Karin Agness

Is this a cultural event? Does this include work with the local community? Does this promote (gender) equity? A “Community Engagement” program administrator could easily make the argument that this Workshop qualifies. Participation in the “Sexual Arts and Crafts Workshop” is just the type of ridiculous left-wing community activity that students would earn credit for under a “Community Engagement” program.

Thus, by picking and choosing which activities are included in the “Community Engagement” program, universities are able to push their political agenda on students both inside and outside the classroom.

There are different forms of “Community Engagement” programs already in place across the country. The University of Texas at Austin has a Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. The University of Central Missouri has an Office of Community Engagement, which “engages surrounding communities to collaboratively address social justice and community issues.” In September, Amherst College even launched a Center for Community Engagement.

A greater prevalence of “Community Engagement” programs could easily fuel more left-wing activities on campuses. For example, campaigns to increase the minimum wage of university employees, living wage campaigns, swept colleges a few years ago. With a “Community Engagement” program on campuses throughout the country, students would not only receive encouragement from the faculty for participation in these campaigns as they often do now, but would receive college credit. As part of its campaign, the living wage campaign at UVA held protests, interrupted a meeting of the Board of Visitors, defaced University property, called the University President’s home at all hours of the night and staged a “sit-in,” during which the participants sat in the President’s Office until they were arrested.

Is this work with the local community? Arguably, yes. Is this participation in an organization that focuses on equity? Arguably, yes. Through “Community Engagement” programs, colleges would be encouraging this behavior. Colleges shouldn’t be giving students academic credit for protesting.

Karin Agness

Karin Agness is President of the Network of Enlightened Women.
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