Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Education Your Rights Online

America's Ten Most Oppressive Colleges 385

An anonymous reader writes: A new review of free speech on campuses across the United States has listed the country's ten most oppressive colleges, with examples of why they earned this odious status.

The first link is the actual report, while the second provides a good quick summary. In either case, the behavior of college officials in attempting to squelch dissent is quite disgusting. Far more horrifying and worrisome for the future were the number of cases where the students themselves moved to stamp down on opposing views. They are the future, and that future does not look pleasant. In South Carolina students are suing their college for interrogating them for daring to hold an event in support of free speech that offended some students.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

America's Ten Most Oppressive Colleges

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:29PM (#51591901)

    You have no right not to be offended.

    Shove your idea of "microagressions" right up your ass. So it can be near your brain.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:51PM (#51592073)

      You have no right not to be offended.

      Shove your idea of "microagressions" right up your ass. So it can be near your brain.

      My employer made me and everyone in the department (that's thousands of people) take a microagressions training session. Utter bullshit. "Pretend to be nice to hopeless incompetents, because it's their bad feelz that makes them hopeless engineers" seemed to be the message.

       

      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        My employer made me and everyone in the department (that's thousands of people) take a microagressions training session.

        Sensitivity training was quite popular in the 1990's, especially when the only women in the entire company worked in HR.

      • Cultural inclusivity (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 26, 2016 @01:24PM (#51592333)

        I caused a minor revolt and pissed off the ultra-leftists (the sane leftists sympathized with my views) when I publically accused our micro-aggressions indocrnitator that she was being culturally insensitive and that it was absolutely unethical and a violation of university policy for her to conflate cultural idioms with aggressions. Something like "When speaking a rural Appalachian dialect is a microaggression, you have banned my culture" and then quoted our "cultural diversity" statement. Itw as funny. The indoctrinator was red faced and puffy. The ultra-leftists went off on their screed, the sane leftists argued with them, and then the hour allotted was over. I'm sure I'll be summoned to the dean's office again, and I think I'll have the EO complaint written.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Culture is not a protected attribute. Culture, religion, political views and anything else that is a matter of choice can be freely criticised.

          You shouldn't get in trouble for arguing your point, but others have every right to criticise your culture.

      • I like Zoidberg's approach to peer review:

        "Your design's bad and you should feel bad!"

  • Oppressive (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:30PM (#51591911)

    'Oppressive' seems a bit over-the-top. Even TFA article doesn't use that word.

    Next up: "America's Most Genocidal Colleges"!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Next up: "America's Most Genocidal Colleges"!

      That would be The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the US Army School of the Americas

    • If you want oppressive colleges, try the Electoral College.

      • Re:Oppressive (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @02:42PM (#51592891) Homepage Journal

        If you want oppressive colleges, try the Electoral College.

        Actually, the Electoral College is a necessary equalizer for the states...without that, a very small number of states would perpetually run roughshod over the other states....and one of the conditions of becoming a state was that you'd get your equal representation on the federal level, and this is VERY important.

        Remember, you are a member of your state first....THEN you are a member of the United States.

        At least..that's how it was set up.

        • Remember, you are a member of your state first....THEN you are a member of the United States.

          At least..that's how it was set up.

          This is very true, and it's something that's almost completely forgotten today. It's the reason why Charles Francis Adams -- grandson of President John Quincy Adams and great-grandson of President John Adams -- a man who led black Union troops in the Civil War, and a president of the American Historical Association, could argue in 1902 that Robert E. Lee [archive.org] should be given a statue in Washington, D.C.

          Why? Because Lee first-and-foremost saw himself as a Virginian, and he was literally defending his country

  • The president is a total imbecile and everybody regrets his ascension, but it's overall a fantastic university.
    • Your university is responsible for his 'ascension' so no, it's not a good university. They must have known what he was like when they gave him the job.
      • Not my university, although I do work with some of the professors there from time to time. And no, the president is something of a two-faced politician that made certain promises he chose not to keep for his own benefit.
  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:33PM (#51591937) Homepage

    So let's be clear: pretty much all of these situations are completely unacceptable, and most disturbingly they show a tendency for much of these sorts of problems to occur on the left, what essentially amounts to the "illiberal left" http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/01/liberals-and-the-illiberal-left/384988/ [theatlantic.com]. However, FIRE's own biases are coming into play in this list, in that every example they decide to include is on the left or has no political aspect. But there were a lot of rimilar activities with an apparently right-wing bent, such as the situation at Wheaton College https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/01/06/wheaton-illinois-moves-fire-professor-who-wore-hijab [insidehighered.com]. It may be that FIRE's top list is still more of an issue for legitimate reasons because many of these universities are large, public universities and thus engaging in trampling on free speech is even more serious, but it does seem like FIRE's own biases may be having a role in what they've decided to highlight.

    However, the general upshot should be clear: trampling on free speech is not ok. And we should support free speech whether or not it is speech we agree with. Universities must be bastions of free expression for them to effectively do their jobs. And groups of all sorts should remember that even if they have power now to censor others, they may not always be the ones in power.

    • by redmid17 ( 1217076 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:48PM (#51592057)

      So let's be clear: pretty much all of these situations are completely unacceptable, and most disturbingly they show a tendency for much of these sorts of problems to occur on the left, what essentially amounts to the "illiberal left" http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/01/liberals-and-the-illiberal-left/384988/ [theatlantic.com]. However, FIRE's own biases are coming into play in this list, in that every example they decide to include is on the left or has no political aspect. But there were a lot of rimilar activities with an apparently right-wing bent, such as the situation at Wheaton College https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/01/06/wheaton-illinois-moves-fire-professor-who-wore-hijab [insidehighered.com]. It may be that FIRE's top list is still more of an issue for legitimate reasons because many of these universities are large, public universities and thus engaging in trampling on free speech is even more serious, but it does seem like FIRE's own biases may be having a role in what they've decided to highlight.

      However, the general upshot should be clear: trampling on free speech is not ok. And we should support free speech whether or not it is speech we agree with. Universities must be bastions of free expression for them to effectively do their jobs. And groups of all sorts should remember that even if they have power now to censor others, they may not always be the ones in power.

      So to be clear, private colleges (not all) *can* and do stifle free speech and are exempt from many parts of Title XIV or free speech restrictions. Thus concentrating on a private school is pretty dopey. Granted if they accept federal funds in any capacity they have to adhere to some part (not that I know them offhand).

      When a publicly funded institution violates constitutional laws, it is a much bigger deal as they are AGENTS OF THE STATE. FIRE concentrating on large public institutions makes perfect sense because it affects far more people than private institutions and they shouldn't even be *thinking* of doing stuff like this, yet do anyway.

    • So where were you during the old regime of Slashdot's "SJW Fridays" pointing out bias? Or is it not a problem when it's your side doing it?
    • I didn't realize the government were the ones setting up safe spaces to suppress free speech.

      We should be arguing that there is no such constitutional right to go un-offended, but talking about free speech in this context is a red herring.

    • FIRE is indeed concerned with government violations of the First Amendment. What private universities do, however assholey, is not a battle they chose to fight as no First Amendment government infraction is occuring.

    • So let's be clear: pretty much all of these situations are completely unacceptable, and most disturbingly they show a tendency for much of these sorts of problems to occur on the left, what essentially amounts to the "illiberal left" http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/01/liberals-and-the-illiberal-left/384988/ [theatlantic.com].

      Are they, though? I haven't checked them all, but their number 2 spot regarding Northwestern University and Professor Laura Kipnis actually involves allegations of defamation and retaliation by the professor against a sexual assault victim [huffingtonpost.com]. Free speech has never included a right to publish libel.

    • So let's be clear: pretty much all of these situations are completely unacceptable, and most disturbingly they show a tendency for much of these sorts of problems to occur on the left, what essentially amounts to the "illiberal left" http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/01/liberals-and-the-illiberal-left/384988/ [theatlantic.com].

      Number 4 involves a student government cutting funding to a student paper. Free speech has never required that others provide you with free money to support your publication.

    • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @04:45PM (#51593993) Journal

      It may be that FIRE's top list is still more of an issue for legitimate reasons because many of these universities are large, public universities and thus engaging in trampling on free speech is even more serious, but it does seem like FIRE's own biases may be having a role in what they've decided to highlight.

      I don't know if it is a bias for many of them. Quite a few are bad all by themselves without a liberal or conservative bias. I thought this one was beautifully told: Following a spate of “Black Lives Matter” protests, the student newspaper published a column that took issue with some of the BLM rhetoric, arguing that it encouraged violence. Angry BLM supporters quickly circulated a petition demanding that the university defund the paper unless their demands were met, including mandatory “social justice/diversity” training for the paper’s editors and guaranteed space in the paper for articles representing “marginalized groups and voices.” The protesters also threatened to steal and destroy copies of the paper unless their demands were met.

      TL;DR for that:

      The school paper says "These groups are violent." and the groups reply "Take that back or we'll destroy your stuff!" The university leaders give in to the violent protester demands, squelching the school's newspaper.

  • Consider the Source (Score:4, Informative)

    by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:36PM (#51591957)

    The John William Pope Center [popecenter.org] is a mouthpiece for a right-wing think tank [thenation.com], and is no friend of higher education.

    That having been said, some of the incidents described are pretty egregious. But then university administrators have been cowardly autocrats since universities began.

    • Parent has no clue (Score:5, Informative)

      by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:47PM (#51592045)

      The "source" is one of the heads of FIRE, which is a civil liberties organization specifically devoted to issues like protecting the free speech rights of students and faculty from everything from overly broad speech codes, to not getting tenure because the professor fails to hold the right views. Chances are that if you are a university student or professor who has been victimized by campus commissars of political correctness, you will be represented by FIRE if you aren't doing it by yourself.

      Your whole comment just screams "ad hominem" because it focuses on one particular source cited when the writer is the head of a different organization that has an excellent record at defending the rights of students and faculty from campus autocrats. And yes, that is "ad hominem" in the true sense. Hey folks, don't believe it because damn dirty right wingers are involved, even if they are arguing that college campuses are trampling the rights of political minorities.

    • Oh, so it's cherry picked examples to inflame those on the right and make them froth at the mouth and also worry those who could be coerced onto being more right-leaning.

      The John William Pope Center sounds like a training ground for Daily Mail journalists.

    • by ChrisMaple ( 607946 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @01:04PM (#51592161)

      university administrators have been cowardly autocrats since universities began

      You're calling Thomas Jefferson a cowardly autocrat.

    • Then it is a welcome respite from the steady drumbeat of biased left-wing news on this site. It's about time we got some equality around here.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      "He may be right, but I've been trained to hate him, so movealongnothingtoseehere"

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:37PM (#51591963)

    I expected this SJW shit at Berkley. But now it's poisoning even public state colleges in red states. Scary shit.

    • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @02:05PM (#51592603)

      Berkeley, the town, is as hardcore liberal as ever. Berkeley, the University, transitioned some years ago to overachiever central. Everyone over at Cal is too busy studying and working hard to get their science, engineering, business, and law degrees to have time for SJW-ism. UCSC has taken up the kookiness mantle lately. But they get less press because they don't have the historical notoriety of Berkeley.

  • by Jesrad ( 716567 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:50PM (#51592065) Journal

    When so many people started talking about the importance of "trigger warnings" and how they had developped "PTSD" from encountering divergent opinions from theirs, I just shrugged and. When my younger brother transitioned to female and started raving hard about all things Social-Justice-y, I was stupefied. When she started talkign about her anxiety attacks over the mere mention of the word "rape" (she has never been sexually assaulted nor witnessed any rape except on TV), I started digging into the science of anxiety fits to see what there really was about it.

    It turns out that one can indeed teach one's own brain to develop PTSD over any kind of stimuli at all. All you need to do is to foster a sense of being threatened every time you encounter the stimulus of your choice. For example, you start thinking about people trying to beat you up, of menacing predators pouncing, of natural disasters closing in on you, whenever the stimulus is there. You can also jsut go and read detailed testimonies of aggressions - the more expressive and vivid, the better. You then reinforce and validate this self-inflicted perception of threat by expressing to other people how you feel threatened by the stimulus of your choice, and have the other people agree with you. Basically, this retrains your amygdala into stimulating your cingulate cortex so that it activates the limbic axis for fight-or-flight response. With enough practice, you can push yourself deep into somatization, and develop identical symptoms to that of genuine PTSD-sufferers, to the point where you will have nausea and dizziness just from thinking about the stimulus.

    The interesting thing is, it's the kind of the reverse of desensitization therapy for actual PTSD: if you have a rape victim with severa agoraphobia, you can slowly train their amygdala into NOT stimulating the cingulate cortex and thus not triggering panic attacks by desensitizing them to open spaces or the outside, until the link between "outside" and "being attacked" ceases to exist in the brain.

    That, IMO, is how SJWs make themselves sick, and make others around them sick, with an acquired mental disorder.

    • 'Social normalization of deviance means that people within the organization become so much accustomed to a deviant behaviour that they don't consider it as deviant, despite the fact that they far exceed their own rules for the elementary safety.' - Diane Vaughan

      The longer it goes on within an organisation, the more people become accustomed to it. People on the outside see it as abnormal but within the organisation it becomes accepted as everyday practise.
      http://www.fastjetperformance.... [fastjetperformance.com]

    • Could you please share some of the sources you got this info from? I would like to read them for myself.
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @12:51PM (#51592071)

    There are two classes of school policies that should be resulting in the prosecution of public school officials who implement them: zero tolerance policies and any sort of speech code that goes beyond upholding basic legal tenants like not creating a public disturbance. Enough of this bullshit about how the laws of our society don't apply in the one part of government most young people can't avoid (K-12) by law and at most of the universities they can afford.

    As for private schools that promise free speech and renege, they should be fully liable for breech of contract, payment of legal fees and whatever else is necessary to make the student whole if they go after them in violation of their stated policies and values.

  • While I fully realize that some speech can be hateful and/or offensive, too much of the speech I see being called "offensive" on college campuses nowadays is little more than a different opinion.

    .
    Perhaps this is just an extension of the filter bubble that everyone creates for themselves in their view of the internet, i.e., tending to visit sites or "friend" people with opinions similar to yours. Then when these people get to college, they are offended that there are others with differing viewpoints.

    Col

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @01:00PM (#51592137)

    I graduated college back in 2009. Went to a small Baptist university in rural North Carolina that had only recently broken from the Southern Baptist Convention. They had chapel every Thursday morning a students were basically required to go to at least some of them while you attended (you had to attend a certain number of events such as chapel, plays, and concerts but unless you went to every single play and concert you had to go to some chapels because you wouldn't have enough events). But even there we still had comparative religion classes, there were class trips (purely historical and sightseeing) that went to places like Tunisia.

    What is the whole purpose of going to college if not to challenge not only you, but also the way in which you view the world. Is that not how you learn and grow as a person? Just as you can't win a debate by shouting down your opponent (although Trump seems to think that counts as a victory), stifling every opinion that differs from your own doesn't mean that your side is right. Instead it simply shows that either your side or your own beliefs are so weak that any challenge of them will bring the whole thing crashing down. I'm afraid we will eventually get in a situation where a whole generation of people will be unable to cope with challenging or dissenting viewpoints, and instead of trying to defend their own beliefs will simply do the equivalent of holding their hands over their ears while shouting "la la la, can't hear you".

  • Forgot One (Score:4, Informative)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @01:07PM (#51592183) Journal
    Besides the fact the article is lacking in its method to rank the schools, they forgot about Wheaton College. [usatoday.com]
  • Look at the "Filthy Speech Movement" of 1965.
  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @01:23PM (#51592315) Homepage

    When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished for saying it?

    If you are on an American campus, it probably hasn't been long.

  • by TC Wilcox ( 954812 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @01:24PM (#51592329)
    Full-disclosure: I attended BYU and actually really enjoyed my time there. Brigham Young University should be on that list. Student's will be expelled (and their transcripts locked so they can't transfer credits either) if they convert from Mormonism to any other religion while a student. You can literally get academically disciplined for profanity or criticizing LDS leaders. It isn't just student's though. Faculty can also get in serious trouble for what they say. For example, a BYU professor and historian (Michael Quinn) was strongly pressured to leave after he published honest histories of the LDS church's history with polygamy. He had been an excellent professor as evidenced by the fact that one of his years at BYU the graduating class voted him the best professor on campus. BYU is absolutely not a place where you can talk about the LDS church honestly and openly without getting kicked out (at least if you want to talk about large parts of history that the church tries to bury).
  • Far more horrifying and worrisome for the future were the number of cases where the students themselves moved to stamp down on opposing views.

    And they shouldn't be allowed to do that? Sounds like Subby wants those students censored, in the name of "free speech".

  • by dyslexicbunny ( 940925 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @02:16PM (#51592687)

    Ordered as presented, ranking not given. Read the article for why.

    Mount St. Mary's University
    Northwestern University
    Louisiana State University
    University of California, San Diego
    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
    University of Oklahoma
    Marquette University
    Colorado College
    University of Tulsa
    Wesleyan University

  • by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Friday February 26, 2016 @03:06PM (#51593063)

    The problem in these instances is the one that is attacking all western society since the turn of the century. For some strange reason, people now think they have the right to feel offended and that people that offends them must be shut up

    There is this sense of self entitlement fed by the media going around, that if someone says something against any particular aspect of some social justice cause, you deserve some kind of punishment. You are essentially bared from contesting any kind of argument about any aspect of say, feminism, black empowerment, religion and a few other. No matter how idiotic is the specific pro argument for one of those issues, if you point that out, you are automatically dismissed and any public forum will do its best to shut you up.

  • by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseer@@@earthlink...net> on Friday February 26, 2016 @06:38PM (#51595189)

    I've been in college before, studying engineering, and I didn't see much "indoctrination" like many claimed that colleges have. I saw hints of it with groups speaking on campus, flyers hung on billboards, but nothing in class. While in engineering I felt largely insulated from the liberal nonsense that I was told would surround me in college. In engineering we were there to solve practical problems such as accurately simulating a circuit, estimating the yield of a manufacturing process, and properly encoding a message and then decoding it on the other end.

    My how things have changed now that I'm studying statistics and computer science. In one statistics text an example was made on the Bush v. Gore election fiasco in Florida, it showed how Bush "stole" the election. That same text likes to give examples on how global warming is affecting the ice pack, water levels, and so forth. If the other examples had not tipped me off on the left leaning authors I might not have thought much about the study they highlighted on HPV vaccines. If they are going to pick on Presidents named Bush, oil companies, then why not pick on those that advocate abstinence and put an HPV vaccine study in there.

    I had a computer science professor spend half of a class lecturing us on how war is bad. She had to know that it is quite likely that half of her class will end up working in the "military industrial complex" that she was speaking about. Not all of them are going to be coding iPhone apps and online shopping websites. Quite a few of them are going to be designing crypto communication systems, deadly accurate navigation, ballistic prediction software, and what not.

    I've had other courses that discussed probabilities, algorithms, and so forth like these statistics and computer science courses. What they didn't do is work politically loaded examples into the coursework. Examples on statistics and probability while in engineering involved problems of fruit flies interbreeding, noise in a communications channel, cards/dice/coins, letters in the alphabet, and just generally examples that were practical to getting a job done or curiosities of physics.

    Why give a statistics example on Bush v. Gore? Why not choose something like people's favorite ice cream flavor? Perhaps give examples in astronomy, biology, a manufacturing process. Instead we get to look at climate change, election results, income inequality, gender roles, and so on.

    These statistics and computer science courses are just as much about creating the next generation of social justice warriors as it is about teaching practical skills.

    At least my math and music courses haven't tried to indoctrinate me into a way of thinking. At least not yet. Courses on calculus, matrix algebra, and numerical analysis might not be conducive to social justice indoctrination. My music lessons are on folk songs and Christian hymns, which might have something to do with a long shared history between "Western" music and Christian churches. All the instruments we commonly play, and the way we note music, in the "Western World" draws from a time and place where Christianity was prevalent. If you are going to learn to play the piano then you are not going to find a lot of pieces to play that the "diversity police" can impose upon you. While I would not be opposed to learn some music from around the world at least I know I won't be considered "insensitive" for wanting to play a Christmas hymn for my semester end recital.

    There are some things I'd like to discuss in class but I fear I might be considered being "micro-aggressive" if I speak up. This can be stressful and I feel like I have to just shut up and keep my head down or I might find myself being retaliated against. Oh, I'm a white Christian male that also happens to be a veteran of the US Army. Being that I'm quite tall I kind of stick out in a crowd, people remember me.

    Since I'm considered disabled because of an injury while in the Army I am considered a "minority", it's not a very visible disability, I just walk with a bit of a limp. I get the e-mail announcements from the "office of diversity" or whatever its called that invite me to certain events. I have not yet gone to any events because I doubt I'd be welcomed.

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley

Working...