I wish George Orwell were alive today. He could have seen just how right he was on such a wide range of issues. If he were still with us, I would show him an email written by University of Kentucky (UK) President Eli Capilouto. I’ve reprinted the email below. But in between each paragraph I’ve interjected some sarcastic observations.
Each fall, we welcome to campus a new class of UK students, whose wonderful backgrounds and aspirations add to the already accomplished campus community we are striving to build each day and each year. Sometimes, however, we also experience the unwelcome presence of broader societal shortcomings that insert themselves in our midst. Each of us has to work every day--individually and collectively--to overcome the harm or prejudice that can unfortunately find expression at times in our campus community. This can happen at many levels and among many groups.
This seems to imply that not everyone is welcomed on the UK campus – particularly if they represent “broader societal shortcomings.” The statement seems a little judgmental but also a little vague. Could it mean poor people are unwelcomed? Could it mean black people are unwelcomed? Maybe it just means short people are unwelcomed.
We encourage each person in the UK community to pledge to do his/her part on a daily basis to help protect and nurture our community. Just as success has many mothers and fathers, so does our progress toward a more diverse and inclusive campus.
Whenever someone says “success has many mothers and fathers” I know I’m listening to a bunch of socialist garbage. It takes a village to raise a child, my fanny!
Toward this goal, several months ago we began the process of establishing a Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT). In the next few weeks, BIRT will publish a protocol for students, to guide you in the process of what to do and what will follow whenever you are confronted with a negative bias situation. This team includes representation from Student Affairs, Institutional Diversity, Student Government, Campus Police, Facilities Management, Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity, Human Resources, Public Relations and Undergraduate Education.
Just what exactly is a “negative bias situation”? Is it when you try to walk into the African American Center but they won’t let you because you are white? It is when you try to enter the Women’s Center but they won’t let you because you don’t have breasts? Or is it when you try to walk into the LGBT Center and see a sign that says “No breeders allowed”?