One top university could ask students whether or not their professors committed any “microaggressions”–if a group of students get their way.
Student protesters at Emory University in Atlanta would like the college to compile each professor’s list of microaggressions so they could be officially be punished in the future.
Their demand, as published by the school newspaper, the Emory Wheel:
“We demand that the faculty evaluations that each student is required to complete for each of their professors include at least two open-ended questions such as:
“Has this professor made any microaggressions towards you on account of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and/or other identity?” and “Do you think that this professor fits into the vision of Emory University being a community of care for individuals of all racial, gender, ability, and class identities?” These questions on the faculty evaluations would help to ensure that there are repercussions or sanctions for racist actions performed by professors. We demand that these questions be added to the faculty evaluations by the end of this semester, Fall 2015.”
The protests at Emory–which follow other, equally ridiculous protests at other universities nationwide–has led to students fighting against what they perceive to be racial discrimination, in the wake of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
The problem with a so-called “microaggression”–and punishing professors for committing one–is that it’s, by nature, generally unintentional. It’s frequently an innocuous statement or comment that a minority student perceives as somehow unjust or racially discriminatory.
And while overt racism shouldn’t have a place in academia, microaggressions are much harder to police. Some other universities have declared that statements as innocuous as “America is a land of opportunity” could be constituted as a “microaggression.”
Worse, Emory isn’t alone: faculty at California’s Occidental College–the school thast President Barack Obama once attended–are considering a way for students to “report” professors who commit these microaggressions.
So far, the response from (predominately liberal) faculty nationwide has been that of horror. At Yale University, for example, a married faculty couple was forced out of their jobs after they dared to suggest that Yale shouldn’t tell students which Halloween costumes to avoid.
When even the most liberal members of academia are turning against a movement for being too ridiculous, students should take heed–and stop making increasingly crazy demands of their universities.