Students at Smith College now have access to an anonymous 24 hour bias hotline and online portal for reporting what the complaining caller regards as bias, discrimination, and harassment. These offenses can be whatever a student thinks it is.
The service will be run by EthicsPoint, a service used by prestigious institutions like Amherst College, Tufts University, and Brown University. The conduct being reported doesn’t have to be illegal, Smith says, only “unfair,” “uninvited,” or “unwelcome” as well as what someone regards as “bigotry, harassment, or intimidation.” Expressing support for the Republican nominee for President, for example, risks being called “bigotry.” A forceful argument that it isn’t bigotry might be taken as intimidation.
According to the EthicsPoint reporting portal, misconduct can include “but is not limited to, slurs, graffiti, written messages, or images.” A Smith College spokeswoman told Campus Reform that “Smith has adopted EthicsPoint—a service used by more than 800 higher education institutions around the world—as a supplement to, not a replacement for, existing in-house options.”
This is an “everybody does it” excuse for the inexcusable, indeed, for the totalitarian. Since the reporting portal does not require a login, anyone, regardless of whether they are students or affiliated with the college, can report a student for being “offensive.” Articles about this Orwellian development express concern that it might lead to self-censorship and chill free speech. Gee, do you think so? Of course this “report your classmates for non-conforming ideas that offend you” system chills speech. It is intended to chill speech. After four years under such a system, a typical Smith student should be completely conditioned never to speak or, better yet, think non-progressive thoughts. Continue reading