Search Results for ‘"bias response"’

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]

Campus climate roundup

Held over from a week or two back when there were still “campuses” (a joke on that):

  • Not just California: mandatory diversity statements (“diversity oath”) examples in recent hiring from Ohio State, U. of Connecticut, Purdue, Cornell [John Cochrane, earlier]
  • Disturbing: Canadian bioethicist says “possible solution” to conscience-rights debate is to bar persons with scruples against participating in medically assisted death or abortion from entering medical or pharmacy school in first place [Rachel Browne, Global News]
  • If you guessed North Carolina would not be friendly territory for obligatory social justice and cultural studies curriculum, you guessed wrong [David Randall, Martin Center]
  • Claim: clinical education in law schools is moving away from “the social justice values that have been [its] hallmark.” Another way of looking at it: it might be moving at last toward better viewpoint neutrality [Paul Caron/TaxProf]
  • “Joe Biden’s Record on Campus Due Process Has Been Abysmal. Is It a Preview of His Presidency?” [Emily Yoffe] “Harvard Debuts Anonymous Online Title IX Reporting Form” [Simone Chu and Iris Lewis, The Crimson]
  • “Bias Response Teams Silence Civic Debate” [George LaNoue, Law and Liberty on Speech First v. Fenves over University of Texas policies]

Campus speech roundup

Campus climate roundup

  • Pauli Murray, civil rights activist after whom Yale recently named a residential college, stood up for her worst foes’ right to speak [Peter Salovey, New York Times] Viewing everything through lens of identity and power disables the intellect [Jonathan Haidt]
  • Penn Jillette and free speech scholars ask Brandeis president to reconsider decision to ditch play about comedian Lenny Bruce [FIRE]
  • Isolated outrages, or straws in the wind? Lindsay Shepherd and Wilfred Laurier University [Tristin Hopper, National Post] Student’s remark about religion at University of Texas, San Antonio [Robby Soave, Reason] Roll your eyes at a faculty meeting and you could be in so much Title IX trouble [Nicholas Wolfinger, Quillette]
  • “Bias Response Teams Thwarted in Their Goal of a Sensitive Campus by the First Amendment” [Liz Wolfe, Reason, earlier]
  • 49% of college students say supporting someone else’s right to say racist things “as bad as holding racist views yourself” [Emily Ekins on Cato free speech survey] Related: John Samples; Eugene Volokh;
  • Testimony by Prof. Nadine Strossen at Senate hearing on free speech, hate speech, and college campuses [Collins/Concurring Opinions]

Campus climate roundup

  • Hundreds of colleges now have bias response teams, with many deeply involved in regulating speech [Adam Steinbaugh, FIRE survey]
  • Trump’s tweet made old idea new: in 1991, Rep. Henry Hyde filed unsuccessful bill to cut off federal funding of colleges that punished students for speech otherwise protected by First Amendment [The American Interest, earlier] A new cadre of federally mandated administrators, modeled on Title IX coordinators and backed by the threat of funding cutoffs, to ride herd within universities? Uh-oh [Michael Rappaport, ambivalent]
  • Arizona lawmakers quickly kill bill to cut state support from classes and activities that “promote division, resentment or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation, social class or other class,” which would have extended earlier curb on Mexican and other ethnic studies [Tucson Star, Arizona Republic, Christian Science Monitor; background Melinda Anderson, Atlantic]
  • 47 Boston College faculty members ask “zero-tolerance” policy on hate speech. That’s different from the speech that Arizona was looking at that “promote[s] division, resentment” along ethnic lines, right? [Washington Times]
  • At the University of Minnesota, you might lose a student-advisor job for not demonstrating “a commitment to social justice growth and promotion to residents.” [David Blondin, Minnesota Republic/Campus Reform]
  • View that speech is violence, and thus properly countered by violence in response, is popular at UC Berkeley student paper [screencap by Ashley Rae on Twitter] More: The new religious establishment: Berkeley’s Division of Equity and Inclusion has $20 million a year, 150 staff [Heather Mac Donald]

“Three Blind Mice” Hallowe’en costumes probed at university

After students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville used Facebook to post pictures of themselves in Hallowe’en “Three Blind Mice” costumes, a member of the school’s “Bias Incident Team” turned them in herself to the team, which decided that there was a risk the costume idea “makes fun of a disability.” The pictures have been taken down. “The University of Washington produced a six-minute video last year decrying ‘cultural appropriation’ around Halloween. Off-limits costumes included hula skirts, [straitjackets], sombreros, fake mustaches and martial-arts attire.” [Jillian Kay Melchior, Heat Street] No mention of possible offense to the tail-amputee community. More on bias response teams here.

Higher education roundup

  • Universities across the country steer mandatory student fee proceeds and other privileges to intensely ideological Public Interest Research Groups [David Seidemann, City Journal; PIRG’s crucial role in backing the truly ghastly CPSIA law on children’s products] When a university shuts off this money spigot, does the First Amendment cut more in favor of the group’s right to go on collecting money, or the rights of “students compelled to fund advocacy with which they may not agree”? [Short Circuit, scroll to 14th item on Ninth Circuit decision in Arizona Students’ Association v. Arizona Board of Regents]
  • Appeal to “personal experience, performance, and radical politics” changing college debate for the worse [John Hinderaker, PowerLine, 2014 (thanks commenter for spotting date)]
  • “The Perils of Writing a Provocative Email at Yale” [Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, on Nicholas and Erika Christakis case at Yale; Paul Caron/TaxProf with more links] More: Identity, activism. and sensitivity on campus: Nathan Heller report from Oberlin [New Yorker]
  • Government is our provider: new push to extend school feeding program into community colleges [George Leef, Pope Center]
  • University of Northern Colorado: “‘Bias Response Team’ Threatened Prof To Change His Lessons” [Jillian Kay Melchior, Heat Street] Candidates for tenure at Pomona College will need to explain what they are doing to promote diversity in classroom [Inside Higher Ed]
  • “When Social Justice Education Is Mandatory, But Math Is Not” [Robby Soave; University of Massachusetts, Amherst]

Campus free expression roundup

  • 21 professors, including Bartholet, Epstein, and McConnell, write letter to Department of Education Office of Civil Rights [OCR] challenging its directives on campus sexual harassment [Ashe Schow, Washington Examiner] Student suing Colorado State over multi-year suspension adds OCR as a defendant [Scott Greenfield; more, George Will]
  • President Obama has been saying things students need to hear about intellectual freedom at commencements [Howard and Rutgers, Jonathan Adler] “Does Obama understand that his own government is responsible for the safe-space phenomenon he frequently decries?” [Robby Soave]
  • Protesters these days disrupting and physically shutting down a lot of pro-Israel campus speeches and events on US campuses [Observer; UC Irvine]
  • “Jokes, insensitive remarks, size-ist posters”: from a distance the doings of the University of Oregon’s Bias Response Team can seem kind of hilarious. Maybe not up close [Robby Soave/Reason, Catherine Rampell/Washington Post] “Towson U. [Maryland public university] implements ‘hate/bias’ reporting system to ensure ‘anti-racist campus climate’” [The College Fix]
  • Read and marvel at the arguments being deployed against Prof. Dale Carpenter’s proposal for bolstering free expression at the University of Minnesota [Susan Du, City Pages] “Why Free Speech Matters on Campus” [Michael Bloomberg and Charles Koch]
  • Faculty at George Mason University law school unanimously affirm commitment to renaming school after Justice Antonin Scalia [Lloyd Cohen, Michael Greve]