Students Launch Petition for Comprehensive Anti-Racism Program at Seattle Pacific University

Comments

1
Instead of comprehensive anti-racism classes how about comprehensive dont-be-a-dick classes? That should cover racism, sexism, homophobia, and elitism, and other forms of bigotry and dickotry all in one class or program.
2
@1 - I don't know what they'll be covering in those classes, but ideally there is value in learning a particular history and a particular point of view vs. simple etiquette.
3
um, the "Evangelical" part is baked into the cake - it's explicit in the School's mission. no way around that one - better work around it.
4
"And they want the university to create an anonymous reporting system to let students report "inappropriate behavior and speech..." Excellent… all they need are a few Lion’s Mouths and a Bridge of Sighs! (What could possibly go wrong with system of anonymous accusations???)
5
According to the Census Bureau by 2020 white children under 18 will officially be the minority. 40 years from now the total US population will be over 50% minority. For my mix race child I hope a lot of the current discourse from all sides changes to something that is more positive and accepting.
7
References to Stalin and Florence no joke.
Retrograde Left filled with desire to bully.
I hope Dan Savage includes political bullying as part of his analysis. ( or maybe he already does -- I don't know the breadth of his thanking).
8
If you want a highly diverse university experience, seek out a highly diverse university. It's a fucking Jesuit school in western Washington, you expect to have various shades of non-white culture dropping all over the place?
9
The CHZA dear, you're confusing Seattle University (Jesuit, Capitol Hill) with Seattle Pacific University (Methodist?, backside of Queen Anne) The two are not at all mutually interchangeable, save for the whole monotheism thing.

Years and years ago, Marriott offered me a job as the Catering Manager for Seattle Pacific. It sounded like a good deal until I realized that they don't allow either alcohol or dancing on campus, which meant that my commission would be practically non-existent. Why anyone would go there is beyond me.
10
Flip charts, breaking into teams, role playing, Post-it notes, and so on.
11
@ the CHZA: You're confusing Seattle Pacific University (vaguely evangelical, with a Free Methodist theological background) with Seattle University (Jesuit Catholic). Honest mistake, but completely different schools.
12
@9
I think that the students go, in part, to pray.
13
Because, after all, the only place you can pray is a religious school....
14
@13
Yup!
How to get good grades w/o prayer?
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Actually I shouldn't be snarky. The students I have met at SPU are great so that's why I am particularly disappointed by this petition.
15
Good reporting would try to offer a sense about whether the students' claims are legitimate or not.
Of course this is The Srranger.
17
The reporting system at SPU is already somewhat anonymous, it is just done at the end of each quarter rather than during the quarter in a teacher evaluation. The problem is professors have access to the evaluations so if the experience was very specific to that one student the professor would know who reported them. Its not a big school, many students will take the same professors several times before graduation, so inappropriate comments or behavior often go unreported to avoid awkward experiences.
18
I read the petition front to back. I think they left out the part about the re-education camps if the students and faculty don't follow the ( new) party line. Do we have a case of " look at the new boss, same as the old boss"? Yes, have dialogue , work for community in a diverse world. But don't assign officers to police language and behavior. It's been done before and didn't end well...ask Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao to name a few
19
@18

Yes, just like Nazi Germany. You should go alert Elie Wiesel.
20
Go ahead and laugh @19
The children are bureaucrats & have no depth.
Listen to their language - total bureaucratic.
21
Sargon dear, At that time (almost thirty years ago) it was both no dancing and no booze. It was quite a culture shock after the U of Iowa, where you could charge a beer on your student ID.
22
"It is the obligation of this institution to implement policies and practices to ensure that its representatives..." No, it isn't.
23
What is happening on that campus to spur this? I read the linked article from the school paper and it isn't clear at all. The headline and article employ the word "urgent" numerous times but there is no explanation of what is so urgent.

And this part is confusing:


“I will tell you honestly that those conversations are scary for me because I live in fear of saying something well-intentioned but insensitive because I just don’t know,” Van Duzer said.

Tucker replied to this statement, stating that such feelings are a manifestation of “white fragility,” something that keeps engagement from happening.

According to Tucker, another training that might need to be added to the list of necessary next steps should be centered upon “white fragility.”

White fragility “is speaking to exactly what you’re talking about, that fear of saying the wrong word. I don’t think this discussion is about how to avoid saying the wrong thing,” she said.

“It’s about entering that space and being aware of your own body and how that is related to you and not the other person,” Tucker said.


What? The fear that whites have of saying something unintentionally insensitive is “white fragility”? Isn’t that fear rooted in the fragility of a minority being offended?
24
@23: Yeah, that makes little sense. The whole "fragility" thing is (I thought) centered around the concept of "masculinity" or "whiteness" (or whatever concept you wish to degrade) being a construct which is easily destroyed and so must be protected through nonsensical steps to avoid being like "the other."

What is being described in the quote seems to be reluctance to engage because talking about these topics when you are not the race/gender being discussed is basically walking through a mine field blind, because anything can offend anyone for almost any reason, which is met with scorn and accusations of racism/sexism regardless of intent.
25
@24 - Blind through a mine field is a good analogy. I ended up reading a bit about "white fragility" after posting and it just further reinforced my beliefs that academia is off in the weeds on this stuff. There has to be a specific complaint in this story, right? Do these students want more minority class members and faculty? Is that just implied?

This whole new vocabulary for race relations is interesting for scholars, I guess, but it only seems to be making whites more defensive to be painted with a wide brush. Sure, we can easily tow the line like Macklemore and confess to "privilege" or "fragility" to gain whatever progressive cred comes along with that, but if the real racists aren't the target it's just a huge circle jerk.

Specifically, it seems like the focus should be on hiring and wages. Did I get hired because I was white? I have no idea but if you are minority and you’re pretty sure you didn’t get hired because of that, there should be some way to petition that decision so society can put names and faces on the individuals who should be called to question.
26
@25- "pretty sure" seems like justification enough to pillory someone. Prosecutors across the nation will use "pretty sure" to gain convictions. Bush was "pretty sure" about WMD's so according to you he was justified in his actions.
27
@26 - The details aren’t worked out. I have to believe that identifying specific actionable cases of racism are the real motivation behind this movement but I don’t understand how this gets us there. I can’t connect how all this talk of safe spaces and making people comfortable and getting white people to recognize their privilege is going to lead to the real goal of calling out racists and shaming them into oblivion.
28
@27- safe spaces and such are just products of whiny, self-indulgent brats that want nothing more than to blame someone else for everything. You are correct in that they do nothing to address and confront racism. The bar should be placed higher than "pretty sure" when you publicly accuse someone of racism, though.
29
These people are honestly just so uninformed. I have yet to see them cite an example of this racism they're talking about except for the most recent spot in the Theology department not being filled by a person of color (when they were looking to hire a woman... but apparently that diversity isn't good enough for them). And a large portion of their demands already exist at the school so I don't even know what they're talking about. I'm not dening that racism exists as SPU, as it exists many places, but this idea that it is systemic is one that I just haven't seen any evidence for. It's sad because SPU is becoming known as the place where students just complain loudly and for no reason.