What Students Are Demanding Now

As protest season expands, students at a growing number of colleges and universities are listing their demands. Many of them are want to expand the campus diversity bureaucracies, curb free speech to stop microaggressions and anti-protest remarks, and impose mandatory social-justice training for students and faculty.

Walter Olson of Cato and Overlawyered.com compiled a list of demand highlights. They include:

  • “An anonymous student reporting system for cases of bias, including microaggressions perpetrated by faculty and staff” [@wesleyan_u]:
  • “Incorporate into each department at least one queer studies class.” [Dartmouth]
  • Compulsory, in-person, and regular [faculty] anti-oppression training” led by individuals with significant experience in anti-oppression work [Brown]
  • “Campus police participate in the University-wide political education…. Policing as an institution must be abolished.” [UNC, Chapel Hill]
  • An increase in tenure-stream faculty whose research specializes in…Black Queer Studies, Hip-Hop Studies…Decolonial Theory” (Michigan State)
  • Prioritize recruitment and retention of undocumented students.” [@GuilfordCollege]
  • “Mandatory programming [on] ways in which racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and cisheteropatriarchy structure our world.” [Chapel Hill]
  • One confession of racism by a faculty member each week @GuilfordCollege]

KC Johnson of CUNY, Brooklyn College and Minding the Campus, tweeted, “Striking how many demands violate core academic freedom principles by stripping from faculty control of curriculum & hiring.” FIRE’s Alex Morey wrote, “Among the enumerated items on lists of demands popping up at dozens of schools—at institutions like the University of WyomingSan Francisco State University, and Amherst College—demands that college authorities take steps to dissuade or even sanction community members who express disagreement with the protesters are worryingly common.

Particularly concerning are calls for speech codes demanding punishment of constitutionally protected “hate speech,” mandatory trainings requiring students to voice agreement with certain ideologies (compelled speech), and rules about what faculty cannot, or must, teach.”

7 thoughts on “What Students Are Demanding Now”

  1. Here’s a Thanksgiving take on this. When the Massachusetts Bay Colony first began in 1628, it was illegal to follow any religion other than the Congregationalism of the Puritans. There were of course disagreements, and among them was the separatism of the Pilgrims as opposed to the nonseparatism of the Puritans who came a few years later. (“Separatism” refers to the Congregationalists’ relationship to the Church of England.) One thing was sure, though, that competing religions were not permitted. Thus, in the 1600s and into the early 1700s the Quaker and Baptist faiths were illegal, and several proselytizing Quakers were hung.

    Today’s campuses inherit the moral indignation of the early Puritans. It isn’t just capitalism that inherited the Puritan spirit, as Max Weber claimed. Today’s campuses see themselves as cities upon hills, as institutions that set forth the one true morality: Diversity is the highest good; racism is the greatest evil; income inequality is the second greatest evil; gays must get married; anyone who disagrees must be put in stocks; global warming is the hellfire in which those who benefit from capitalism will burn for eternity.

    The rigid, insipid version of today’s campuses as far removed from liberal arts and from “liberalism” in any of its meanings as were the witch trials in Salem.

  2. These students did not arrive with these ideas – be very clear here – these are faculty driven ideas.

    Anonymous reporting : absolutely NO accountability for accusations made.

    More [x] “studies” : gee – jobs for faculty and control of each dept. Is this going to “empower students” or faculty and admin?

    This one is truly astonishing – it’s straight out of Mao’ism and Stalin’s days in the USSR:
    “One confession of racism by a faculty member each week ”

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

  3. These students are applying Marxist, Stalinist, and Maoist theory to their daily lives. They have learned these subjects well and are vigorously applying theory to their local situation. They have even done it in their spare time.

    I think most of their teachers are sympathetic.

    This shows that today’s students are not lazy and ignorant. They learn and apply learning well when they are interested in the subject and have some practical incentive such as the lust for power.

  4. So? This stuff was already there, when I was in school, at every level they made it clear there was no such thing as “free speech” and they could control speech, dress and anything else they wanted.

    It makes sense that the buyers of a service, paying a significant amount of money, can dictate the rules. That is the very basis of democracy, people gathering together and making demands.

    If these schools don’t like it, they can stop taking federal loan money and stop charging these students, and go do something else to earn a living.

    1. Shrug,

      The interactions between a student and a college or university are unlike the relationship of a typical buyer and seller in at least two ways. One, the majority of students don’t pay for a large chunk of the cost of their education (this is particularly so at public universities). Two, a buyer may have quite a bit of information about the product or service which he is purchasing. Almost by definition, most students are ignorant of a good deal of the subject matter of their classes (why else would they be taking those classes). There may be other differences.

  5. All of these demands only serve the One True Demand. One Demand to Rule Them All.
    “We demand an Oompa Loompa and we demand it NOW!”

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