Thousands of students attending Rutgers University as a freshman this fall will be required to undergo a new form of sensitivity training, costing each student $175.
At an orientation course entitled “Language Matters,” microaggressions are the focal point. The Language Matters Campaign, organized by the university’s Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities, teaches students about how to avoid hurting their peers intentionally or accidentally with their words. The material consists mainly of a handful of YouTube videos and a Prezi presentation titled, “The Big Impact of Little Things.”
In addition, Language Matters also happens to have a training program on safe spaces, just incase the training on micro aggressions doesn’t stick and those with hurt feelings need a place of retreat.
As stated in Reason, “The problem with microaggressions is they are entirely subjective. One person’s microaggression is another’s rude joke. While one person might laugh at the joke, another might feel uncomfortable.”
Similarly, what one may perceive as a microaggression, may be considered a completely normal thing to say by someone else. A common example is asking where someone is from — a question often asked between freshmen in college who are new to campus and making friends.
Microaggressions have increasingly become a focus of protests on college campuses. The idea that words that have as much power as physical acts of aggression has led to major concerns over freedom of speech. Forcing students to undergo such diversity and sensitivity trainings such as the one at Rutgers, only seems to fuel division and make more problems.
In his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Ben Shapiro told lawmakers that such trainings cause more divisions because it “alienates people who feel like ‘I’m not a racist, why am I being forced to endure the implication that I am a racist and have a necessity of undergoing bias training.’”
This was echoed by Althea Nagai, a research fellow at the Center for Equal Opportunity, who told Reason “There is nothing in the current research to show that such programs work. I suspect most fail to create greater feelings of inclusion, In other words, ‘social justice’ and diversity programs may actually backfire, creating less inclusion, more polarization, and more findings of unconscious racism.”
One can only assume that the trend of liberal indoctrination throughout orientation week and beyond will only ramp up this Fall. But instead of focusing on non-scientific trainings about individuals’ emotions, students should be taught to start acting like adults. After all, facts don’t care about your feelings.