Proposition: It Is Unethical For Universities To Permit Or Engage In The Political Indoctrination Of Students Without Having Expressly Informed Students Of That Intention Before They Enrolled


As part of the post 2016 Presidential election freak-out, hundreds colleges and universities have crossed all lines of fairness, professionalism and objectivity by making it clear to students who did not find Hillary Clinton’s defeat motivation to consider an overdose of Seconal that they were skunks at the picnic. College deans and presidents sent out campus wide expressions of horror at Trump’s victory, like the Vassar president’s message I noted here. University of Arkansas’ Dean, Michael Schwartz, offered free counseling services to students who were dist ought following the “most upsetting, most painful, most disturbing election season of my lifetime.” The only previous occasion when the school offered counseling was after a student committed suicide.

A Yale professor sent this statement to his students:


Then there are the administrative efforts to make it clear that dissent from the approved, sensitive, politically correct, university-sancioned and of course obviously beyond question or rebuttal position that a group of racist deplorables elected the anti-Christ as POTUS.

At Edgewood College, students had been invited to express their feelings about the election by writing them on post-it-notes and placing them on a designated table. Clearly, it was expected that everyone would express anger, shock, despair or grief, but one such note read “Suck it up, pussies!” This, which I would call a very reasonable, if vulgarly expressed, reaction, was deemed a “hate crime” by college officials, who have asked police to investigate.

College Vice President Tony Chambers sent a letter to campus condemning this “act of cowardly hatred” and “intimidation.” He wrote:

A group of cross-functional college staff representing campus security, student conduct, human resources, Title IX enforcement, and diversity and inclusion measures convened Tuesday morning to discuss how to address the hateful message. This group determined that the message constituted a Hate Crime…

These crazy stories are everywhere. At Loyola University Maryland, administrators, responding to complaints by students,  put pressure on the student government to change an “America” theme party for seniors to something less “alienating, divisive, and harmful.” Although the theme had been chosen well before the election, and presumably wouldn’t have been found objectionable if the right candidate had won, the morning after Election Day some students felt oppressed by the name of the country they live in. One female student told Loyola’s Student Government Association that she felt like “a victim of horrible hate words,” and expected to be re-traumatized at the party. The university administration sided with the freaked out Hillary fans.


19 thoughts on “Proposition: It Is Unethical For Universities To Permit Or Engage In The Political Indoctrination Of Students Without Having Expressly Informed Students Of That Intention Before They Enrolled

  1. Unfortunately Orange Coast College is a community college where student don’t pay big bucks for their tuition: The taxpayers support the school. I certainly hope this human sexuality teacher doesn’t have tenure and she is canned immediately.

  2. That rebellious, offensive post-it note exactly captured the spirit of free speech and the appropriate response to your favored candidate losing an election, albeit crudely.

    Also acceptable: “Act like an adult” “deal with it” “get a spine” “grow a pair” “put on your big boy pants” and “man up” although I am aware that most of those phrases are hate crimes and possibly rape.

  3. I’m not entirely sure how California does it, but the one community college I have taught in described all of us instructors as ‘adjunct faculty’ and, thus, not eligible for tenure.

  4. I’ll answer your original question — Of course it is highly and dangerously unethical for this kind of thing to happen at the university level. Correction — it is highly and dangerously unethical at any educational level. Being hired by any educational organization should not be seen as being given a captive audience for any instructors personal opinions. Education should be about giving students the tools to determine their own opinions based on facts. Development of critical thinking is woefully lacking in our schools.

    I am grateful for the many professors I had at Georgetown who stuck to this concept. I don’t recall any, even in the Theology Department, who didn’t. Of course, this was back in the 1970s, and I don’t know what’s happening there since Ex Corde Ecclesiae. Either way, if you enroll at an institution that calls itself Catholic or Methodist or Evangelical or Ba’Hai, I think that should be considered fair warning of the possibility of some kind of bias.

    • The best teacher I ever had, Nobel Prize winner George Wald, couldn’t help himself from making periodic comments about the Vietnam war, over which he was a well-publicized critic. Somehow, it was not oppressive, as passionate as he was, and he did not let the topic dominate any lecture or seem like it was crucial that we agree with him. He was very deft at it: I didn’t feel indoctrinated or pressured at all. But then he was brilliant, and one of the best teachers alive (TIME named him one of the top ten teachers.) Teachers can bring politics into class, but they better know how to do it, and what lines not to cross.

    • “Being hired by any educational organization should not be seen as being given a captive audience for any instructors personal opinions.”

      Ding, ding, ding! No truer words have ever been spoken, nor more likely to be completely disregarded by the offending parties.

  5. This brings back to the forefront the book a friend recommended I read by Kirsten Powers, “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech”.

    It also brings back a bunch of points in the book written by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt “the deliberate dumbing down of america”

  6. I’d be comfortable assuming that if Hillary won, conservative students would be told to suck it up and if they asked for counseling, they’d all be called nut jobs.

    Then again, I’d be comfortable assuming that if Hillary won, conservative students would seek counseling by getting about their lives and seeking to better themselves and and their communities through hard work and diligent studies.

  7. I have to admit, I was outraged by this at first as well. It’s ridiculous that professors go on these rants and have students having to put up with it. It IS an abuse of power.

    Then I thought a second thing, which is, it’s actually preparing them for the real world. If this was a job (which is what education is supposed to be gearing them for), what would the situation be like. I think we’ve all had bosses that think differently then our own. That spout out their idealism. They shouldn’t, but it clearly gets done. You do what most people do, you swallow it, ignore it, and go on with your job. People in power are people, whether it’s a professor or a boss. Are the students “special snowflakes” for demaning things a certain way, or are we now making it even easier for them by not pointing out that, when you get to the real world, you’re going to face this. So learn to be quiet now, and get over it.

    What would be the reaction of videoing your boss stating something you didn’t agree with and posting it? You’de be out on your butt the next day.

    Doesn’t mean the professor is right (they’re not!), but having a student deal with having an oppressive “leader” now is better then doing it when they get a boss.

    • A good point, to be sure, but a large gap in the analogy here is that the students are paying for this, vs being paid to put up with it. And as an adult, if what you’re paying for (and had good reason to believe would be presented in a certain way) is not what you were led to expect prior to signing the check, you’d better darn sure rattle the cages a bit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.