Freedom of Thought Is on Life Support at the University of Arizona

Robby Soave, Daily Beast, March 16, 2016

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{snip} If activists at the University of Arizona get everything they want–including a whopping $500,000 diversity budget–the administration would have to raise tuition rates through the roof to keep up with costs.

A coalition of left-leaning student organizations at U of A has organized itself into a grievance group, the Marginalized Students, and published a list of demands. {snip}

The Marginalized Students want U of A to force all employees of the college, and some students–including everyone who works for the student newspaper–to undergo cultural sensitivity training. They want trigger warnings, and they want faculty members who fail to use them to be punished. They want optional separate living communities for students of color, gay students, and women (the marginalized don’t like to share safe spaces, it seems). And they want diversity–a whole lot more diversity. Half a million dollars worth of diversity, in fact.

“It is important to note that these are Demands, not simply requests or suggestions,” wrote the students. “These represent thoughtful, meaningful reforms that are necessary in order to affirm the expectation of safety and real life equity. Should these demands not be met or properly negotiated to our standards, we will mobilize our students. Additionally, we will inform prospective students, faculty, staff, as well as previous faculty and staff, alumni, and anyone else who will listen of the problematic climate that is perpetuated on this campus.”

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For starters, the Marginalized Students want to enact campus-wide cultural sensitivity training. This would be a requirement for everyone who either lives or works on campus, though the demands specifically singles out fraternity members and the staff of the campus newspaper, the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

The list, of course, references several demands that would deprive members of campus of their ability to freely express themselves. Students of color, in particular, want administrators to publicize the “consequences” that will befall people who perpetrate microaggressions anywhere on campus. Not even classrooms are safe–the demands specifically instruct professors to institute mandatory trigger warnings and formulate alternative curriculum plans for any and all students who are offended by the regularly scheduled material.

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{snip} A $500,000 allotment for diversity initiatives is just the tip of the iceberg: Demands to hire more left-leaning faculty, create residence communities geared toward specific group identity, and employ more counselors would also impact U of A’s bottom line.

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