Substantial opposition to the proposed new version of the University of Delaware indoctrination program turned up at Monday’s meeting of the faculty senate. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the senate will take up the issue again next week and the indoctrinators may still win.
Professor Jan Blits of the Delaware affiliate of the National Association of Scholars writes: “Things went much better than I had expected. The discussion will be continued next Monday. Most of the people who spoke (and there was a large number) were on our side. Students were very helpful. They will return next week. Everything seemed to fall into place. The odds are still against us, but not nearly as long as I originally thought.”
Both students and faculty spoke with some passion against the Residential Life proposal. Both argued vehemently that the concept of “sustainability” running through the voluminous ResLife prose has little to do with the environment and a great deal to so with imposing political dogmas.
A genuine howler came from Professor Matt Robinson, chairman of the faculty senate student life committee who presented the ResLife plan. “The concept of sustainability, that’s only speaking in terms of (the) environmental,” he said. Apparently he is not familiar with the
ResLife program’s listed goals for 2008-200. In these goals, no environmental concern is mentioned; everything revolves around the social plan behind the “sustainability” codeword -changing the beliefs and attitudes of students.
Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote a Monday open letter to the university faculty, saying “I strongly believe that ResLife is attempting to use the faculty to restore its highly politicized and unabashedly coercive ‘sustainability’ curriculum. It is intended to be indoctrination into an ideology. The proposal offers on meager, halting respect for the private conscience of UD students.” Kissel, a graduate of the University of Delaware, wrote that the ResLife officials took every opportunity – one-on-one sessions, bulletin boards, parties, etc. – to pressure students.
Kissel reports ResLife, which removed some potentially embarrassing material from its site last fall, has now removed yet another document. In the missing document, a diversity official under the plan is held responsible for “resource development” covering oppression, prejudice reduction, heterosexism, ageism, racism, HIV/AIDS awareness and “multicultural jeopardy,” whatever that is.