Orwellian in the way it tries to reorient students’ 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 — based upon the syllabus published in the Boulder Daily Camera […]

Not that this bothers student body President Hadley Brown. “This is something I think is sorely needed,” she told the Daily Camera. “So many students at CU lack multicultural education and education about white privilege.”

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.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:00am
18 comments | Trackback

Comments (18)

  1. Wow.  Still trying to wrap my head around “encouraging responsible drinking”.

    What a neat bit of language in the sillybis of a course given to “young adults” most well under the drinking age.

    Why not “encourage responsible prostitution” or “encourage responsible methanphetamine use”?

    Reminds me of when I was caught skipping the mandatory “sexual harrassment training” given before Senior Prom.  I told the disciplinarian that I was already pretty well accomplished in the sexual harrasment field and didn’t think I needed any extra training.  The two weeks detention were worth it.

  2. Due to various reasons I won’t bore you with, I have, in the last three years, spent a lot of time at my alma mater attending numerous functions with varied members of the administration starting with the university president, the provost, deans, profs, etc.

    Recently, my wife and I attended a dinner honoring the top students from the various departments. Their professors would give an introduction and overview of the scholastic work and then the student would stand up and say a few words while everyone chewed on their chicken with mushroom sauce and overcooked asparagus.

    In one of the intros, a prof stood at the podium and thunderously invoked the need for “social justice”, “tolerance”, and his student “making the world a fair place.” Of course, nothing about his regurgitation of leftist tropes and multiculti PC pablum surprised me until I looked again at the program notes and checked out his department: biology.

    WTF?

  3. How GLOBAL WARMING impacts the ecosystem:  George W Bush, the Oil Cartels, and the death of Snoozy, my pet giant tortoise

    As dissertation titles go, not bad. I’d read it.

  4. I came across this story today, written by a black journalist who took a stint as a professor at Stillman College.  It’s a sad but enlightening essay on how post-modernism has affected our education system.

  5. conjuring as they do thoughts of women weaving

    Uh, quilts are pieced, sewn, and stitched. You’re thinking blankets.

    </nitpick>

  6. Will fix it.

  7. Can’t some sharp young ambulance chaser make a legal argument that all this “white privilege” browbeating constitutes “a hostile environment”?

    On the other hand, nothing will breed hostility and rebellion in the audience than a “whitey bad” guilt trip. 

    Then again, reading Brian’s cited article, the most likely result is that this indoctrination is going in one ear and right out the other.

  8. War on Terror – What does that mean ?  We are not at war !  That is just some bumper sticker slogan to scare people.  Believe me.  The people in my America know.

  9. I’ve been telling my husband for a few years now that our kids aren’t going to CU.  CU keeps doing things that tells me I’m right.

    Whatever happened to Ronald Reagan University, or the school that was going to be named that until Nancy Reagan just said no?

  10. And speaking of white privilege – we applied my son into the district’s gifted and talented school.  He qualified and was in the first 60 applicants (first come first serve if a student qualifies), so we figured we had a pretty good shot since the kindergarten class had 60 seats. 

    Thanks to their siblings and minorities first rule, my son is 35th on the wait list.  The kicker is this – statistically, their Asian students outnumber black and Hispanic students at least ten to one.

    I’m an octoroon, so we debated whether to list my son as black (following the ‘one drop rule&#8217wink and decided against it, more due to rejection of affirmative action than my son’s pale skin.  I still haven’t figured out if their affirmative action policy is because they want a diverse class photograph, ‘cause there’s very little poverty and underprivilegedness in our school district, or if they really believe that minorities just aren’t able to do as well without a helping hand.

  11. …or if they really believe that minorities just aren’t able to do as well without a helping hand.

    That is, indeed, what they believe. Deep down, in their little black hearts hearts of color.

  12. After all, who could imagine going through life unaware that the “Golden Age” of the American university ended in 1975?

    Makes sense to me. That’s the year I graduated, and I was, after all, Time’s Person of the Year last year.

  13. Big deal, so was I.

    I gradiated in ‘71, BTW.

    I think. It’s all kinda hazy after ‘69, y’know?

    I wonder what would befall any frosh injudicious enough to ask pointed questions in this required course?…

  14. I think I threw up in my mouth a little.

    Alice: I check the “decline to state” box whenever I’m asked to racially profile myself, and since the people handling these applications will never meet me in 95% of the cases, I feel fine about it.

    Besides, I’m not white, I’m a misplaced Slav. As granddad used to say, “Scratch a Russian, find a Mongol.”

  15. Is CSU as ‘tarded as CU, cause I thought Ft Collins was a pretty swell town and I wouldn’t mind returning for a longer stay and drinking a lot of their beer.

  16. I don’t get it. Can’t we just hit some of these people in the mouths with pies?

    Tell me Ward Churchill hasn’t been screaming for a fistful of bannanna cream. I dares ya.

  17. I thought Ft Collins was a pretty swell town

    Wasn’t that the place the dittoheads descended on for a “bake sale,” and actually left the town cleaner than they found it?

  18. We actually weren’t ALLOWED to ‘decline to state’ when enrolling my son in kindergarten.

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