Delaware indoctrination update: The university responds

posted at 4:23 pm on October 31, 2007 by Bryan

Last night I blogged on what appears for all the world to be a mandatory indoctrination program underway in student housing at the University of Delaware. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education posted copious evidence that UD forces its students toward an understanding that all white people are racist even as they’re trained to dismantle America’s “systematic oppression.”

Last night I emailed the Director of Residence Life, Kathleen Kerr, and received no response. I called her office earlier today and no one answered.

The school has responded to the criticism by letter today, which is telling in at least one way. They maintain control of the conversation to the maximum extent that they can. And while the university says that their program isn’t mandatory and “encourages free speech,” it strikes me as a whitewash of an indefensible program and policy.

There is in fact a program within the residence halls that engages students in self –examination of the roles they hope to take in society. This effort is consistent with the mission of the University which states, “Our graduates should know how to reason critically and independently…communicate clearly in writing and speech, and develop into informed citizens and leaders.” The program is designed to encourage students to think about and to consider a number of issues, but all make their own decisions about the outcome of this reflection. FIRE’s assertion that students are told what to think is inaccurate. In common with FIRE, our institution values free speech, active voice, and open dialogue. We believe that students learn and grow in part by engaging in significant discussions on both sides of the classroom door.

I do acknowledge that there have been some missteps with the implementation of our program. This is a new effort involving over two hundred staff. As with any University educational endeavor assessment and feedback measures have been established to identify issues or concerns. Each of the issues FIRE presents are currently under review. In fact, we recently became aware that students in several residence halls were told their participation is mandatory at these activities and we have taken steps to clarify this misconception and to notify students of their rights in this area.

Michelle has more. We’ll post FIRE’s reponse as it comes in. We haven’t heard the last of this story.


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Mandatory? What? We had no idea!

Plausible deniability anyone?

Meric1837 on October 31, 2007 at 4:30 PM

I was brave and posted a diary on DailyKos about it. It’s quickly disappeared under the top page, but they were for the most part appalled by this as well. Some weren’t of course, trying to whitewash it.

What I want to know is how did the RA’s get the idea it was mandatory?

I read a comment over on the Townhall column about this. It was from a guy who is a student at UDel. He says FIRE is absolutely right–and then he mentioned something I’d not heard of.

In brief, in his hall, they were awarding “LEAD points”–what LEAD stands for, I don’t know. At the end of the semester, you could cash in your points for goodies. How did you get those points? By attending the “Good” activities, such as any show that had a minority or homosexual, even if they were not talking about diversity at all. College republican events did not qualify for LEAD points…. surprise surprise.

Vanceone on October 31, 2007 at 4:33 PM

You think they push this because most first time collage goers want to fit in and be accepted?
I hope they find out the hard way there are those that don’t buckle to this pressure and resist.

Mojack420 on October 31, 2007 at 4:35 PM

Also, I like the attitude of the letter–”So what if we were brainwashing–our students are smart enough to see through it!”

Seriously, isn’t that what the babble at the end about how great and smart U Del students are is? “We can indoctrinate, because our students are too smart to fall for it!” Um, yeah, sherlock. If that’s the case, then why bother?

Vanceone on October 31, 2007 at 4:35 PM

How more vile can a thing be, than to be brought upon you AT YOUR RESIDENCE? When I was at oSu ['76-'80], the RESIDENCE hall was for RESIDING in – it was not an INDOCTRINATION center thrust upon a CAPTIVE audience.

Just when you think that the college classroom experience couldn’t get any worse – the indoctrination effort comes to where you live, too.

Fear for America. This is an abyss – and totalitarianism is winning. Conformity is winning.

Communism – as the name implies – seeks the destruction of the individual. This is a Communist effort – nothing less.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 31, 2007 at 4:37 PM

I found this part of the letter interesting:

I do acknowledge that there have been some missteps with the implementation of our program.

Uh, ya think????

jdawg on October 31, 2007 at 4:40 PM

I looked at the FIRE site and found out that my dear University of Wisconsin has a red light for speech. I wasn’t that surprised.

I can’t recall anything close to what’s happening at Delaware taking place at Madison, though. We rarely had meetings freshman year, and when we did they were pretty much focussed on telling us not to drink in the dorms. Anyone with common sense should be able to see that this Delaware thing is over the top.

BadgerHawk on October 31, 2007 at 4:42 PM

I don’t buy one bit of their bull$&%#. Not one bit. I remember just before I graduated UW-Platteville, they did some sort of “racial awareness” exercise, basically treating white students as if they were black students 100 years ago. I was off campus that day, so I couldn’t find out much more, but considering that Platteville was one of the least biased locations in a seriously corrupt state university system, I could see the whole infrastructure realizing it’s dream.

If I have kids, I’m going to tell them to really reconsider college.

MadisonConservative on October 31, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Mandatory self-criticism? Required door decorations?

How is it the RA’s aren’t standing outside the dorm, buck-naked and painted blue by now?

mojo on October 31, 2007 at 4:43 PM

I fail to understand who the heck they think they are to even “encourage” student thought in any direction one way or another. Just exactly who do they think they are?

““Our graduates should know how to reason critically and independently”

That would seem to imply that the students would be encouraged to disagree with and criticize the program at the University. But the very fact that there is such a “program” at the university that tries to instill “correct” thinking is telling. The administration of the school is narcissistic and pompous beyond belief.

“We believe that students learn and grow in part by engaging in significant discussions on both sides of the classroom door.”

While that is certainly true, the University administration has no business on the outside of the classroom door. Their discussions take place inside the classroom. What happens outside the classroom is the student’s business whether then live on or off campus. While students should be engaging in significant discussions outside the classroom, the University should be limiting itself to discussions inside the classroom. The University has no claims to the student’s life outside that classroom.

crosspatch on October 31, 2007 at 4:44 PM

mojo on October 31, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Yes, check this out:

http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/8557.html?PHPSESSID=a810bbbbba2237d489f491cb31ea2459

I feel terrible for the students at Rodney whose brains are metaphorically being stepped on, maybe metaphorically kicked, until they get the message. This is not a voluntary program. It is a massive thought-reform project, and it must be completely dismantled.

The whole article makes one want to puke. This has got to stop!

jdawg on October 31, 2007 at 4:45 PM

This indoctrination effort of dorm residencees is an excellent reason for living off campus where their goose-stepping brown shirts can’t reach you.

Social engineering has replaced education in our schools.

docdave on October 31, 2007 at 4:46 PM

This effort is consistent with the mission of the University which states, “Our graduates should know how to reason critically and independently…

TWWWWWWEEEEEEETTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!

Clintonian Nuance alert. Yes, UD graduates should have critical thinking skills. The reality is that the whole educational system is designed to ween out critical thinking that doesn’t go along with the secular humanist agenda of academia.

Does anybody really think that UD faculty openly and freely discuss the inconsistencies in Al Gore’s propoganda? Anybody? Anybody?

highhopes on October 31, 2007 at 4:48 PM

…our institution values free politically correct speech, active one voice, and open hermetically sealed dialogue.

Fixed it for them.

ticticboom on October 31, 2007 at 4:49 PM

Our graduates should know how to reason critically and independently…communicate clearly in writing and speech, and develop into informed citizens and leaders.

Clearly, providing them with a solid, classical education cannot accomplish this, so we have turned to brain-washing and indoctrination sessions, where students are told what they should think, say and write as critical-thinking, independent and well-informed citizens and leaders.

[Cue the Internationale]

morganfrost on October 31, 2007 at 4:55 PM

So according to the U of D, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and John Edwards are all racists…

Etain P on October 31, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Just wonderin’ out loud here:

The first time that I ever read 1984 was at oSu. And, it was required for a Poli Sci class.

How many of you were required to read 1984, either in high school or in college?

I’m grateful that my college professor exposed me to the concept of ThoughtCrime – because it surely exists on the college campuses.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 31, 2007 at 4:57 PM

Senator Joe Biden (who has stuck his foot in his mouth regarding race a couple of times recently) is from Delaware.
Perhaps he should receive some training…er…treatment.

Matticus Finch on October 31, 2007 at 5:00 PM

The program is designed to encourage students to think about and to consider a number of issues, but all make their own decisions about the outcome of this reflection. FIRE’s assertion that students are told what to think is inaccurate.

The .pdf I saw at FIRE included evaluating students on how well they believe in a “sustainable” society, so Delaware’s Michael S. Gilbert is pretty much not telling the truth about it.

see-dubya on October 31, 2007 at 5:03 PM

Of course this was mandatory, try getting students to do something you suggest they do.

This is flagrant mandatory racist oppression and if heads don’t role for attempted brainwashing its open for other campuses to do the same thing.

Speakup on October 31, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Just “some” missteps?!?

… I think they skidaddled straight past misstepping and fell flat on their faces.

Vanceone on October 31, 2007 at 4:33 PM

People at Kos, appalled by this? Wow. Something new happens every day.

Ryan Gandy on October 31, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Yeah, Here’s the link to the Kos diary I created.

Of course, you have a few who are going on about “it may be a bit harsh, but isn’t it essentially true?” types that you would expect.

Vanceone on October 31, 2007 at 5:14 PM

In fact, we recently became aware that students in several residence halls were told their participation is mandatory at these activities.

Perhaps they became aware of this because they were doing the telling?

The passive voice, last refuge of scoundrels.

jdub on October 31, 2007 at 5:15 PM

Another University that will never get any of its graduates hired by me. I would much rather hire a kid with 4 years real work experience from the fast food industry than hire a certified idiot from the University system. At least the kids from the fast food industry know how to work.

KC-135A on October 31, 2007 at 5:20 PM

If the University of West Virginia adopts this program, will they do it in the Robert Byrd building?

Black Adam on October 31, 2007 at 5:28 PM

Yea, I am sure it is not mandatory. Also if you do not attend you will recieve a failng grade.

SIJ6141 on October 31, 2007 at 5:32 PM

Didn’t take long to find a veritable Gold Mine of goodies here:
http://www.udel.edu/reslife/students/wholenewworld.htm

I’m going to leave the door wide open for word play with “Whole New World”…

sandcrab on October 31, 2007 at 5:35 PM

This indoctrination effort of dorm residencees is an excellent reason for living off campus where their goose-stepping brown shirts can’t reach you.

docdave on October 31, 2007 at 4:46 PM

This is why many universities have mandatory resident programs for freshmen. At many universities, if a freshman’s parents home address is not within 20 miles of the college the student is required to live in the dorms.

mojojojo on October 31, 2007 at 5:38 PM

It doesn’t show for me, it says “Sorry, I can’t seem to find that story.”

Ryan Gandy on October 31, 2007 at 5:39 PM

BTW – Here: http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2007/aug/welcome082506.html

We have reference to a ‘Whole New World’ “… three-hour diversity appreciation workshop sponsored by Residence Life … offered at different locations across campus. (Students should check with resident assistants for their assigned workshop location .)” (emphasis added).

‘Assigned’ doesn’t *sound* optional…

sandcrab on October 31, 2007 at 5:42 PM

This is a new effort involving over two hundred staff.

No wonder college is getting so expensive. The liberals like big, worthless, oppressive administrations just as they like big, worthless, oppressive government.

peacenprosperity on October 31, 2007 at 6:11 PM

More America haters hiding behind the First Amendment as they seek to destroy it.

pat on October 31, 2007 at 6:48 PM

Self-criticism sessions. Smacks of Maoism. What is next, re-education camps?

Just simply amazing.

serenevalley on October 31, 2007 at 6:49 PM

Didn’t take long to find a veritable Gold Mine of goodies here: http://www.udel.edu/reslife/students/wholenewworld.htm
I’m going to leave the door wide open for word play with “Whole New World”…
sandcrab on October 31, 2007 at 5:35

Sandcrab – You are not kidding! That is really creepy. It’s like a little Marxist “Whole New World State” there (Rod Serling could have written half a season of Twilight Zone episodes from this). I noticed that the hoped for diversity hasn’t quite made it to the actual staff “Meet the Staff”). Those folks have certainly benefited from the “Culture of White Supremacy” – To the Re-education Camps With You!!
You must go the Assigned Link!!!
http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/China/CRSongs/people.html

MikeHu on October 31, 2007 at 7:13 PM

“What is next, re-education camps?” That would be UD’s definition of undergrad dorms.

Kalapana on October 31, 2007 at 7:24 PM

Here’s a gem:

“For Whites, the process involves becoming aware of one’s “whiteness,” accepting this aspect of one’s identity as socially meaningful and personally salient, and ultimately internalizing a realistically positive view of whiteness which is not based on assumed superiority.”

Ending quote from: White Racial Identity and Anti-Racist Education: A Catalyst for Change by Sandra M. Lawrence and Beverly Daniel Tatum

PDF format: http://www.udel.edu/reslife/students/White_Racial_Identity.doc

Yet another reason to immediately shut down all “Education” departments and colleges.

Kalapana on October 31, 2007 at 7:28 PM

How many of you were required to read 1984, either in high school or in college?

In both for me. At the time, I didn’t think it possible that we’d ever get to that stage in America. Now, several decades later, I’m not so sure- particularly since the “rats” took charge of Congress and seem oblivious to the fact that they don’t have a mandate.

highhopes on October 31, 2007 at 8:05 PM

Why are you all racists White people worried about this? Your White power structure will always protect you. You are beating up on this poor HBC, and it’s frankly testament to what they’re saying you White people really are-inherently racist!

SouthernGent on October 31, 2007 at 9:51 PM

Why are you all racists White people worried about this? Your White power structure will always protect you. You are beating up on this poor HBC, and it’s frankly testament to what they’re saying you White people really are-inherently racist!

SouthernGent on October 31, 2007 at 9:51 PM

I always love how the idiots who write this crap get all up in my grill about agitating race relations by my mere existence while they flip out about an imaginary white supremacist culture which apparently is powerful enough to infect everyone’s mind but far, far too weak to keep this crap which “exposes it” from becoming the norm at that socializing institution known as “education.”

Cause we all know, callin’ whitey the son of Satan cause he’s white while claiming minorities are pure as the driven snow, to turn a phrase, because they are minorities doesn’t stir the race relations pot.

BKennedy on October 31, 2007 at 10:36 PM

^^^ You do know I was being sarcastic, right?

SouthernGent on October 31, 2007 at 10:54 PM

^^^ You do know I was being sarcastic, right?

SouthernGent on October 31, 2007 at 10:54 PM

I wasn’t referring to you when I said “the idiots who write this crap,” I was referring to the idiots who write that “white supremacists rule us all” crapola.

I mean come on, you’d have to be a pretty dim bulb to at once believe whites own and control all agents of socialization while you disseminate this crap which you clearly believe “fights the power” by the approval and encouragement of those you claim are charged with maintaining the white power structure.

Although if you have a guilty conscience, I understand ;-D

BKennedy on October 31, 2007 at 11:23 PM

^^^^^

You have to be a dim bulb and extremely self-centered to think an entire society is designed around holding YOU back.

SouthernGent on October 31, 2007 at 11:44 PM

BKennedy on October 31, 2007 at 11:23 PM

SouthernGent on October 31, 2007 at 11:44 PM

As far as the REAL white supremacists are concerned, the Jews control the whole lot of education, media and Hollywood. That should say a lot, in context of the above, right there.

Ryan Gandy on October 31, 2007 at 11:49 PM

As far as the REAL white supremacists are concerned, the Jews control the whole lot of education, media and Hollywood. That should say a lot, in context of the above, right there.

Ryan Gandy on October 31, 2007 at 11:49 PM

Yeah, those Yahwehdamn Zionists rule our colleges and universities, that’s why no one believes we fine college professors and university officials when we raise our support for the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza! Even after those filthy world-dominating Jews pulled out they couldn’t leave them in peace! They used their mind control ray to keep the Palestinian man and his chattel wif(v)e(s) down! Jews are RACIST! The Holocaust is a myth! PRAISE ALLA *BOOM!*

BKennedy on November 1, 2007 at 8:14 AM

Vanceone on October 31, 2007 at 5:14 PM

That diary is now gone.

jdawg on November 1, 2007 at 9:45 AM

People are the product of their life experience. When you see the Katrina images, listen to interviews with victims, watch Rap videos, etc., it does fuel questions about the state of mind maintained by some, and why.

To me, words are the tools of thought. If you can’t talk, how can you think, and if you can’t think, you will have trouble in this economy.

I think the focus should be on the cultural bunch that thinks education and learning is “too white”. If your focus is on staying useless and ignorant, what do you expect? In New Orleans, people got a check for being useless, along with encoueragement to stay that way. President Hillary and all the others will will stay that course. It is tough to build people up by knocking others down. Like chairman Mao said”a rising tide floats all boats.” But, if you are sitting on your butt in the mud, a rising tide just gets you wet.

saiga on November 1, 2007 at 3:33 PM

There has got to be something unconstitutional about this. This is a public university which means it gets taxpayer funding right?

RAs taking students living in the dorms and interviewing them? When I went to college dorms were glorified apartments on campus. The only time you went to an RA was when people were drunk and acting up in the halls so you can’t study or sleep. Things of that nature. RAs are just apartment managers, facilitating resident complaints. The idea that they are getting into students personal and political lives is beyond the pale. You’re just paying for a room to place your hat and a bed to sleep in. Whether you go to class, what classes you take, and your GPA never had anything to do with it unless you were on a scholarship.

I believe the entire thing, even if they were being impartial has no business being in this environment.

Sultry Beauty on November 1, 2007 at 4:05 PM