Evergreen Ranks as One of the Worst Colleges in the U.S. for Free Speech

Comments

1
So, did you talk to anyone besides Weinstein, anyone who might push back against his narrative?
3
Wait - students at evergreen have the authority to order people off campus? If what he’s saying is true then the Times not only reported the story wrong, they missed the most remarkable thing about it.
4
Segregation is very much in vogue on the left. It's only a matter of time before they undo Loving v. Virginia - wouldn't want any Blood Appropriation, that's problematic!
5
LOL Katie, i get that you felt bad that some people didn't like your transitioning article but damn are you really sharing FIRE reports in the stranger now? FIRE is a far right wing conservative organization that was formed in 1999 to witch hunt liberal bias on campus, they are a fucking joke. Please, do some actual research into your sources.

8
I can’t wait for the big feature article with the extensive Weinstein interview that totally makes the Internet Blow Up, the follow-up post about how unfair it is that people are criticizing her writing, and the follow-up to that about how this proves that the Left Wing Twitter Mob has Gone Too Far. I always wanted the Stranger to be a half-assed version of the Atlantic.
9
I'd really like to find out with certainty whether the absence of white students was a request or in any way mandatory. That makes a very big difference.

If just a request than the professor made a big stink about nothing. If mandatory than I back his stance 100%.
10
Yawn. Also on FIRE's list were Harvard, Northwestern, UC Berkley, Fordham, etc. They trot out the same list every year.
12
@5 also from FIRE'S top 10 worst colleges for free speech:

"Drexel University makes promises to protect professors’ speech rights, but the university’s treatment of Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher makes clear it does not keep them.

The trouble for Ciccariello-Maher began on Dec. 24, 2016, when he tweeted “All I Want For Christmas is White Genocide,” which he said was “a satirical tweet about an imaginary concept, ‘white genocide.’” Perhaps predictably, a backlash ensued — one that was fueled in significant part by accounts operated by the Russia-based and Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency. Drexel initially promised Ciccariello-Maher that he would not face punishment for the tweet, but the red light institution quietly launched an investigation anyway."

Crazy that a far-right wing organization would support Cicciariello-Maher, a pro-Palestinian student organization, and a kid at Texas State who wrote an article about whiteness being a social construct and an abomination.
13
Shocked- shocked!- I am to find out that Fox News is not a forum for "Deeply Progressive" discourse.

Good thing Katie didn't interview any students to see if they remembered whether the event was voluntary or required.

Also, that sign is super duper sad.
14
This isn’t exactly news exclusive to FIRE or evergreen. Half of millennials are in favor of suppressing free speech on college campuses.

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.n…

15
@9&13. The proof is right there in the minutes link.
16
Why not just let the students run the college?
17
@9 If a "request" it was also a loaded and offensive one.
18
Who the fuck cares about Evergreen State. It’s a bastion of Reddit Kids who couldn’t muster a C+ average, even in a low bar public education system, so toddle off to the woods for another waste of four fucking years.

Dim people. Dim prospects. Dumb intellectual outputs.
20
@14 "Nearly half of the millennials polled in a recent University of Chicago survey say that colleges should limit freedom of speech “in extreme cases,” like slurs and other intentionally offensive language and costumes that stereotype certain racial and ethnic groups."

That's the only statement in regards to limiting speech in that article. So what? I'm 100% fine with limiting speech to exclude slurs at colleges. Slurs exists only as a means to convey hostility, not as a means to convey potentially taboo or unpopular ideas, which should be engaged with at college. That's not a policy I'm trying to fight at all.

@17 Loaded and offensive as it may be, if not coerced than it is still just an idea that falls under the banner of free speech. The type of taboo idea that should be engaged with in a higher learning institution. If coerced, it obviously would be an act of discrimination, which I would oppose.
21
@19 That's the impression I got from the articles I read a few months ago. This article made it sound compelled. Just wondering which it was.
22
Edgy Katie Herzog quotes FIRE at length and brings up bait issues because any click is a good click.

You will end up regretting this sale of whatever journalistic soul you may have had. Tim and Dan are not good people.
23
@20 tell Dick Gregory that slurs only use is to express hostility.

We really don't need short sighted reactionaries anywhere near public policy.
24
@20. You’re being willfully ignorant.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washing…

The reaction by students to Weinstein’s email was violent. Violence is never an appropriate response to speech.
25
@yo. Please keep up the good work. The more you box in and suppress your own, the more any free thinkers left in your camp start feeling claustrophobic and jump ship.

BTW, cries of “morality” just mean you don’t have a plausible idea to defend with thoughts and words.

26
One positive thing about the Left turning against actual liberals is that it becomes easier to tell who the "good guys" are who have the fortitude to stand up against these authoritarians. One negative thing is that as these postmodern ideologues cleanse the Left of free thinkers like Bret Weinstein (and Bari Weiss, Nicholas Christakis, Lindsay Shepherd, and on and on), Trump gets that much closer to a second term.
27
The situation at Evergreen is complex and deserves an in-depth report. Instead we have The Stranger mainstreaming a right-wing organization and its talking points. WTF is going on here? Is anyone editing this publication any more? Did anyone stop to think "hmm, we should probably not treat FIRE like a neutral or unbiased source"?
28
Do people actually change their opinions on issues like abortion, gay rights, gun control, health care, etc because someone was mean to them? People make these kinds of threats all the time – never for themselves, but other people, whose mind they can presumably read – but is this a legit phenomenon? Are there legions of American voters who used to vote Democratic until an unpleasant interaction with a fellow liberal pushed them into the loving embrace of a political party defined almost entirely by its hostility to women, minorities, and sensible gun regulations with near-universal support? Have any of them written a book, or a blog post? Because I think a lot of people would read it.
29
"Loaded and offensive as it may be, if not coerced than it is still just an idea that falls under the banner of free speech. The type of taboo idea that should be engaged with in a higher learning institution."

@20 Sounds (from these sources) like that's all W tried to do.
30
@24/25 One, I am not ignorant. At least the article you posted expanded on the concept. The initial article I read only stated that students were against slurs and hate speech, which I feel have no place on college campuses. While they may exist in the real world, college is a place of learning. People of all types attend and do so with a purpose. They can deal with slurs and hate speech off campus and in the real world. They'll have plenty of time.

Mutual combat is legal in Seattle, which I fully agree with. But it's probably good we don't allow fights at schools.

Slurs and hate speech meaning words that have no purpose other than to hurt others, usually on the basis on race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, etc... This restriction should not be considered to include legitimate intellectual discourse that some may find offensive, though if it is legitimate intellectual discourse I'm sure it can be communicated without the use of slurs. Legitimate intellectual discourse should never be restricted on the basis of whether or not it's offensive.
31
@29 Yeah, that does seem like what he tried to do. He does come across as a bit of a cry baby but it's his right to be one and it doesn't seem to me that he did anything necessitating his leaving of a college.

And for the record, I do think colleges do seem to have a problem with left-wing authoritarianism. Also right-wing trolls. Colleges these days seem to be pretty intellectually dismal places in general.
32
Whether or not FIRE is an objective source, it's abundantly clear that colleges have helped to create the current moment in which ideas that challenge received wisdom are treated like personal insults, and "argument" means bringing electronic hellfire upon your adversaries. I admire any teachers working in this depressing atmosphere who actually dare to raise doubts and ask questions. And I don't blame the others for choosing to keep their heads down.
33
FIRE's mission statement makes it pretty clear they have a bias. For instance, their website says "At many of our nation’s colleges and universities, however, students are expected to share a single viewpoint on hotly debated matters like the meaning and significance of diversity, the definition of social justice, and the impermissibility of “hate speech.”

The fact that they are essentially defending the right to hate speech in their mission tells you all you need to know. They then go on to refer to "diversity training" as indoctrination to an "officially-approved ideology" as a potential offense also shows us where their favor lies. As other commenters have noted, this article as well as The Seattle Times article, cite FIRE without doing their homework on the organization.

I am truly concerned that this sort of content is being published in The Stranger now. It is a disservice to the work of some of the other reporters there who are doing well-written analysis. Even this article last year on the subject does a far better job of examining of what happened at Evergreen - https://www.thestranger.com/news/2017/06…
34
There is a hot new trend where people think that being called out for sharing an unpopular opinion is "silencing" because they still haven't figured out that sometimes it's best to keep your opinions to yourself.

As a kid I had no idea what my parents' political beliefs were because they valued civility over letting everyone know how they felt about every little thing. I think this was pretty normal for their generation, but now a lot of people think they should be able to say how they feel about everything, then draw a line under it and declare the case closed. I get that people can be mean and abusive and threatening -- especially on the internet -- and that is very bad, but this new thing where people equate criticism with abuse and "the end of civilization" (h/t bari weiss) is actually what is hostile to civil discourse, not the criticism itself.
35
So the day of absence was originally for people of color to leave the campus to show how important they are to the community? And that was a tradition? And it was cool with everybody involved? And as soon as it is suggested that white people should leave this time they dont want any part of it and its the wrong thing to do? Crazy. I hope people see thr real problem here
36
FIRE gets yet another hand job by a concern-troll.
37
Are you surprised about the ranking from this bunch?.
38
Katie, read your own sources before suggesting or making conclusions, or buying in to FIRE/Weinstein bullshit. You state in your article:

"Weinstein says white students weren't 'asked' to go off campus, they were ordered to.
And according to minutes recorded during a meeting of the Equity Council in January 2017,
Rashida Love, at the time the head of the campus diversity office, 'secured commitments
from 15-17 faculty members to require that their students participate' in the event."

If you go back to the document you link to, here is the quoted statement IN CONTEXT during a January meeting, three months prior to the event in question:

"Felix: DOA/DOP is scheduled for 04/12/17 and 04/14/17. The next meeting regarding
DOA/DOP is scheduled 01/23/17 to discuss space, presenters, and commitments
from faculty to bring students to this event. There is a concrete budget of $60,000
(the request initially was $66,000). There is the hope that the remaining funds will
be pulled from the $10,000 endowment for keynote speakers. Rashida Love has
secured commitments from 15-17 faculty members to require that their students
participate in DOA/DOP, which brings the total to 400 students. The goal is to have
1,000 students participating in this event.

Tina: Could DOA/DOP be an opportunity to cover the Jewish population? This should be
a topic of discussion.

Emily: There is a proposal from the DOA/DOP committee for white students to go off
campus and students of color to remain on campus; this has been approved.
This is to center the campus on students of color."

This makes clear that, in that January discussion, the "requirement" for students concerned participating in DOA/DOP events like discussions and presentations. It is not till the end of the discussion that the idea that white students would go off campus was raised.

Great job confounding two different issues in order to help propagate right-wing talking points.
40
@39 I made clear the definitions of those terms as I used them.

@35 There is certainly a difference between people of one or more ethnic groups deciding on an action that they feel would be beneficial to take off their own accord and people of those same ethnic groups singling out another ethnic groups to be asked to leave campus. To what degree it is/is not okay is what's being debated.

One is a proactive self-determined decision based on ones voluntary affinity with their ethnic group and the other is singling out others for exclusion on the basis of their ethnic identity.
41
@38 "There is a proposal from the DOA/DOP committee for white students to go off
campus and students of color to remain on campus; this has been approved."

If that was approved before the meeting, wouldn't that mean that the statement that 15-17 staff members were requiring students to participate mean that requiring students to participate was with knowledge that it meant their exclusion from school?
43
@41 No, not at all.

There are forums & events for DOA/DOP, and there was a proposal for white students to leave campus. These are parallel endeavors.
It is quite clear from the notes of the meeting that they were talking about participating in the events being paid for, such as discussions and presentations.
Also, lost in this discussion is that the event always had been, and remained, a voluntary event, even in 2017. The fact that particular instructors for particular classes required participation (again, participation in events, not removing oneself from campus) is not unusual in college courses.
I could, of course, be wrong in this interpretation, but I have yet to see any evidence to the contrary.
44
Forming a lynch mob and roaming around the campus with baseball bats targeting a Jewish professor is A PERFECTLY RATIONAL, ADULT WAY TO RESPOND TO A CONTROVERSIAL EMAIL. THESE PEOPLE ARE #WOKE AND ARE TOTALLY NOT VIOLENT, BRAINWASHED IDEOLOGUES.
45
Fuck sake guys, FIRE isn't a right-wing organization.
46
@45: We know it's a right-wing organization because they're saying things that are wrong. We know those things to be wrong because it's a right-wing organization.