Seattle University Anti-Racist Coalition Occupies Dean's Office, Demands Her Resignation

Comments

1
Are they able to retreat to their safe spaces? Are there triggers we should be aware of? And hiring more diverse professors. I like and support that idea but is Seattle University getting qualified candidates to even apply for those professorships as they come open? That last point I'd think the students should be able to find data to back up and support their claims
2
@1 are you serious about availability of qualified candidates?
If there is an area of inquiry with a massive surplus of qualified candidates is the humanities.
If you think that is even debatable you must be living in a completely different planet.
3
A *curriculum,* not curricula.
4
"Decentralizes Whiteness and has a critical focus on the evolution of systems of oppression such as racism, capitalism, colonialism, etc."

Somehow I'm guessing that all these "systems of oppression" they want to navel gaze into states of soul consuming rapture are centrally white...

Doubt they want to peel the scab off of the Arab slave trade, which predates (and survives) the European slave trade.

Doubt they want to address China's ongoing campaign of colonization.

Guessing they just want to serve up a heaping big plate full of white male guilt and hatred of the west in a rich sauce of relativism.

And just what did they expect when they chose to enroll in a Jesuit college named after a Jesuit (colonial) missionary priest that promises "a solid foundation for future studies that is rooted in 450 years of Jesuit tradition"???

Sort of like ordering a steak and complaining that it's not fish.

Fuck em.
5
@3 unless you really know your Latin declensions you would be well advised to STFU
6
"First, racism and sexism are especially acute at Matteo Ricci because the humanities curriculum is based heavily on Western canon and European classic literature, i.e. stuff that old racist and sexist white guys wrote down, Mohammad said."

I went to Seattle U for a year and a half (transferred because it was too damned expensive). It's true, they do veer towards a "Classical" education. I took 3 philosophy classes and they were all geared towards old, white men - Aristotle, Sophocles, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Descartes, probably about 15 more I'm forgetting.

But you know what? It's a *Jesuit* school. What the fuck were you expecting?
7
My generation's cause was aimed at the financial aspect of academia: divestment in Apartheid. We also occupied offices, made "Demands" and largely accomplished something.

These student's goals are equally admirable (Although I would argue for inclusion into the cannon rather than rejection of all the things that "old racist and sexist white guys wrote down". After all, it's a society based on old racist and sexist white guys, and you have to know your context if you want to change it.) but I can't help but giggle and roll my eyes at all the self-important "rules".

And I think that "Demand" 4 is both hopelessly utopian and ultimately dangerous. You shouldn't change curriculum based on the current crop of student's cause du jour. While we were against Apartheid, a lot of us were hopelessly conservative, in that early 80's Huey Lewis sort of way.
8
@4 Do you even know that the Jesuits have a tradition of supporting most of the things the students are asking? Perhaps you should be educating yourself a bit.
9
A guy named 'Muhammed' voluntarily enrolls in a Jesuit institution and expects to study non-Western civilization.

Hmmmmm...

How about we march down to Canlis and bitch and moan that they don't sell cheap kebabs.

Grow up kids. You know what's on the menu before you enrolled. Don't like it – don't spend your money there.
10
"First, racism and sexism are especially acute at Matteo Ricci because the humanities curriculum is based heavily on Western canon and European classic literature, i.e. stuff that old racist and sexist white guys wrote down, Mohammad said."
Okay, it's one thing to want more diversity of readings, but let me just be very clear here: the unsavory opinions held by a notable writer are NOT justification for that writer to be expunged from the curriculum. It is foolhardy, revisionist, and intellectually craven to ignore all writers who did not share modern sensibilities regarding civil rights and equanimity.
11
@9 Mohammad is the surname. Fiza is the first name and she is a she. Thanks for showing you have no reading comprehension.

I went to a Jesuit university and we had plenty of Arab and Muslim students. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia loved sending students to Jesuit schools.
12
@1 Of course a brain dead white dude would rant about safe spaces when the students are risking arrest through occupation.
13
@12
Seriously doubt that will happen. I was on campus, across the walk from this all day long. Had no idea it was happening. Not exactly a big police response.
14
@11 Thanks for exhibiting you have no grasp of context – nor apparently irony.

Perhaps the students of the Persian and Arab world should ask, before criticizing the weight of study towards Western Civilization in a Jesuit institution, why the world clamors to leave non-Western civilization for education.

Perhaps Fiza would benefit from school in – say – Karachi, Beirut or Jeddah, or some other place of eternal Eastern enlightenment, where she can try and express herself in the same expressive way. (cough)

Because in large swaths of non-Western 'civilzation' she would be rounded-up, jailed, flogged – or worse.

The price of admission for protesting a PRIVATE school you VOLUNTARILY choose to attend, is demonstrating the intestinal fortitude to actually go somewhere closer to the subject you'd prefer to study.
15
this social justice 4 kidz attitude of "make your own opinions increasingly louder without discussion or compromise" is getting old
16
Jesus fucking Christ. Will some people not stop until white people are fired from every job and erased from the history books?
17
I work in higher education, at a school within a university that's very committed to diversity and supporting our students and faculty, and yet it can be damn difficult to implement. There are absolutely highly qualified diverse candidates for faculty positions, but there are far fewer of them, and the issue is a complex one that begins at access to education for underserved populations and stretches all the way to the 'white tower' of academia. We are working very hard to diversify our faculty population to better reflect our community and students, and were able to offer 3/5 of our new faculty positions to candidates of color this year, but this change is a long, slow, laborious process. I understand these students' frustrations and admire their passion and drive for change, but I wish that they would understand that this change doesn't happen within the span of an academic year. Sadly, academia moves much slower than other worlds.
18
Oddly enough, SSCC is also criticized for a lack of diversity despite the boasted 40 different languages spoken there by students and staff.

This is another Seattle "me too" farce.
19
College idealism is so cute.
21
I am a “person of color” who has never voted Republican, and I went to a Jesuit program like this one. And yet I am suspicious of this group’s demands.

If there is true marginalization and “gaslighting” in the classroom, that is bad, and by all means get that resolved. But be careful associating “white” too closely with “racism and sexism” as something to be addressed. I would argue that is, in fact, a racist attitude. If you are making the assumption that purging white professors and curricula will free you from racism and sexism, you are wrong. You WILL NOT escape racism and sexism by emphasizing other cultures. If you immerse yourself in the cultures of Africa, China, Japan, Italy, the Middle East (Muslim and Jewish), Latin America, and many, many more, what you will find is that many of those cultures have strong xenophobic undercurrents against other races.

Furthermore, the attitudes in those traditional cultures are often NOT friendly to American liberal values. Many of those same cultures have strong traditional patriarchies that marginalize women and alternative sexual identities. Gays, the transgendered, feminists, and others are actively suppressed and often violently oppressed in the countries I listed. I imagine that compared to how you would be treated and educated in those countries, Seattle University would probably rank as one of the most open and least oppressive institutions you would find.

Using whiteness as a criteria for solving racism and sexism will not be successful. All you will end up doing is studying from the racist and sexist writers and artists of other cultures.

(This is what I think of saying to the whites, too. If you think you can get rid of murder and rape by purging all the nonwhite immigrants, all you will have accomplished is to find yourself living next to only the white murderers and rapists.)

Fight for reform for a more balanced curriculum, and for more diversity. That is fine. But don't do it by hating whites, or by thinking that whites have a monopoly on racism and sexism because just a little bit of travel outside the USA will show you how much worse it is out there, and how good you really have it here.
22
Didn't these KIDS read up on the school before they applied, signed on the dotted line, and had Mommy & Daddy pay up for this? Taking a quick look at the school's site. It's Jesuit based. And Mohammed is complaining about Western Curriculum. He forgot to read the part about who Founded, Funded, etc, the school. These KIDS chose to go to a WHITE Founded and White Professorship college. They can't say they didn't know. There are too many other schools that will give them the "Diversity" they "Think" they're "Demanding"
23
@8 The Jesuits are the Pope's SS. Responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents around the world, all in the name of "civilizing the savages". Scum of the earth, and anyone who chooses to associate with them should be aware of their bloody origins.
24
Anything students are reading in translation is for undergraduate type survey courses for people who aren't majoring in a language. And I don't see how its super important in a context like that for people to read Greeks and Romans and Thomas Aquinas and whatever. The point is to teach how to read and understand literature. For people majoring in English, there's plenty of diversity in stuff that was written in English, because of the particular history of the language. So this seems like it should be perfectly easy to address to everyone's satisfaction. And nobody studying German would expect to be reading anything but Germans and that's not a super-diverse bunch ;)

bluelaser @21 makes a good point about taking care around the ethical positions of the authors themselves. It would be a shame to throw away Cervantes because of guilt by association.
25
Good Morning,
I think this a bad idea, "demanding". No, they should be removed from the office and arguably expelled. This is an outrage. Roger Kimball nails it:

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm…

The students are choosing to educate themselves at SU. They are paying for that education as well. They can protest & suggest but not violate a civil code and occupy a Dean's office.

This is foolishness.


26
The students deserve a voice, however, one has to balance this voice with the understanding that most of them do not have the ability of full rational thinking.

"It doesn't matter how smart your teen is or how well he or she scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn't something he or she can excel in, at least not yet.

The rational part of a teen's brain isn't fully developed and won't be until he or she is 25 years old or so.

In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain's rational part. This is the part of the bran that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdale. This is the emotional part."

Understanding the Teen Brain. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclope…
28
I checked it out on my way to class this morning, it seemed really chill. People seemed happy. I doubt the Dean will resign though. I think its kind of hard to pin a Jesuit school not being super diverse or focused on non-Christian non-European thinking on a single person. Christian/European stuff is kinda what Catholic schools do.

My 2 cents: I agree that the canon needs revision, but not really in the same way. I'm not a humanities major, but in my humanities classes I have felt that we are just reading too many authors. Mills, Kant, and Aristotle are covered in one class, and its hard for people to read much of their ideas or really wrap their minds around it. Adding more authors might "expose" students to more ideas, but not really get into it or understand them. I would have rather taken a whole class on Aristotle than the way we did it.
29
This is the literal definition of the inmates trying to run the asylum. When the hell do students DEMAND anything from their teachers? Colleges need to start setting examples that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Start expelling students. The rest will fall back in line real damn quick.
Also. When the heck did Aristotle and Socrates become "old white guys"? They were Greek. And as for not teaching " Eurocentric" philosophy. By all means, please show me the writings and teachings of African scholars of the same era. Oh...wait...
30
This is the only time white people care about education, isn't it?
31
It's easy to demand that someone else give up her job when you've never worked a day in your life.
32
Fuck Me!!!!! Cry me a river with your tears that flow from First World problems. The faculty better "Nut Up" and kick these kids out, or they could be then next "cause de jour".

And they wonder why they can't find jobs upon graduation.
33
This is a tricky one for me, being a lefty, and wanting to be supportive of a more inclusive/diverse education. There are some good points to the counter-
A) expensive private school that is the domain of students with privilege most of us (of any color) will never know.
B) Jesuits have a long history of intellectual rigor and more liberal educational ideals than you may expect- but that shit has a limit, and they should have known that limit.
C) America is the most racist place on earth, except for pretty much every other place on earth-So, yeah, try to have this conversation in a non-western setting and see how that goes.

I also cringe at the idea of exclusion of 'the classics' in philosophy, etc. Do we throw out Logic because Aristotle was (maybe) white? I think the argument can be, and often is, that there is plenty of room for both. And if these glorified community colleges would quit with the busy-work and concentrate on education rather than training, there would be plenty of space in curricula for a broader swath of reading, etc.
34
I am a graduate of the Matteo Ricci college, a minority woman with a successful career. I credit the college, my Humanities degree and specifically Dean Kelly for my success and ability to connect with people from very diverse backgrounds. The humanities curriculum starts with understanding Western philosophy then expands in later courses to include other cultures and ethical viewpoints. At the end of 3 years graduates have a well rounded education taught from a variety of perspectives. There are generations of MRC graduates who can attest to the benefits. It's unfortunate that these freshmen students seek to dismantle a curriculum that can ultimately advance and enrich their careers in the future. If they don't find a benefit to the college then they should move to another. The honors program, I'm certain, will be happy to have them.
35
"complete with pizza, pillows, and Beyonce's Lemonade album playing over speakers." Not a middle school sleepover? Much as sites like FB have made over sharing a habit for many millennials, this type of "Protest" can and will follow them into the real world, where protesting on the job wont be as accepted. Wonder how many are using family money for tuition and how many are using loans and how many are getting free ride scholarships? Seems like wasted money and opportunity to me.
38
@36, 37 - How about let's NOT go a step further, and debate what's actually happening instead of your paranoid fantasies about strawman overlords?
39
Will the new curriculum include a history of oppression of blacks by blacks? Why not? What black racism? Why not? What about all the the pre-colonial oppression around the world, well documented? Why not? Why is it only white oppression they are interested in? Whose agenda is this?