The University of Orwellian Nightmares

Approximately 24,125 very special snowflakes attend the University of Oregon. UO invests an obscene amount of time, effort, and funding to ensure staff, learners, and faculty adopt a uniform set of beliefs and values, and that they are protected from different points of view. The Bias Response Team, or BRT, as it is affectionately called, is part of this effort; their role is to police speech, behavior, and – with any luck –  thought on campus.
Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 12.26.47 AM.jpg.
Whether you’re attending school, teaching, or working in the cafeteria, the BRT awaits your report of inappropriate/insensitive behavior that you witnessed. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to be “reporters” who inform on one another anonymously.
Thank goodness the BRT stepped in to resolve the situation with clip art

Thank goodness the BRT stepped in to resolve the situation with clip art

Incident reports work like Bat Signals. Once the signal is received, the BRT superheroes leap into action and address the incident with “support, referral, and opportunities for dialogue”, i.e., a barrage of politically correct remedies.  Note: the BRT responds to complaints about staff, students, faculty, visitors, and occupants of “passing cars”.
Some reporters also choose to loop in the police when the incident is exceptionally serious, like this one:
Definitely need police involvement
To my biased and unresponsive brain, this horrible assault sounds like high-school kids being stupid. Lucky for everyone, the BRT was much wiser. Armed only with two women’s story that someone in a passing car had thrown a drink at them, the BRT was able to divine that not only were the women singled out for beverage spray by the passengers in the car, but that the soda had actually been wielded as a weapon of intolerance.
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The BRT has a most interesting mission statement that includes a catalogue of services. Here are some representative items:
  • Empowering the targets and reporters of bias incidents to participate in direct responses that renew their ability to live and learn in our community.
  • Preventative education and information
  • Identifying, recommending, and implementing trainings to eradicate bias
A lot has been written recently about the hostile takeover of the universities that transformed them from centers of free thought to liberal encampments where students literally shout down anyone who is not ideologically pure. What makes the BRT unique is that they are officially part of the university, and as such receive funding. University funding is supplied in large part by tuition. In other words, students pay for forcible political reeducation. Somewhere, Vladimir Lenin is saying: “You go, girl!”
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"Hats off to you, comrade!"

“Hats off to you, comrades!”

The BRT has an annual report, that includes a summary of each incident and the response.
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How indoctrinated are University of Oregon students? I could absolutely believe this report was just a sarcastic joke which the hapless BRT took seriously. Then again, there are a lot of special snowflakes out there, and I could also believe someone has actually been coddled to the point that he feels victimized by a tutor ignoring him.
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There are 84 incidents in the report, many of which are so vague they could mean anything. For instance, there are complaints of being treated “in a biased manner”, “feeling excluded by identity-based groups”, and overhearing “culturally incompetent” remarks, all of which threatened the reporter’s ability to cope with life.
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It would be interesting to know what qualifies someone to be on the BRT, given the highly complex situations which only they have the wisdom to tackle. Take this one, for instance:
Politically Correct vs. Politically Correct

Politically Correct vs. Politically Correct! 

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What long-term damage are the universities inflicting upon the snowflakes? One day, these individuals will dominate the workforce, and it will be a utopian world in which Thought Police squads patrol the hallways and gender inclusive restrooms, ensuring everyone is promptly empowered to adopt the preferred viewpoints, or else.
But… for the next 15 years, they have to acclimate to the current culture and while it’s definitely politically correct, I believe it’s safe to assume there is enough cultural incompetency to leave these extremely sensitive (but very special) individuals in a perpetually triggered state.
unhelpful
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No wonder these delicate creatures are so perpetually downhearted and eager to take offense. They know all too well that the BRT cannot advocate for them once they graduate, and they shrink from such a cold and unsafe future. There will be no one to prepare the way with bias prevention education; no one to avenge the deeply hurtful wounds inflicted by villainous tutors and unhelpful customer service; no one to empower them to demand official disciplinary action in response to vague feelings of dissatisfaction. And then who will renew the snowflakes’ ability to live and learn in the community?
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Note to today’s workplace: if you wish to dispense with the culturally incompetent descriptor, you must return the BRT’s calls and agree to an informative conversation with an Advocate. Pending the outcomes of said conversation, a professional development conversation may also be required.
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7 thoughts on “The University of Orwellian Nightmares

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    • The Daily Beast ran an article about how political correctness is so bad you can’t even tell a joke on a college campus. They linked to this report as an example of how the universities are culpable. I’m sure you agree that the really critical work the BRT is doing deserved its own post in the spotlight, rather than a mere footnote? 😉

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