Campus Social Justice Warriors Strike Again

The Washington Post reports that a coalition of 25 student organizations at the University of Maryland, a public university, has presented a list of 64 demands to the administration.

According to the report:

The petitioners listed the communities of students that participated in the initiative this way: “Marginalized, American Indian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, Pro-Palestine, Undocumented.” No Jewish group at the university signed the list of demands, which include a call for “the active encouragement of faculty and students to engage in discourse and learning about the Palestinians’ struggles and the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement without fear of consequences by the university administration.”

The student’s demands, endorsed by The Pride Alliance at U-Md., include the following:

For the LGBTQIA+ Student Community:
*Converting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies program into a department in order to provide curricular autonomy.
*Gender neutral bathrooms in all buildings on campus.
*Multi-stall gender-inclusive bathrooms in every building with multi-stall bathrooms.
*Students be allowed the choice of different gender roommates in the residence halls through random matching.
*Including pronouns in addition to names on student rosters seen by faculty and advisors.
*Implementing a campus wide policy to replace male-female checkboxes with write-in boxes on all forms, surveys, and applications.
*The administration advocate for and defend the Arts and Humanities, as they are one of the departments most sensitive to LGBTQ issues and also one of the most at risk under new state and federal leadership.

For the Muslim Student Community:
*One room in each major building (e.g. SPH, Chemistry, McKeldin etc.) designated for prayer.
*Shuttle services to the Diyanet Center of America for Muslim students to have access to a place of worship and participate in the many activities that the center hosts.
*More classes offered pertaining to Islam and the Muslim world taught by Muslim professors, who will counteract the negativity surrounding the name of Islam that is perpetuated by our culture and media.
*[Responding to the showing of “American Sniper” on campus] Organizations on campus should have better judgement when choosing to show movies that perpetuate false narratives and stereotypes of Muslim and should be held accountable if they do not take this into consideration.

For the Pro-Palestine Student Communities:
*The active encouragement of faculty and students to engage in discourse and learning about the Palestinians’ struggles and the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement without fear of consequences by the university administration.
*The encouragement of equal and positive representation of Pro-Palestinian human rights activists on campus. Specifically, condemning the conflation of Pro-Palestinian activism with racism and Anti-Semitism.

For the Undocumented Student Community:
*A full-time undocumented-student coordinator to advocate for, advise, represent and protect undocumented and “DACAmented students.” (DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields some undocumented immigrants from deportation.)
*A full-time immigration attorney for the Offices of Undergraduate and Graduate Student Legal Aid.
*A declaration of the University of Maryland, College Park as a sanctuary campus for undocumented and DACAmented students and their families.
*A significant expansion of mental health services for all students of color, especially undocumented and DACAmented students.

And on and on. The university issued a statement saying “We commend the students for their passionate advocacy and for coming together in solidarity on these issues.”

The LGBT rights movement has for some time been subsumed as part of the grand coalition of the political left, but what today’s campus activism makes clear is how the simple, clearly focused fight for gay legal equality has been left far behind in this brave new world of identity politics and political correctness on steroids.

More. I should clarify that the Pride Alliance endorsed the entire list, so even though the LGBT demands are far from the most egregious, it’s a package deal. The campus Jewish groups, given the thinly veiled let no one call it anti-Semiticism of the pro-Palestinian groups, refused to participate.

7 Comments for “Campus Social Justice Warriors Strike Again”

  1. posted by TJ on

    If I were more cynical, I might wonder why Stephen keeps wanting to go “back to school” and hang out with students.

    Fact check: Students – across the political spectrum – make all sorts of demands and express (without much tact) their own party or partisan perspective.

    Part of the college experience involves kids going to unchaproned parties and protesting something..It aint limited to young Democrats or young Republicans.

    A couple of comments on this particular list;

    – A Muslim student club can probably reserve space or a room to hold meetings (including prayer). Although, legally they would be free to pray just about anywhere in the student union….im assuming the college has one.

    – A good way to combat religious or ethnic prejudice on campus, is to do several joint, 420 joke not intended, projects with other cultural diversity groups.

    – While having a LGBT studies program can be good, it also might be nice to try and intergrate LGBT facts into other parts of the curriculum.

    – Academic programs are generally set by specific college committees (not just the head of the college) and they generally have to have some student input. I’d contact the student government.

    – Yes, transgender students do need to be able to pee and stuff. Probably not on a regular basis – not a transsexual issue, college food aint good for regularity

    – Solving the Palestinian-Israeli crisis is a noble cause. But one that going require some skill in diplomacy, international relations, development, democratization and the like. The Palestinian-Israeli peace movement is a progressive movement and it certainly needs money.

    Reply
  2. posted by TJ on

    Also trying to point to a group of college students as proof that the LGBT movement does not care about LGBT rights, is just incredibly asinine and lame.

    Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    The LGBT rights movement has for some time been subsumed as part of the grand coalition of the political left, but what today’s campus activism makes clear is how the simple, clearly focused fight for gay legal equality has been left far behind in this brave new world of identity politics on steroids.

    The thesis that the gay rights movement was ever a “simple, clearly focused fight for gay legal equality” doesn’t square with my experience with the movement over the last 45 years, and the histories of the movement written to date negate the thesis.

    As folks who have been reading IGF for a while know, I’ve long argued that the movement should laser-focus on equal treatment under the law. But that argument has always fallen on deaf ears — even on IGF, where my insistence on discussing legal rather than cultural issues annoys more than a few — so I suspect that those of us who would prefer a “simple, clearly focused fight for gay legal equality” will just have to live with reality.

    With respect to the Maryland student demands, I’d like to point you to a link in the WP article — the link to the UM Diamondback’s analysis of the student demands. The analysis is good, solid, student journalism. Be patient if you decide to take a look — the link takes a while to load because of its complexity. It’s worth the wait.

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  4. posted by Jorge on

    What kind of idiot puts 64 demands on a single piece of paper?

    Yes, I get it. I don’t agree with it.

    “The Diamondback [the independent student newspaper] recently published a special project explaining each specific demand as it relates to students, which you can see here.”

    Booooooo! Social Justice Rainbows aren’t supposed to compensate for their weaknesses! And I don’t think it does enough. 64 demands?

    “‘President Loh has convened a group of his staff to thoroughly review the list of demands and make recommendations accordingly. That process is well underway.'”

    Paying people to do grunt work? How insipidly capitalist. It has to be done, though, because any one of those demands could be a potential lawsuit in disguise.

    Just for fun, what follows is what my knee-jerk response to each of the demands.

    1) No. 2) Redundant. 3a) Redundant. 3b) Yes. 4) No. 5) That’s illegal.

    6) Redundant and illegal. 7) Worth considering in a more objective fashion but you won’t like the unintended consequences. 8) If we have the money for it. 9) No. 10) Do it yourself.

    11) Worth considering but I think the unintended consequences will do more harm than good.
    12) No. 13) That’s not even a false statement! Illegal, do it yourself. 14) No. You wouldn’t like the unintended consequences of that one. 15) Yes. You will not like the unintended consequences.

    16) No, and I want you to explain to me why I shouldn’t tear up the rest of this petition after this stunt.
    The explanation being satisfactory:
    17) Worth considering.
    18) That’s not a Dean of Students. Worth negotiating.
    19) No. That would be marginalizing Italian American students and staff.
    20) Do it yourself.

    21) Yes.
    22) This is redundant with recommendation 18.
    23) Do not have enough information.
    24) No.
    25) No. Share the other minority groups’ space.

    26) No. 27) Do it yourself. 28) Redundant. 29) Irreconcilable with #25. No. 30) No. Share the other minority groups’ space.

    31-32) Rejected on the basis of incorrect grammar. 33) Go to your Student Council. We will not increase total funding of all student organizations absent higher levels of total student participation.
    34) Yes. 35) No.

    36) Residence halls only. 37) Opposed. 38) Worth negotiating. 39) Yes. 40) Worth considering.

    41) Yes. 42) Redundant. 43) Federal government yes, state government no. 44) Worth considering. 45) Worth considering.

    46) Depends on distance and whether we already offer comparable commercial services. 47) Do it yourself. 48) Redundant. 49) Illegal, no. 50) Worth considering.

    51) Yes, but I can see we’re beginning to require so much training that it’s not going to be completed anytime soon.
    52) Pro-Palestinian activism does have a strong correlation with racism and anti-Semitism. Do it yourself. 53) No. 54) This one will be negotiated. Until then, the Student Code of Conduct will not change. 55) Yes.

    56) No.
    57) Rejected due to poor syntax.
    58) Possibly illegal. Should be considered via #55.
    59) Whose idiotic idea was it to have a campus legal aid office? I want that person fired. Anyway, no.
    60) That will be difficult to square with #57. Remember that local and federal law enforcement have the right to monitor student activities.

    61) Yes, and see my response to #51.
    62) No. 63) Yes. 64) No.

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  5. posted by Jorge on

    but what today’s campus activism makes clear is how the simple, clearly focused fight for gay legal equality has been left far behind in this brave new world of identity politics and political correctness on steroids.

    Now, now, Mr. Miller, everyone has the right to scratch when the claws come out. The demands the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, questioning, intersex, asexual, and other students made are progressive to be sure, but they are well tailored to narrow circumstances of campus well-being and academic representation. These students have not encountered any local controversies and are only injured by the day-to-day slights. A college should always be alert to the well-being of its students and the need to integrate it to the expectations of civil society.

    Someday the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual and other students of the University of Maryland will encounter their own version of Israeli-Palestinian tension. When that happens, the university will need to step in with its leadership. Be thankful that day is not today.

    …The analysis is good, solid, student journalism… It’s worth the wait.

    Booooooo! Booooooo!
    Doing volunteer grunt work for the noble motivations of journalism and loyalty to the student community.
    *Does the John Rocker wave.

    Reply
  6. posted by Houndentenor on

    All I see here is a small group of students with too much free time and an administration that patted them on the head and will now go back to doing their actual jobs. In other words, a lot of nothing. Yes, campus groups often act in ridiculous ways and on most campuses you couldn’t find this crap with a microscope. It’s virtually nonexistent. But thanks to the diligent work of right wingers every silly student group stunt gets magnified as if it actually mattered in the real world. 99% of the time it does not. Some of us have been fighting this nonsense for a couple of decades now. I’m glad that people are finally taking notice but in doing so they are blowing it up far beyond its actual importance and of course doing so intentionally to distract us from what right wingers who actually have to power to create laws and policies that do affect a lot of people’s lives are doing.

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  7. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I’m glad that people are finally taking notice but in doing so they are blowing it up far beyond its actual importance and of course doing so intentionally to distract us from what right wingers who actually have to power to create laws and policies that do affect a lot of people’s lives are doing.

    The 2017 Parade of Bills limiting LGBT equality under the law and/or sanctioning special, targeted discrimination against gays and lesbians is underway.

    The First Amendment Defense Act is back, of course, and to date roughly 40 anti-equality and/or special discrimination bills were introduced in state legislatures in the first four working days of the New Year, with more to come as additional state legislatures come into session. Roughly 150 anti-equality and/or special discrimination bills were introduced in 2016, and my guess is that 2017 will top that number, now that right wingers have a sense of empowerment.

    We have a lot of work to do if we intend to preserve what we’ve gained.

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