Students earned 11/hour to complain about Halloween costumes

Washington State University pays “Peer Educators” $11/hour to host social justice workshops, but so far Halloween costumes seem to be the only target.

These Social Justice Peer Educators (SJPEs) were slated to work roughly ten hours per week facilitating workshops on social justice topics such as “Redefining Masculinity” and “Microaggressions 101,” according to the initial job description.

WSU is the third taxpayer-funded university known to offer to pay students to proselytize for social justice, following in the steps of the University of Arizona (UA) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which both offered to hire “Social Justice Advocates” last year.

[RELATED: UCLA paying students to fight ‘whiteness,’ ‘patriarchy’]

But while both UA and UCLA closed their Social Justice Advocates programs not long after Campus Reform broke news of them, WSU went full-steam ahead, hiring four students to work in the school’s Diversity Education office.

Despite each student “working” roughly 10 hours per week, Campus Reform has discovered that the peer educators only appear to have successfully pulled off one workshop last semester—an event dedicated to fighting “cultural appropriation” in Halloween costumes.

Hosted two weeks before the holiday, the SJPEs facilitated the “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” workshop before a small audience, warning their peers of the harms that could arise if their Halloween costumes aren’t culturally sensitive enough.

“Spread the word, help educate others,” said SJPE Nicklaus McHendry, emphasizing the importance of education in combating offensive comments, reports The Daily Evergreen.

Another SJPE, Jayda Moore, encouraged peers not to engage in “cultural appropriation,” which she defined as taking aspects of other cultures out of context.

Cultural appropriation is “usually done by the dominant members group,” Moore explained, adding that the process works against people from a “marginalized or oppressed group.”

[RELATED: UMass creates cultural appropriation ‘threat meter’ for Halloween]

While the peer educators were initially hired to facilitate a variety of workshops, the costume workshop appears to be the only event they have successfully put on thus far.

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Course uses Pyramid of White Supremacy to teach diversity

A course at Salisbury University in Maryland is using a “Pyramid of White Supremacy” to help teach students about diversity and “cultural competence.”

The one-credit course, “Diversity and the Self,” is a required class for any student hoping to obtain an elementary education major.

The pyramid ranks various concepts on different levels according to severity, with “Indifference” forming the base of the pyramid and “Genocide” residing at the top.

“In a pyramid, every brick depends upon the one below it for support,” an accompanying caption explains. “If the bricks at the bottom are removed, the whole structure comes tumbling down.”

[RELATED: ‘White nuclear family’ perpetuates racism, CUNY prof argues]

Things like “avoiding confrontation with racist family members,” “remaining apolitical,” or saying “politics doesn’t affect me” make up the base of the Pyramid of White Supremacy, directly underneath forms of “minimization” such as “denial of white privilege” and “not believing experiences of POC [people of color].”

The next level up is “veiled racism,” which the graphic defines to include “cultural appropriation” and a “Euro-centric curriculum.”

Worse still, according to the pyramid, are “anti-immigration policies,” “stop and frisk” policing strategies, and “funding schools locally,” all of which fall under the category of “discrimination.”

Above that the pyramid lists “calls for violence” such as “swastikas,” “Confederate flags,” and “the n-word,” followed by actual acts of violence like “unjust police shootings,” “lynching,” and all other hate crimes.

“We had to study the pyramid and also take a group quiz,” a student in the class who wishes to remain anonymous told Campus Reform, noting that the placement of certain elements on the pyramid raised eyebrows.

“I find it ridiculous that ‘unjust police shootings’ is at the top of the list next to mass murder and genocide,” the student remarked. “The p

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MLK Day speaker promotes BDS to counter pressure from right

The keynote MLK Day speaker at St. Olaf College used the forum to rail against “anti-democratic” conservatives and advocate for divestment from Israel.

Andrew Williams, the executive director of the Higher Ed Consortium for Urban Affairs, made those claims and more during his speech, “Epistemologies of Healing: Race, Reconciliation, and Radical Hope in Higher Education,” which had the stated focus of encouraging peaceful reconciliation between groups he sees as oppressors, and those who are supposedly oppressed.

Interspersed throughout that message, however, were a number of polarizing political statements criticizing conservative positions on issues such as free speech and diversity on campus.

“In the past year we've seen resurgent white supremacy, and we've seen them bring higher education into their bullseye,” he remarked, saying that the academy is “a crucial front” in the culture war, and “that’s why the Right is targeting campuses with thinly veiled provocations disguised as somehow a concern with free speech.”

Speculating that conservatives are “trying to cultivate the next generation to replace them down the road,” Williams added that he views the free speech debate as part of a “larger assault on higher education from neo-liberal forces, from conservative forces.”

[RELATED: Republicans sour on academia, profs blame conservative media]

In response to this ongoing “pressure” from “the right and other anti-democratic forces,” Williams suggested that university communities “form a common front that’s all that much more resolute in moving every truth and reconciliation,” saying this would enable them to “push back against some of the most reprehensible forces in society.”

Williams went on to criticize the higher education system as a whole, saying that efforts to cultivate student diversity have not improved the collegiate experience for minority students.

“When we look at campus climate, things haven’t changed that much in the last three decades,” he asserted, noting that “students of color continued face of the same indignities and hostile climates of violence [as in the days of Martin Luther King] despite increases in diversity of campuses.”

Black activists are particular targets, he said, claiming that “whe

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Harvard sorority goes gender-neutral to avoid sanctions

One of Harvard University’s oldest sororities has been dismantled by its own members following threats of sanctions from university officials.

Kappa Kappa Gamma (Kappa) President Tiana Menon announced the decision in a recent public statement provided to The Harvard Crimson, explaining that the sorority was forced to disaffiliate from its national chapter in the wake of Harvard University’s new policy banning single gender organizations.

[RELATED: Harvard formally adopts sanctions on single-gender clubs]

Students who defy the policy and join a single-gender club will be ineligible for campus leadership positions, will not allowed to be captains of athletic teams, and will be ineligible for school endorsement for prestigious academic fellowships, the policy states.

At least three Harvard sororities have refused to comply with the policy so far, making Kappa the first sorority to publicly capitulate. Newly-unaffiliated members can now join Fleur-de-Lis, a “gender-neutral” yet “female focused” group created to replace Kappa.

“We are excited for the new opportunity to contribute to a healthy campus social life at Harvard, and firmly believe that gender neutral organizations committed to empowering female-identifying persons hold a place on Harvard’s campus,” wrote Menon.

Menon directly implicated the new policy as the reason for Kappa’s transformation, noting that those who join Fleur-de-Lis will “remain in good faith with College’s non-discrimination and social group policies.”

[RELATED: Harvard sororities vow to defy recruitment ban]

Prior to the launch of Fleur-de-Lis, the Crimson published an editorial in December praising the new policy, saying that imposing sanctions on members of unrecognized single-gender social organizations will help to combat what the editors described as the outsized power and influence of all-male student groups on campus, which were referred to as “white, male, and affluent.”

Yet the editorial board warned that sanctioning fraternity members isn’t enough, expressing hope that “sanctions will further stimulate campus dialogue on issues of inclusivity and that the administration will continue to be aware of exclusion on campus and support further measures in support of marginalized students.”

[RELATED: LGBT group joins opposition to Harvard single-gender

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Pro-socialism prof blames capitalism for world wars slavery

A Columbia University School of Social Work lecturer recently came to the defense of socialism by blaming capitalism for both world wars and “centuries of slavery.”

Professor Anthony Zenkus, who frequently lectures on income inequality and poverty, made his anti-capitalist remarks in response to a conservative journalist who had condemned CNN for tweeting that Martin Luther King “was a socialist before it was cool.”

[RELATED: Prof calls for ‘Black Xmas’ to 'disrupt' ‘white capitalism’]

“[N]ews organization [is] wrongly stating MLK was a socialist,” Elisha Krauss tweeted in response to the news network. “Millions who died under socialism would prob disagree with @CNN's statement [that socialism is] ‘cool.’”

Zenkus, however, appeared to disagree with Krauss, according to tweets compiled by Twitchy, accusing capitalism of everything from slavery to genocide of Native Americans.

“Odd how you forget the millions who died under #capitalism,” he tweeted. “The two world wars, centuries of slavery and the genocide of native americans. Bet they didn't think that was cool either.”

In reply to another Twitter user who called Nazism “a movement of the left,” Zenkus retorted that “Hitler was a capitalist,” and urged his interlocutor to use “the Google machine” to verify the assertion.

David Randall, a director of research at the National Association of Scholars, criticized the professor’s remarks about capitalism, arguing that while “you're not going to get good history from a tweet,” the lecturer’s claims “aren't the best you could do at that length.”

“Anthony Zenkus isn't a historian, so what he says about history only reflects the distorted, Marxizing history generally adopted by unthinking reflex among progressives,” Randall wrote in an email to Campus Reform. “His tweet is most important for revealing how important it is that history get taught right.”


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