Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Oregon State University Forces In-Coming Freshmen To Receive "Social Justice" Indocrination

   And I agree with Soave: this is, in a sense, worse than classroom bias by professors. For one thing, it targets kids who are basically still high school students. For another, at least students tend to be in critical-thinking mode in the classroom. What you expect in orientation is just the uncontroversial basics. It's a way of slipping in the brainwashing when their shields are down. Soave says that this is on the administration...but IMO it's largely attributable to the legions of non-administrative functionaries that who fill the ever-expanding number of offices and centers and suchlike at contemporary universities. For example, we have an "office of sustainability," complete with a staff that seems composed mostly of SJ types with women's studies degrees and so forth. They also seem to be involved with pushing some strange program that has something to do with developing "sustainable selves", and they have recently held workshops that belong on Tumblr, not at a university--e.g. (and I'm not making this up) one about identity politics and Disney movies...
   Also, no professors really have much of an idea what goes on in orientation. God knows what goes on in ours...
   Somebody needs to get a hold of this orientation stuff and make it public. There's some chance, of course, that it won't be too crazy...though there's still a matter of principle, I'd say.


Blogger Aa said...

hmmm, we too have legions of "Professional Staff" filling those rolls. Most, IMHO, we could do without. However, our sustainability office appears to be focused on environmental sustainability...which is ironic since we have a huge fountain in the middle of campus wasting water and on a daily basis!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, that's their focus...but it's not all they do.
Other stuff includes the identity politics stuff, which one of their staff did last semester.
If I thought it was about discussion rather than advocacy, I'd be fine with it.
OTOH, I could have gone to see for myself what actually went on, but I didn't.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Aa said...

Sounds like typical mission creep. Supported by administrators who need to pad their resume and accomplishments list.*

*If that seems insulting it (1) is and (2) is also the truth in the vast, vast, vast majority of administrators I've dealt with. So I do my best not to deal with them anymore.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, I think it absolutely *is* mission creep. And I think that bureaucracies have a tendency toward it, and so do the but them together and...

This is one of the reasons I'm suspicious of this stuff around here. An over-emphasis on "sustainability" leads to this "office of sustainability." It gets staffed with lefties who then hold talks on other lefty themes like identity politics and (God help us) race in Disney movies.

Then we get this yearly conference about "developing the sustainable self"...which sounds like we may have moved from *let's save resources* to *let's make people leftists.*

I haven't attended the conferences yet (they come at the end of the semester when I'm inevitably swamped) but I've tried to read some of the publications they reference. They do not inspire confidence.

They're filled with bad philosophy for one thing. One of them was arguing that justification is a matter of convincing other people that you're right... And not for even semi-sophisticated Rorty-esque reasons, either...

8:57 AM  

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