There is no doubt 2015 was a year full of campus controversies. The demand for political correctness reached such heights this year that many began to worry today’s “coddled” American college students are no longer even exposed to ideas they disagree with or find challenging.
There are far too many examples to list them all, but here are five of the particularly ridiculous instances of political correctness we saw on college campuses this year. Consider this your trigger warning.
1. University of Minnesota Rejects 9/11 Recognition
Students at the University of Minnesota voted against a proposition that would allow for a moment of recognition on the future anniversaries of 9/11. When speaking out against the resolution, David Algadi, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, said, “The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe.” Algadi even went on to ask, “When will we start having moments of silence for all of the times white folks have done something terrible?” Yet, what Algadi failed to recognize is that the moment of silence is not about recognizing the people who committed the violence, it is about remembering the thousands of innocent lives lost.
2. Harvard, University of Tennessee promote gender neutral pronouns
Many colleges began encouraging students to use gender neutral pronouns this year in order to avoid “awkward conversations.” Instead of referring to a girl as a “she,” or a boy as a “he,” colleges like the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Harvard have encouraged the use of less offensive terms like “ze,” “hirs,” and “xyr.” Despite the fact that these institutions of higher learning are practically making up words to be politically correct, many have defended their actions. In an interview with the Boston Globe, one school administrator applauded these efforts and insisted, “misidentifying an individual’s gender is a “microaggression,” or an unintended act of discrimination.” However, some universities stepped back on their initial proposals after much criticism. For instance, the University of Tennessee Knoxville ended up deleting their gender neutral pronoun page.
3. University of California professors instructed not to say ‘America is the land of opportunity’
If you attend the University of California, you haven’t heard your professors refer to America as “the land of opportunity” this year. At training sessions this year, faculty from the 10 UC campuses were told to steer clear of terms that might be considered “microaggressions,” including phrases that deny the existence of racism and sexism, such as “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” The university also insisted that asking a student where they are from sends the message that they are not a true American, and therefore questions about a person’s geographical background should be avoided.
4. Multiple universities apologize for taco night
In two unrelated incidents, the University of California Santa Barbara, and Clemson University were forced to apologize after serving Mexican food. In the incident at UCSB, Mexican food was served at a sci-fi themed event. Some students found this offensive after relating science fiction to space aliens, and then relating space aliens to illegal aliens, and then tying it all together by insisting that the Mexican food was a symbol for illegal immigrants from Mexico. At Clemson, tacos became the center of controversy during a culture-themed night. During this “Maximum Mexican” night, people wore sombreros and ate Mexican food — a tradition of the school. But, after a few offended students complained about the event on Twitter, the school was forced to apologize to all who were offended by the guacamole and festive hat wearing.
5. Oberlin’s Food Court is Deemed Culturally Appropriative
While Mexican food is offensive at some universities, students at Oberlin are offended by sushi. In fact, the students are now demanding a meeting with the school’s president to sort out the evil of this ‘culturally appropriative’ food. Ironically, the reason why the new dishes were introduced to the dining hall were for “nutritional diversity.” So, while the dining hall may have actually tried to be politically correct by including culturally diverse options, they ended up being culturally appropriative when their dishes were deemed non-authentic.