Peter Hasson, Campus Reform, August 29, 2015
Multiple professors at Washington State University have explicitly told students their grades will suffer if they use terms such as “illegal alien,” “male,” and “female,” or if they fail to “defer” to non-white students.
According to the syllabus for Selena Lester Breikss’ “Women & Popular Culture” class, students risk a failing grade if they use any common descriptors that Breikss considers “oppressive and hateful language.”
The punishment for repeatedly using the banned words, Breikss warns, includes “but [is] not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and–in extreme cases–failure for the semester.”
Much like in Selena Breikss’s classroom, students taking Professor Rebecca Fowler’s “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” course will see their grades suffer if they use the term “illegal alien” in their assigned writing.
According to her syllabus, students will lose one point every time they use the words “illegal alien” or “illegals” rather than the preferred terms of “‘undocumented’ migrants/immigrants/persons.” Throughout the course, Fowler says, students will “come to recognize how white privilege functions in everyday social structures and institutions.”
White students in Professor John Streamas’s “Introduction to Multicultural Literature” class, are expected to “defer” to non-white students, among other community guidelines, if they want “to do well in this class.”
In the guidelines in his syllabus, Streamas elaborates that he requires students to “reflect” on their grasp of history and social relations “by respecting shy and quiet classmates and by deferring to the experiences of people of color.”
Streamas — who previously generated controversy by calling a student a “white shitbag” and declared that WSU should stand for “White Supremacist University” — also demands that students “understand and consider the rage of people who are victims of systematic injustice.”
Several other WSU professors require their students to “acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and other institutionalized forms of oppression exist” or that “we do not live in a post-racial world.”