Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Indoctrination of the Blue Hens

Thanks to links from Instapundit (see blogroll at left), I'm now informed about what can only be called brainwashing at the University of Delaware. FIRE is on the case:

NEWARK, Del., October 30, 2007—The University of Delaware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech...

The university’s views are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to “sustainability” door decorations. Students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The RAs who facilitate these meetings have received their own intensive training from the university, including a “diversity facilitation training” session at which RAs were taught, among other things, that “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

There's much more information at FIRE's web site.

John Leo addresses the subject more more softly than I would.

Many universities try to indoctrinate students, but the all-time champion in this category is surely the University of Delaware. With no guile at all the university has laid out a brutally specific program for "treatment" of incorrect attitudes of the 7,000 students in its residence halls. The program is close enough to North Korean brainwashing that students and professors have been making "made in North Korea" jokes about the plan. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has called for the program to be dismantled. Residential assistants charged with imposing the "treatments" have undergone intensive training from the university. The training makes clear that white people are to be considered racists - at least those who have not yet undergone training and confessed their racism...

The basic question about the program is how did they think they could ever get away with this? Most campus indoctrination is more subtle, with some wiggle room for fudging and deniability. This program implies a frightening level of righteousness and lack of awareness.

Orwellian. What's even more amazing, though, is that this occurs at a public university. Private universities can have all sorts of strange rules and, as entities independent of the government, don't have to abide by the First Amendment--but the rules should be obvious for public schools.

I don't usually call for someone's job over a mistake, but this is huge. Someone needs to go--and not just some minion, either. Contact them: you can send an email to Public Relations here. The university Vice President for Administration, whose office seems to be responsible for this program, can be emailed here. I'm still searching for the university President's email address.


Ellen K said...

Until the people paying the bills, which is students, parents, federal grant programs and alums make it clear to universities that they expect their money to go toward a truly open and universal system of education, nothing will change. What's truly sad is that these same folks wouldn't even be happy with Hillary, but would prefer someone more in the mold of Chirac as our president.

David Foster said...

Here's something else sinister from the University of Delaware.

Darren said...

Ah yes. I'd heard about that, but it didn't register with me that that also happened at Delaware.

What kind of people run that university, anyway?

Anonymous said...

The university president's email address is:


From here: http://www.udel.edu/president/index.html

-Mark R.

Unknown said...

I'm starting to get worried. Why am I the only person who saw this and shrugged? Not, mind, because it isn't obnoxious, arrogant, and completely off the deep end, but because, well, so what else is new? Have I been around these academaoists so long that I've become this jaded?

Anonymous said...

"Why am I the only person who saw this and shrugged?"

You aren't. Some of us just didn't post anything about how this is different perhaps in degree, but not it kind.

I got a very light-weight version of this back in the last 1980s in an English class (and it cost me a grade). My wife had a more intense version of this in the late 1990s. My former sister-in-law had an even *MORE* intense version during Teach For America orientation (basically told that because she was white, she was a bigot. Who was she to think she could help the low achieving kids anyway?).

The Delaware thing seems the next logical step ...

-Mark Roulo

Anonymous said...

‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’