The trouble with “bias response teams”

“More than 100 colleges and universities have Bias Response Teams, which aim to foster ‘a safe and inclusive environment’ by providing ‘advocacy and support to anyone on campus who has experienced, or been a witness of, an incident of bias or discrimination.’ These teams have multiple missions, including educational ‘prevention,’ investigating alleged bias incidents, disciplining offenders, and organizing ‘coping events’ after such incidents…. BRTs are rapidly becoming part of the institutional machinery of higher education, but have yet to face any real scrutiny.” The teams intervene in a vast and ill-defined assortment of acts of expression, social and classroom interactions, and even intellectual activity that are said to constitute “bias incidents,” yet they are far from transparent or accountable, they encourage an atmosphere of informants and suspicion, and they tend toward the policing of thought and of so-called unconscious sources of offense. At bottom they are “inherently anti-intellectual enterprises, fundamentally at odds with the mission of higher education.” [Jeffrey Aaron Snyder and Amna Khalid, The New Republic]


  • Educational prevention. That seems apt.

  • Our own institutional version of the Saudi mutaween. How cool is that? This being the United States we can create a fusion version. Keep the sticks. Tattooing a scarlet letter of shame would be too much. But they could insist on monitoring software for phones carried on to campus. Pass out Andrea Dworkin tracts and make victim studies a graduation requirement; and I think we’re there.

  • Stasi would be a more appropriate name.

  • maybe they should be armed as well. Just in case.

  • Well, since the Obama administration is trying to create closer ties to Cuba, why not just rename these campus spies to “Revolutionary Collective Surveillance” ? I mean, if it is good enough for Fidel.

  • The political correctness police also contribute to the problem of administrative bloat. These people aren’t teaching or doing research, just harassing those who do.

  • Maybe each college should have both left- and right-leaning BRTs, so they can watch each other. Then, when they catch each other in the act, they can duel to the death with cream pies.