Are you thinking of sending one of your children off to learn about writing at Rutgers University in New Jersey? Great news, parents! Starting next semester, they won’t need to fret over learning all of those annoying rules about, er… writing. The College Fix has uncovered a fascinating change in programming plans for the English Department and Writing Center at Rutgers. You see, teaching all of the rules of grammar, sentence structure and where to put the nouns, verbs and adjectives is apparently insensitive. To whom, you might ask? Well, the title of the memo detailing all of the proposed changes is, “Department actions in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.”
I’m guessing that some of you are casting a few nervous glances from side to side by this point and for good reason. One of their “anti-racist directives” includes an effort to deemphasize traditional grammar rules. So you’re going to be “deemphasizing” grammar… in the English department? Let’s peer a little deeper into this hot-button topic, shall we?
Titled “Department actions in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” the email states that the ongoing and future initiatives that the English Department has planned are a “way to contribute to the eradication of systemic inequities facing black, indigenous, and people of color.”
One of the initiatives is described as “incorporating ‘critical grammar’ into our pedagogy.”
It is listed as one of the efforts for Rutgers’ Graduate Writing Program, which “serves graduate students across the Rutgers community. The GWP’s mission is to support graduate students of all disciplines in their current and future writing goals, from coursework papers to scholarly articles and dissertations,” according to its website.