Monday, November 03, 2003

Reaping bad press 

When your issue appears on the front page of USAToday, you know you've made some headway.
Most college presidents argue that their campuses and classrooms encourage the free exchange of ideas. Where else but here, they say, can difficult issues be debated?

But as campus officials look for ways to accommodate the growing diversity of their student bodies, an increasingly vocal number of students � most of them white and predominantly conservative or Christian � say there is little room for their opinions and beliefs.

On campuses large and small, public and private, students describe a culture in which freshmen are encouraged, if not required, to attend diversity programs that portray white males as oppressors. It's a culture in which students can be punished if their choice of words offends a classmate, and campus groups must promise they won't discriminate on the basis of religion or sexual orientation � even if theirs is a Christian club that doesn't condone homosexuality.

The article documents several groups that have been pushing to combat administrative and leftist faculty intransigence to viewpoint diversity. As Erin O'Connor notes, "There are a lot of administrators and professors out there who still don't get it (some are quoted in the article)." For that alone, you should read the article.