Students who express discomfort with the questioning often meet with disapproval from the RA, who often writes a report on the student and delivers it to a superior. One student was identified in a write-up as the “worst” one-on-one session stating that she was tired of “having diversity shoved down her throat.”
According to the university materials, the goal of residence life education is for students in the university’s residence halls to achieve certain “competencies” that include statements like: “Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society,” “Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression,” and “Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality.”
In other words, the student can become competent by becoming a Marxist. Fortunately, Delaware stops short of requiring the student to wear a “Hillary 2008” t-shirt.
But that may well change soon.
Presently, students are actually pressured or even required to take actions that outwardly indicate agreement with the university’s official ideology, regardless of their beliefs as individuals. Such actions include displaying specific door decorations and committing to reduce their ecological footprint by at least 20% and fighting for “oppressed social groups.” (There is no indication that one of these groups is made up of University of Delaware residents who are oppressed by RAs who can’t stop asking “how do you feel?”).
In the Office of Residence Life’s internal materials, these programs are described using a chilling language of ideological re-education. In a manual relating to the assessment of student learning the residence hall lesson plans are actually referred to as “treatments.”
President Harker must be made aware of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943). Writing for the Court, Justice Robert H. Jackson declared, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”
There is little question that the Barnette case applies to administrators at Delaware. Anyone can see that if these officials are not high, they are certainly petty.