Next to “diversity,” used as a synonym for discrimination by race, a favorite euphemism at universities today is “critical thinking.” The usual occasions for its use, however, are rather ironic — to stymie rather than stimulate critical thinking.
This past semester several political items were removed, as soon they appeared, from the student union at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Among them: anti-war flyers labeling President George Bush a “bully,” depicting Lady Liberty impaling a dove by its rectum on a sword, and having the U.S. flag being produced in the exhaust fumes of B-1 bombers; magazines containing a photograph of men engaging in anal sex; a large sign advertising “The Vagina Monologues” that called for all [offensive slang for vaginas] to “Unite!”; and flyers in support of war against Saddam Hussein.
Actually, only the last one was deemed offensive enough for removal from campus. The rest were allowed to stand.
The litigation over race-based admissions policies is probably the most important case the Supreme Court will decide in its current term. Those who think that it’s somehow progress for government institutions to treat classes of individuals differently because of their ancestry are pulling out all the stops to defend race-based admissions policies, including an intellectually dishonest argument that diversity enhances education and cries that the sky will fall if schools like the University of Michigan can’t stack the deck in favor of applicants in certain groups. Here are a few thoughts on this momentous case.
“Down with ‘Diversity,'” proclaims the October 2002 cover of New Sense magazine at Duke University, published by the students of the Duke Conservative Union. “Trampling UNC’s Intellectual Diversity,” proclaimed the March 2002 cover of Carolina Review, a conservative student publication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Review cover, which featured a grinning donkey treading underfoot the word “DIVERSITY,” also asked, “If all your professors are Democrats, is Carolina diverse?”
By next June the nation’s highest court could finally issue a much-needed clarification of the constitutionality of using racial considerations in college admissions decisions. The Supreme Court took up two cases in which white applicants argued that their applications to the University of Michigan and its law school were turned down because of their race.
The diversity movement continues apace in North Carolina higher education. Universities continue to expend resources in pursuit of diversity, a term generally used to refer to having an appropriate mix of students and faculty of different races, genders, and sexual preferences, as well as course offerings tailored to that mix.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser recently told the National Press Club in Washington that the university would continue to pick “provocative” books for its infamous Summer Reading Program. No one asked, “Provocative to whom?”
A survey of faculty members in nine departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that over four-fifths are registered Democrats. The results of the survey, conducted by the conservative student magazine Carolina Review for its March issue, called into question UNC-CH’s devotion to diversity.
While most students favor ethnic diversity on campus, they oppose compromising fairness and high standards to achieve it, according to new survey by Zogby International. The study, commissioned by the New York-based Foundation for Academic Standards and Tradition (FAST), interviewed 1,004 randomly selected college students nationwide.