University of Delaware: Students Required to Undergo Ideological Reeducation

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: University of Delaware

Following an intense campaign led by FIRE and national media attention, the University of Delaware dropped an ideological reeducation program that was referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The program’s stated goal was for the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The residence life education program made mandatory, among other things, one-on-one meetings between students and their Resident Assistants (RAs) where students were asked intrusive questions, such as “When did you discover your sexual identity?” FIRE informed the school that forcing university views on students through this comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment was morally repugnant as well as unconstitutional, a clear assault on individuals’ freedom of conscience. With the assistance of the Delaware Association of Scholars, FIRE quickly persuaded former President Harker to eliminate the program. Since that initial victory, however, there have been continued attempts to reinstate the coercive elements of the ResLife program.



























    • Higher education can lower your expectations

      August 3, 2010

      Ever since the Second World War, professional educators have promoted a college or university education for the wrong reason, viz., to make more money than otherwise would be the case. Around 1965 the passion for the egalitarian and pacifistic goals of the left began to corrupt higher learning even more. Today one enrolls at one’s own risk. The fundamental error of the claim that college makes you richer is that those who succeed after college are likely to succeed without it. While many students have indeed gone on to prosperous careers, many others have not, dropping out at some point […]

      » Read More

    • U.S. Universities: Education or Indoctrination?

      April 27, 2009

      It’s difficult to find anyone to publicly admit they believe our nation’s institutions of higher education should not serve as free marketplaces of ideas, where any and all topics can be openly discussed. After all, such an opinion runs counter to the basic nature of the university ideal and would be massively unpopular with the public. Nobody wants to think that he or she is paying for his or her children to be indoctrinated rather than educated. Unfortunately, on campuses across the country, the line between indoctrination and education is being blurred and ignored on a daily basis. Even more […]

      » Read More

    • The campus culture wars in two videos

      April 21, 2009

      Two weeks ago, I was working as a staff member at a Buddhist retreat in New York City. On the way to lunch, I was discussing with our instructor for the weekend the passions and anger often ignited when fighting for free speech on campus. He was surprised to hear that sometimes my work is poorly received by my fellow New Yorkers. In his words, “everyone must just assume you’re a white hat,” meaning the good guy in a Western movie. (Not much a Western fan myself, I needed that one explained.) But I told him that was not always […]

      » Read More

    • Univ. Housing employs ‘curious policies’

      November 19, 2008

      Collective punishment should have gone out of fashion when we had to stay in for recess in fifth grade after one person decided to throw an apple across the lunchroom. Unfortunately, it seems University Housing believes treating students like elementary schoolers is a perfectly reasonable option, as demonstrated by its intention to fine an entire floor in Creswell because of vandalism in one bathroom. Collective punishment is just one of several curious policies endorsed by Housing. Since all first-year students are required to pay their hard-earned cash to Housing and sign a contract, it is important to illuminate exactly what […]

      » Read More

    • ‘All whites racist’ plan won’t die

      November 1, 2008

      Leaders for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education say they are continuing to monitor the University of Delaware, which last year was imposing mandatory “all whites are racist” indoctrination on students in residential halls, because there have been multiple attempts to revive the teachings. In was a year ago when WND reported on work by FIRE to shut down Delaware’s required student training with the stated goals of converting incoming students into “change” agents and providing “treatment” for those who failed. School officials first defended the program, but later confirmed they were dropping the teachings in light of their […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware Indoctrination: You haven’t heard it all

      October 30, 2008

      by Anthony Paletta Minding the Campus   The Foundation For Individual Rights in Education is set to release (mid-day Friday) a compendious report by Adam Kissel on the Delaware Residential Life Program. If you haven’t followed this rank system of indoctrination (now happily suspended) the FIRE report is a comprehensive and sobering account of the roots and influences of the Delaware system. Most importantly, and disquietingly, the FIRE report exposes the extent to which the Delaware program was by no mean isolated – it was simply the most forceful implementation of explicitly political “educational outcomes” encouraged by the American College […]

      » Read More

    • The Cave

      October 2, 2008

      September, the month of freshman anxieties, extravagant dreams, and soothing lies has now tumbled to the earth amid the half-chewed acorns and carnelian leaves. It is October, and time once again to tell the truth about higher education. The all-time favorite image of truth-seeking in higher education, of course, is Plato’s account of the cave at the beginning of book seven of The Republic.  Plato had the misfortune of living before modern cinema, which led him to construct an impossibly complicated allegory about people chained to benches in the cave, bonfires to cast light on the wall and servants carrying assorted objects to […]

      » Read More

    • Heaven sustain us: Environmentalists have taken over the dorms

      May 23, 2008

      On Monday the trustees of the University of Delaware voted to approve a new yearlong residence life program. Undergraduates will be asked, in a reprise of “show and tell,” to bring in one of their “favorite material objects” and explain why it is important to them. They will be instructed to discuss intrusive questions like “How do you define love?” and “Who are you voting for” with their dorm-mates. Finally, this extracurricular curriculum will ask students to “pick a metaphor that illustrates their view of sustainability.” If you have spent any time on a college campus recently, you will realize […]

      » Read More

    • ResLife must reconsider its purpose

      March 18, 2008

      If all you know about sustainability initiatives on campus is what you read from Dining Services, you might think it is all about the environment. You might think it just means recycling and not taking more napkins than you need. You might even know that it refers to buying organic food from local farmers. But at the university, that’s not what sustainability really means. In fact, documents written or promoted by Residence Life officials demonstrate that sustainability is a highly politicized, comprehensive agenda including positions on topics such as affirmative action, gay marriage, abortion, corporations and worldwide redistribution of wealth. […]

      » Read More

    • When diversity training goes awry

      January 24, 2008

      Initially, Courtney Halligan, a first-year student at the University of Delaware, was not opposed to attending a diversity training session that was required of all incoming freshmen. In fact, the 18-year-old New Jersey native assumed that the experience would be an opportunity for her to learn more about students from different backgrounds. It didn’t take long for Halligan to change her mind. In one-on-one and group sessions conducted in the dormitories by resident assistants, Halligan and dozens of other White students complained that they were made to feel like racists. She adds that they were blamed for the legacy of […]

      » Read More

    • Thought reform, ideological coercion, and the state of the American university

      December 31, 2007

      The University of Delaware (UD) recently was guilty of implementing one of the most invasive reeducation programs for students in the country. UD, like many campuses, requires its first-year students to live in on-campus housing. While there, they were forced to undergo invasive “treatment” (the university’s own words) aimed at changing their incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The “treatment” includes private interviews with their Resident Assistants (RAs) where they were asked a series of invasive questions.   Students who demonstrated any resistance to the program or the questions were subsequently reported by the RA to the university. It was blatant and […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware diversity program leaves Temple thinking

      November 20, 2007

      The University of Delaware announced Nov. 2 that it would suspend its freshman diversity-training program for the remainder of the 2007-2008 school year after a three-day controversy with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The training seminar, a required program in residence halls and taught by resident assistants, was brought to the attention of FIRE because of the unsettling tension between students after they were instructed to write down all the stereotypes of the ethnicities of other students in the program and announce them in front of their peers. In addition, students claimed that they were forced to adopt […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware U’s illiberal education

      November 20, 2007

      In a tersely worded statement issued on November 1st, University of Delaware President Patrick Harker brought an end to an Orwellian reeducation program run through the Office of Residence Life and affecting thousands of students living in residence halls at the University of Delaware. Published accounts of the residence life education program and publicly available documents show it to be a systemic model of leftist and politically correct indoctrination, foisted on vulnerable students by a publicly-funded university. Although the program has now been temporarily dismantled because of the adverse publicity it received, the very existence of such an insidious indoctrination […]

      » Read More

    • University’s indoctrination rates as mind control

      November 18, 2007

      The Orwellian thought-control at the University of Delaware is astonishing. All incoming freshman in residence halls have been subjected to utterly obscene indoctrination, including the flat-out insistence that all students be made to believe that the U.S. is a “racist state.” Residence advisers are instructed to write up reports on any frosh who dares challenge that “systemic oppression exists in our society.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is challenging the university’s fascist policies. As well it should.

      » Read More

    • Teaching or tyranny? How U Del ResLife crossed the line

      November 13, 2007

      Ah, Residential Education. Does the name sound familiar? ResEd, as it is affectionately called, is behind all those dorm activities—namely free outings and free food. It manages RAs, Explorations floors and Peer Educators in residence. “Our department specializes in creating community in each of the residence halls through an incredible staff and meaningful programs designed to support you in your academic and personal endeavors here at NYU,” explains the department’s website. Seems friendly enough. ResEd spends a lot of money and effort to fill the vacuum left by NYU’s general lack of community. It’s a difficult task at a nontraditional […]

      » Read More

    • Counterpoint: diversity programs have value

      November 12, 2007

      “Everyone’s a little bit racist,” according to a song from the Broadway musical Avenue Q. The recently terminated Whole New World diversity training program at the University of Delaware told 7,000 dorm residents otherwise.The program came under scrutiny after students complained that they were pressured into accepting politically slanted views on sensitive topics including race. Patrick Harker, president of Delaware and former dean of Wharton, promptly halted the program in response to a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a Philadelphia-based advocacy group, calling the program a “threat to freedom of conscience” that should be terminated. Whole […]

      » Read More

    • Point: scrap ‘diversity training’

      November 12, 2007

      All whites are racist. At least that’s the message that a recently discontinued University of Delaware residential-hall program had disseminated to over 7,000 of its students. As part of a “diversity training” program that students participated in during orientation, freshmen attended training sessions, floor meetings and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants. The outlandish training materials distributed to RAs included suggested discussion topics and race-related definitions, chief among them: “A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., […]

      » Read More

    • Indoctrination at the University of Delaware

      November 10, 2007

      A conspicuously embarrassed University of Delaware abandoned its residence life education program last week after details of its curriculum were made public by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). At issue was the training manual prepared by Shakti Butler, a diversity training specialist with a national practice, who has conducted facilitator training sessions for Shell Global and the Kellogg Foundation. Butler’s Diversity Facilitation Training manual was meant to guide the university’s resident assistants in their meetings and training sessions with students (a one-on-one meeting with the RA was mandatory). The manual begins with a fascinating glossary, according to […]

      » Read More

    • Controversy hits Harker at Delaware

      November 9, 2007

      Former Wharton Dean Patrick Harker didn’t take long to start making waves again in the higher-education world. Just months after leaving Penn to assume the presidency at the University of Delaware, Harker and the school have made headlines after his suspension of the Residence Life Escalation Program, a residential program that encouraged students to address diversity issues. The four-year-old program generated criticism last week from a Philadelphia-based civil-liberties advocacy group, The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE branded Delaware’s diversity-training program an “Orwellian … ideological re-education” that was a “flagrant violation of students’ rights,” forcing students to discuss their […]

      » Read More

    • The University of Delaware suspends tolerance ‘treatment’

      November 5, 2007

      Just days after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) began a media campaign to dissuade the University of Delaware from forcing close to 7,000 students living in the university’s dorms to undergo ideological reform classes, referred to by the university as “treatments,” the Delaware university ended the controversial program. In applauding university President Patrick Harker’s decision to shut down the program, FIRE’s president Greg Lukianoff stated, “Under the First Amendment, state institutions have no right to impose mandatory ideological training on their students. We are thrilled that this unconscionable and invasive program is gone, but we will be […]

      » Read More

    • Re-thinking thought reform

      November 4, 2007

      University of Delaware President Patrick Harker grudgungly suspended the ideological re-education program exposed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (and reported here last week.) FIRE has the story, which includes troubling accounts of threatened retaliation against students who declined to defend the now defunct “residence life” program and to demonize FIRE as an ideologically biased, conservative organization.  (In fact, FIRE is a civil liberties group that advocates for the rights of all students, regardless of ideology.) This is a victory for freedom of speech and thought, of course, and one that demonstrates why preserving free speech is so […]

      » Read More

    • Perversity in diversity

      November 4, 2007

      The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, www.thefire.org, reports that the University of Delaware now requires all its students to undergo Life Diversity Facilitation. The training includes this definition of racism: “A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.” Students who resist the sessions may be reported. Anyone with a diploma from the University of Delaware might want to take it off […]

      » Read More

    • U. of Del. halts diversity program

      November 3, 2007

      The University of Delaware has ended a residence-life program on diversity and cultural identity after students complained that they were pushed to accept the university’s political views and to answer embarrassing questions about their sexuality. President Patrick T. Harker said in a posting on the school’s Web site, “There are questions about [the program’s] practices that must be addressed and there are reasons for concern that the actual purpose is not being fulfilled.” The program will be stopped immediately and administrators will work with the faculty Senate on any future programs, he said. Harker made the announcement Thursday evening after […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware drops controversial program

      November 3, 2007

      In follow up of a recent story on FIRE’s complaints about a program at The University of Delaware which appears to represent ideological indoctrination, the University has canceled the program. From a statement released by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: After an intense campaign led by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the University of Delaware has dropped an ideological reeducation program that was referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The program’s stated goal was for the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware ’s residence halls to […]

      » Read More

    • George Borjas and the perils of ‘indoctrination’

      November 2, 2007

      George Borjas is not surprised by a recent accusation by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education that the University of Delaware is engaging in “systematic thought reform.” “There’s little doubt that universities are largely staffed by way-left-of-center faculty,” Borjas writes, adding that “political correctness has a stranglehold on dialogue in many fields.” Borjas, a professor of economics and social policy at Harvard, cites his own childhood experience, growing up in revolutionary , to explain why he is “super-sensitive” to such issues. He was attending “an elite elementary Catholic school in Havana ” when Fidel Castro took over and the […]

      » Read More

    • University defends teaching students all whites ‘racist’

      November 2, 2007

      The University of Delaware is defending its program that includes the teaching “all whites are racist” and offers “treatment” for any incorrect attitudes regarding class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. WND reported yesterday on concerns raised by The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which wrote to university President Patrick Harker citing documents from the schools’ Office of Residence Life Diversity Education Training program. “Somehow, the University of Delaware seems terrifyingly unaware that a state-sponsored institution of higher education in the United States does not have the legal right to engage in a program of systematic thought reform,” the letter […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware ‘indoctrination’ program scuttled

      November 2, 2007

      A controversial program at the University of Delaware that forced students to attend politically correct indoctrination sessions regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, and even illegal immigration has been dropped by the University as of yesterday. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) exposed the program earlier this week to which the University then responded by in effect, lying about what the program was all about, particularly the mandatory nature of it. Since then, the University has frantically been trying to erase the record by deleting the parameters of the program from its website. Finally, after this gambit was exposed, […]

      » Read More

    • UD diversity training crossed the line into student intimidation

      November 2, 2007

      University of Delaware President Patrick Harker is to be commended for pulling the plug on a program that turned the quest for tolerance and understanding upside down. A report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education showed that the university’s residential life program made a mockery of intellectual freedom in the way it treated students living in its dormitories. Students were subjected to what can only be called intimidation and indoctrination on the issues of race and sexual identity. The foundation is in the business of exposing this kind of intolerance on campuses, so it might be accused of […]

      » Read More

    • UD halts controversial dorm program

      November 1, 2007

      DOVER (AP) — Amid growing public scrutiny, the University of Delaware on Thursday halted a controversial residence hall program that critics say tried to force students to accept university-approved ideologies on moral and social issues. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, UD president Patrick Harker said the program for dormitory residents on the Newark campus would be halted immediately for review. “While I believe that recent press accounts misrepresent thepurpose of the residential life program at the University of Delaware, there are questions about its practices that must be addressed and there are reasons for concern that the actual purpose […]

      » Read More

    • UDel tolerance ‘treatments’ come under FIRE

      November 1, 2007

      A controversial program requiring students living in university housing at the University of Delaware to undergo diversity training and tolerance treatments has caused one civil rights organization to publicly demand the program, which it labeled “ideological re-education,” to be dismantled. “The University of Delaware’s residence life education program is a grave intrusion into students’ private beliefs,” stated Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Arguing the program is unconstitutional, Mr. Lukianoff explained, “The university has decided that it is not enough to expose its students to the values it considers important; instead, it must coerce […]

      » Read More

    • University forces all students to say that all whites are racist

      November 1, 2007

      The University of Delaware recently made a decision to subject its students to mandatory “treatment” (‘treatment’ is a term used by the university) where they learn that “all whites are racist”, racism by the ‘people of color’ is impossible, and George Washington is merely a “famous Indian fighter, large landholder and slave owner”. The university requires that the students adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. Students are forced to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The RAs who facilitate these meetings […]

      » Read More

    • PC University: U of Delaware under FIRE for forced ‘reconditioning’

      November 1, 2007

      In a case of Big Brother gone amuck on a college campus, student group FIRE has fought back at the University of Delaware for draconian PC “reeducation.” FIRE (The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) contends the students in U of D residence halls are subject to severe ideological reeducation. They describe an “Orwellian” program that mandates the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware ’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. FIRE (a nonprofit foundation that unites civil rights and liberties leaders across the political and ideological spectrum on […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Accused of Indoctrinating Students

      October 31, 2007

      The University of Delaware has come under fire by a civil rights group that claims the school is trying to force dormitory residents to adopt university-approved ideologies on moral and social issues.  The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said the university’s residence life education program amounts to an “Orwellian” attempt at thought control that violates students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech. “FIRE writes to dozens of schools each year in defense of students’ individual rights, but we have never encountered a more systematic assault upon individual liberty, dignity, privacy and autonomy of university students […]

      » Read More

    • ‘All whites are racist’

      October 30, 2007

      A mandatory University of Delaware program requires residence hall students to acknowledge that “all whites are racist” and offers them “treatment” for any incorrect attitudes regarding class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality they might hold upon entering the school, according to a civil rights group. “Somehow, the University of Delaware seems terrifyingly unaware that a state-sponsored institution of higher education in the does not have the legal right to engage in a program of systematic thought reform. The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of conscience—the right to keep our innermost thoughts free from governmental intrusion. It also protects […]

      » Read More

    • William Voegeli on the Purpose of College and the Fight for Free Speech

      June 25, 2013

      William Voegeli, senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, wrote for Real Clear Politics yesterday to discuss the shift in why students go to college and how their focus hinders progress with respect to open and frank discussion on campus. He laments that for many young people, college is a means to an end; potential employers view a student’s admission to an elite college and ability to obtain a degree as indicators that that student is capable of a successful career, regardless of how much the student actually learns in college. Since the primary motivation for going to college […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Reeducation Program’s Ringleader Becomes ACPA Vice President

      March 30, 2012

      When a university administrator egregiously violates someone’s rights, you might expect negative consequences. At Valdosta State University, for example, the president who expelled a student because of the student’s environmental activism not only took an earlier than expected retirement, but has also lost his qualified immunity in a federal lawsuit and is personally liable for damages as a result. So what happened to Kathleen Kerr, the ringleader of the infamous University of Delaware indoctrination scheme (video) that subjected nearly all of the university’s freshmen to a highly invasive, ideological, coercive, mandatory reeducation program? She laid low for a few years, […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Celebrates Jan Blits’ Academic Freedom Award … But Why?

      February 18, 2011

      The University of Delaware has noted that University of Delaware professor and FIRE friend Jan Blits received the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) from Michael Grebe of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. If you only read the university’s announcement, however, you wouldn’t have any idea what Professor Blits did on behalf of academic freedom to earn this prestigious award. In fact, Professor Blits, along with Professor Linda Gottfredson, was instrumental in helping FIRE put an end to the university’s own coercive, mandatory program of thought reform in the university’s residence halls back in 2007. […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE’s University of Delaware Video Exceeds 100,000 Views

      October 29, 2010

      FIRE’s smash hit video Think What We Think…Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus has now reached more than 100,000 views on YouTube, making it our most popular video. The short film exposes the University of Delaware’s (now almost completely obsolete) ideological reeducation program aimed at coercing the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt specific university-approved views, and it was a big hit right from the start. Thanks for watching—and if you haven’t yet seen it, please do. This video demonstrates FIRE’s unyielding efforts to protect free expression on American’s college campuses, and this video provides a […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware General Counsel Gets Confused about the Supreme Court and Free Speech

      June 15, 2010

      Say what you will about the University of Delaware’s many free speech problems over the years, but the university almost always comes around (eventually) when confronted with the fact that it has violated the First Amendment. Sometimes it takes a lawsuit or extensive public outrage, but much of the time a letter will suffice. Thus, I was hopeful but cautious when a Torch reader sent me a copy of the May 7, 2010, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education containing an article on free speech from University of Delaware General Counsel Lawrence White. First, the good news. White concedes that in […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware Professor: University Corporatization Can Lead to Indoctrination

      January 29, 2010

      Indoctrination, which aims to mandate students’ views rather than stimulate students to think through those views for themselves, is anathema to a liberal education. Yet, a recently published article by Jan Blits, one of the professors who alerted FIRE to the University of Delaware’s now infamous (and unconstitutional) Residence Life program, exposes how college administrators are eroding the faculty’s traditional prerogative to decide what students should learn. The result is too often indoctrination instead of true education.  Blits’ article, Hidden (and Not-So-Hidden) New Threats to Faculty Governance, addresses the increasing role of administrators and the diminishing power of faculty in making decisions […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Residence Life Case Featured in New AAUP E-Journal

      January 28, 2010

      FIRE’s highly publicized case at the University of Delaware, where Residence Life officials implemented a harrowing ideological re-education program for all 7,000 students in the residence halls, has gotten even more publicity lately in an excellent essay (PDF) by University of Delaware professor Jan Blits. Writing for the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP’s) new e-journal, the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, Blits focuses on the most illiberal, coercive, and downright scary elements of the program: The program combined intimidation and humiliation, coercion and indoctrination, to inculcate a hardline ideological stance favored by ResLife officials. … One Residence Life administrator […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE’s Work at Minnesota Highlighted in Minneapolis ‘Star Tribune’

      December 14, 2009

      Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who originally broke the story of the University of Minnesota’s proposals to add ideological and political litmus tests to its teacher education process, has authored a fantastic article about FIRE’s involvement in the case. Kersten compares Minnesota’s proposal to the thought reform program at the University of Delaware that FIRE exposed two years ago and notes that: The debacle at the U of M illustrates the gulf that separates higher-education officials and ordinary citizens on the subject of freedom of speech and thought. University leaders seem clueless about these rights’ crucial importance, while […]

      » Read More

    • This Month in FIRE History: University of Delaware Requires Students to Undergo Ideological Re-Education

      November 30, 2009

      Two years ago this month, FIRE celebrated one of the greatest victories in our 10-year history, dismantling the massive ideological reeducation program at the University of Delaware. FIRE was first contacted in the fall of 2007 by a parent of a student at UD who was concerned about the program. Referred to as a “treatment” for students’ supposedly incorrect attitudes and beliefs about politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism, the mandatory program was run by residential assistants (RAs) for the university’s Residential Life department. The program required that students participate in training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware: Residence Life Curriculum Vote Today

      October 5, 2009

      This afternoon, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate will finally vote on this year’s educational plan in the residence halls at the university. The key change in the documents since they were last seen by the Faculty Senate in the spring is that, like last year, almost everything will explicitly be optional: With the exception of the floor and building meetings held at opening, all activities detailed in this plan are attendance-optional.  Students will not face penalties, perceived or real, for failing to engage in residential activities and programs. Staff and students will be aware that no activity in the residence […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware ResLife Program to Remain Optional, Despite ‘Mistake’

      September 16, 2009

      Here’s the latest in FIRE’s ongoing reporting on the University of Delaware’s educational program operated by the Office of Residence Life. You can get oriented to this appalling case by watching this video or reading this article. The program, which rose to national attention and criticism two years ago, had the stated goal of getting the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The mandatory program violated students’ freedom of conscience and even their privacy, such as in one-on-one meetings between students and their Resident Assistants (RAs), where students were asked […]

      » Read More

    • How He Did it: The Basis for Adam’s EWA Award-Winning Article

      July 7, 2009

      FIRE’s Adam Kissel was among the first-prize winners of the National Education Writers Association (EWA) 2008 National Awards for Education Reporting. Following the announcement this past spring, EWA collected narratives from several of the authors, in which they discuss how they came across and developed the source material for their prize-winning articles. The end result, “How I Did the Story 2008,” features more than a dozen fascinating author accounts of chance phone calls, using the public record to good advantage, and good old-fashioned investigative journalism. We’re proud to see Adam’s story among them. As many Torch readers know, FIRE’s intervention […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware ResLife Plan for 2009-10: Still Optional, or Not?

      May 21, 2009

      One of FIRE’s most significant cases in our history has been at the University of Delaware, where early in 2007–2008 the Residence Life staff promulgated a thorough, mandatory curriculum in the residence halls that was designed to change students’ thoughts, values, attitudes, beliefs, and actions to conform to a highly specific political and social agenda. The staff called the program a “treatment,” and indeed it was highly invasive of students’ privacy, conscience, and speech rights. Students, especially freshmen, couldn’t escape the program; as one resident assistant (RA) wrote about one-on-one re-education sessions with students, “Not to scare anyone or anything, […]

      » Read More

    • The pedagogy of the personal

      May 6, 2009

      The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has a video here recounting the now notorious residence life program at University of Delaware. About two and a half minutes into the story, a young man recounts one of the activities students in the program underwent. Students sat in a circle with a bowl of marshmallows in the middle. The leaders read a series of statements, and for every “yes” answer, a student would put a marshmallow in his or her own mouth. The statements included: —have you felt afraid to express affection for a significant other in public —have you been […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE’s Adam Kissel to be Honored by Education Writers Association This Weekend

      May 1, 2009

      This weekend Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, will be honored in Washington, D.C. at the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar. As we proudly announced earlier this spring, Adam won a First Prize award in the Magazines category of the EWA’s 2008 National Awards for Education Reporting for his article “Thought Reform at the University of Delaware.” Adam’s article, an in-depth look at the appalling Residence Life program forced on the 7,000 students in the university’s residence hall system, was first published in FIRE’s academic journal, The Lantern. The Education Writers Association is the national professional association […]

      » Read More

    • Robert Discusses Virginia Tech and UD Reslife Program on Pajamas Media Blog

      April 28, 2009

      In his first blog for Pajamas Media, FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley discusses our recent victory at Virginia Tech and our latest video on the now-abandoned UD Reslife program. On Virginia Tech, Robert writes: Unfortunately, on campuses across the country, the line between indoctrination and education is being blurred and ignored on a daily basis. Even more appallingly, students and faculty members are victims of enforced campus orthodoxy. One of the most recent examples comes from Virginia Tech, where the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences recently voted on a proposal that would make a demonstrated commitment to “diversity” a mandatory part […]

      » Read More

    • Greg in ‘Huffington Post’ on the Campus Culture Wars

      April 22, 2009

      In his latest column for The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff reflects on the campus culture wars with reference to two of our most famous cases: Hayden Barnes’ expulsion for a collage at Valdosta State University and the University of Delaware‘s former Residence Life program. Discussing the cases side by side, Greg demonstrates how censorship is usually engaged in by “someone who thinks they are, to a greater or lesser degree, saving the world, their country, or humanity’s eternal soul.” As Greg points out, these censors are missing the fundamental point: This should be obvious, but in the culture […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE’s Video on UD Grabs #15 Most-Watched Nonprofit Video Spot

      April 20, 2009

      FIRE’s video on the University of Delaware‘s former residence life program continues to gain momentum on YouTube with over 24,000 views, earning FIRE’s channel the #15 most-watched nonprofit spot. The video, Think What We Think…Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus, documents the ideological re-education program that FIRE exposed and helped end in the fall of 2007. Please take a few minutes to watch the video and share it with your friends via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. By raising public awareness of these issues, you are helping FIRE end these gross abuses of power by administrators on university campuses.

      » Read More

    • FIRE Continues to Educate Public with its Video on UD Reslife

      April 13, 2009

      Earlier this month, FIRE announced a new video on the residential life program at the University of Delaware. The video, entitled Think What We Think… Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus, describes in great detail the infamous program that FIRE exposed and helped end in the fall of 2007. As many of our readers know, this program was a flagrant abuse of authority and a truly stunning violation of the right to private conscience. The video has already seen a surge of popularity, garnering over 11,000 views in under two weeks. FIRE is committed to getting this video […]

      » Read More

    • Video: ‘Think What We Think… Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus’

      April 2, 2009

      Today, FIRE releases a new documentary entitled Think What We Think… Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus. Produced by FIRE and Free to Choose Media, the video explains the University of Delaware’s Office of Residence Life’s invasive thought-reform program and features personal interviews with FIRE staff and UD students and faculty involved in revealing the scandal. In the fall of 2007, the University of Delaware implemented an Orwellian program of ideological reeducation aimed at coercing students to change their thoughts, habits, and values to conform to a highly specific ideological agenda. Over 7,000 undergraduate students living in the […]

      » Read More

    • Think What We Think…Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus

      April 2, 2009

      In the fall of 2007, the University of Delaware’s Office of Residence Life employed mandatory dormitory activities to coerce students to change their thoughts, habits, and values to conform to a highly specified ideological agenda. Following FIRE’s campaign, which called the attention of the national media to the Orwellian program and outraged people from all over the political spectrum, UD President Patrick Harker terminated the program. This documentary—produced by FIRE and Free to Choose Media—explains the program’s invasive thought-reform activities, the horrified reactions of students and faculty, and FIRE’s response.

      » Read More

    • Orientation or Indoctrination? The University of Delaware’s Troubling Residential Life Program and Trustee Responsibility

      March 20, 2009

      The University of Delaware’s Troubling Residential Life Program and Trustee Responsibility. http://www.youtube.com/goacta  

      » Read More

    • A Student’s Compelling Account of Delaware’s Mandatory Diversity Training

      February 26, 2009

      Remember the University of Delaware’s mandatory activity on stereotypes, when students were required to write down all the stereotypes they could think of about a dozen different groups of people? Today the National Association of Scholars has posted an eye-opening account of the Spring 2007 version of this exercise by student Bill Rivers. Here are some excerpts from his account, “Never Mind Tocqueville, Let’s List Slurs”: Residence Life made very clear that we freshmen had been raised in a manner that imbued us with hateful understandings. We needed to be purged and Residence Life was mercifully going to do the […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Releases Results of Residence Life Survey

      February 24, 2009

      The University of Delaware has released the results of three of the questions on a survey about this year’s Residence Life program. Regular Torch readers will remember that last year’s program, before it was suspended, involved major violations of students’ rights to privacy, freedom of conscience, and freedom of speech. The survey asked students about “10 key issues, including the voluntary nature of the program, as well as privacy and rights being respected,” according to Matthew Robinson, chairperson of the Senate Student Life Committee, as reported by UDaily, the University of Delaware’s official news source. According to UDaily: About 51 […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE Launches New Journal, ‘The Lantern,’ on Anniversary of University of Delaware Thought Reform Case

      October 31, 2008

      FIRE is proud to announce the forthcoming debut of The Lantern: The Journal of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE’s newest publication. The first issue of The Lantern will feature a comprehensive article on the indoctrination program implemented in 2007 by the University of Delaware’s Office of Residence Life, which used mandatory activities to coerce students to change their thoughts, values, attitudes, beliefs, and habits to conform to a highly specified social, environmental, and political agenda. The article explains the program’s invasive thought-reform activities, the horrified reactions of students and the press, and FIRE’s response one year ago […]

      » Read More

    • Please Report to Your Resident Assistant to Discuss Your Sexual Identity—It’s Mandatory! Thought Reform at the University of Delaware

      October 31, 2008

      A female freshman arrives for her mandatory one-on-one session in her male RA’s dorm room. It is 8:00 p.m. Classes have been in session for about a week. The resident assistant hands her a questionnaire. He tells her it is “a little questionnaire to help [you] and all the other residents relate to the curriculum.” He adds that they will “go through every question together and discuss them.” He later reports that she “looked a little uncomfortable.” “When did you discover your sexual identity?” the questionnaire asks. “That is none of your damn business,” she writes. “When was a time […]

      » Read More

    • Please Report to Your Resident Assistant to Discuss Your Sexual Identity–It’s Mandatory!

      October 30, 2008

      A female freshman arrives for her mandatory one-on-one session in her male RA’s dorm room. It is 8:00 p.m. Classes have been in session for about a week. The resident assistant hands her a questionnaire. He tells her it is “a little questionnaire to help [you] and all the other residents relate to the curriculum.” He adds that they will “go through every question together and discuss them.” He later reports that she “looked a little uncomfortable.” “When did you discover your sexual identity?” the questionnaire asks. “That is none of your damn business,” she writes. “When was a time […]

      » Read More

    • Weekly Media Round-up: Two Major Free Speech Victories Start the Year on a High Note

      September 19, 2008

      FIRE declared a pair of major victories for free speech this week in what we hope will set the tone for our efforts on campus during the 2008–2009 academic year. Valdosta State University (VSU), under the leadership of new president Patrick Schloss, revoked its unconstitutional free speech zone policy and made the VSU campus much more open to free expression. Schloss’ decision brings an end to a nearly year-long effort by FIRE to bring changes to VSU’s policy, and results in the removal of Valdosta State from FIRE’s Red Alert list. As Luke noted earlier this week, VSU’s student newspaper […]

      » Read More

    • Another Victory for Free Speech at University of Delaware

      September 16, 2008

      University of Delaware (UD) administrators unconstitutionally denied students the right to pass out a new student newspaper, The LampLighter, without prior approval earlier this month. But as today’s press release describes, after FIRE pointed out the constitutional infirmities in both UD’s policy and the false characterization of this policy by administrators, UD has changed course and restored the rights of free expression and freedom of the press on its campus. Even so, UD has yet to explain why the administrators made such misleading statements to students about the nature of their rights. FIRE wrote UD President Patrick Harker after several […]

      » Read More

    • Victory for Free Speech at University of Delaware

      September 16, 2008

      PHILADELPHIA, September 16, 2008—After unconstitutionally denying students the right to pass out a student newspaper without prior approval, the University of Delaware (UD) has changed course and restored the rights of free expression and freedom of the press on its campus. The policy change came in response to a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) demanding changes to the university’s restrictions on student speech. However, the university has yet to explain why administrators made misleading statements to students about the nature of their rights. “The right to freely distribute publications dates to the founding of our […]

      » Read More

    • Victory for Free Speech in University of Delaware Lawsuit

      September 5, 2008

      Last year, we wrote about the case of University of Delaware student Maciej Murakowski, who was barred from his classes and his dormitory pending a psychiatric examination because of material on his website that another student found offensive and which university officials found “racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic.” Murakowski soon was suspended and banned from campus altogether. Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted summary judgment to Murakowski on his free speech claim. Murakowksi had suffered under Delaware’s wildly unconstitutional zero-tolerance speech code, which required immediate notification of the authorities, day or night, on account of […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Strains Promise of ResLife Oversight

      August 28, 2008

      After the University of Delaware had to retreat from its coercive thought reform curriculum in the residence halls, Vice President for Student Life Michael Gilbert promised the faculty and trustees that this year’s program would be closely monitored by a new Assistant Vice President for Student Life. The faculty and trustees approved the new, only somewhat improved, program partly because of the promise of strong oversight. The reason such monitoring is required is that the same people who ran last year’s program, especially ResLife directors Kathleen Kerr and James Tweedy, have designed and are directing this year’s program. As I […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Residence Life Program Discussed at LA Conference

      June 30, 2008

      On June 15–16, FIRE’s Adam Kissel attended an international conference on How Free is the University? in Los Angeles, CA, which was keynoted by Victor Davis Hanson. On June 15, Adam spoke on the panel “Indoctrination: When does professorial opinion cross the line from personal conviction into propaganda?” The panel discussed indoctrination, ideology, and intimidation in the university setting. Adam’s talk centered around the University of Delaware’s Residence Life program, which FIRE has been monitoring closely while ResLife has been preparing a new version of the program for 2008–2009. To listen to the complete audio from Adam’s talk, please click […]

      » Read More

    • Episode 131: Adam Kissel at the “How Free is the University” Conference

      June 18, 2008

      On June 15-16, FIRE’s Adam Kissel attended an international conference on How Free is the University? in Los Angeles, CA, which was keynoted by Victor Davis Hanson. On June 15, Adam spoke on the panel “Indoctrination: When does professorial opinion cross the line from personal conviction into propaganda?” The panel discussed indoctrination, ideology, and intimidation in the university setting. Adam’s talk centered around the University of Delaware’s Residence Life program, which FIRE has been monitoring closely while ResLife has been preparing a new version of the program for 2008-2009.

      » Read More

    • ‘All whites racist’ indoctrination revived!

      May 28, 2008

      Now features ‘love’ discussion earlier titled ‘Gay Marriage’ by Bob Unruh WorldNetDaily   An indoctrination program that was shut down at the University of Delaware last year after it was revealed the teachings included, “All whites are racist,” now is being revived, and an organization monitoring such educational behavior is concerned there will be violations similar to those of a year ago. Adam Kissell, a spokesman for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told WND his worry is that this year’s “program” for incoming students at Delaware has the same “learning outcomes” as a year ago, the same administrators […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Passes ResLife Admin Costs to Students

      May 22, 2008

      The University of Delaware has promised a great deal more oversight over the Office of Residence Life as it implements its controversial 2008-2009 educational program for students in the residence halls in the wake of last year’s version of the program, which required students to undergo ideological reeducation. One of the promises of oversight is that a new position at the Vice President level under Vice President for Student Life Michael Gilbert will have ResLife oversight as a primary duty. How is UD paying for it? Budget monies are fungible, so one never can really tell. But I can report […]

      » Read More

    • ACTA Warns on Freedom of Conscience at Delaware

      May 21, 2008

      After the University of Delaware Board of Trustees voted to approve a new Residence Life educational program for next year, FIRE rightly reported it as a new victory for freedom of conscience. At the same time, The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) rightly characterized the news as a new failure for freedom of conscience. We’re both right—it’s a half-empty/half-full situation. To call it a failure, one need only go to the proposal itself to see that ResLife still intends to achieve specific “learning outcomes” through a variety of activities designed to change students’ thoughts, values, beliefs, attitudes, and […]

      » Read More

    • New Victory for Freedom of Conscience at University of Delaware

      May 20, 2008

      The University of Delaware Board of Trustees confronted Vice President for Student Life Michael Gilbert over the proposed Residence Life educational program for 2008–2009 before passing the proposal. According to accounts from three people who observed the meeting of the Board of Trustees, the tone of the meeting changed markedly when the Trustees turned to the proposal. One Trustee asked whether the proposed ResLife educational program is similar to those at other schools, and Gilbert responded that it is a “traditional” residential program. The evidence shows that this is blatantly false—for instance, the proposal itself explicitly states that the educational […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Misrepresents ResLife Education Program to Trustees

      May 16, 2008

      On Monday, May 19, the Board of Trustees of the University of Delaware will be meeting to discuss, among other things, the Residence Life educational program proposal that was passed this Monday by the Faculty Senate. The Board of Trustees meeting is open to the public. In a letter to Board of Trustees Chairman Howard E. Cosgrove yesterday, FIRE notes that the proposal is deeply problematic on its face because, like last year, it aims to change students’ thoughts, values, attitudes, and beliefs to conform to the social and political agenda of the Office of Residence Life—a proposal developed and […]

      » Read More

    • U. of Delaware approves new diversity discussions for students

      May 13, 2008

      Six months after suspending its controversial dormitory-based diversity sessions, the University of Delaware has approved a plan to replace them with a new residence-life program. On Monday, Delaware’s Faculty Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of the plan, which was designed to promote “citizenship” among students. The program’s activities, which are voluntary, would encourage students “to become engaged and active citizens on campus by understanding how their thoughts, values, beliefs, and actions affect people with whom they live and by recognizing their citizenship responsibilities”-an objective similar to the stated goal of the previous program (The Chronicle) November 16, 2007). To read […]

      » Read More

    • Partial Victory for Freedom of Conscience

      May 13, 2008

      The University of Delaware Faculty Senate has passed along to the Board of Trustees a proposal for educational programming in the residence halls. The proposal, revised numerous times, now states explicitly that almost all programming (save the first building and floor meetings) will be optional, and Vice President Michael Gilbert promised the Faculty Senate that there would be strict oversight of the program by faculty and senior administrators. Gilbert also promised that all educational elements of the program, particularly “personal development” and “content” activities, would be neither designed nor administered by resident assistants (RAs); such activities would be run only […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware ResLife Proposal Discussed in Latest Podcast

      May 12, 2008

      Today at 4 p.m. the Faculty Senate of the University of Delaware will vote on whether or not to allow the proposed Residence Life plan to proceed. FIRE has been monitoring this situation diligently and has devoted an episode of our podcasting series, FIREside Chats, to discussing the proposed plan. Listen as Adam Kissel, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, and Robert Shibley, FIRE’s vice president, talk about ResLife’s agenda and point out the parts of the plan that aim to change students’ “thoughts, values, beliefs, and actions.” If you’re a student or faculty member at the University of […]

      » Read More

    • New UD residence life program passes Faculty Senate

      May 12, 2008

      The University of Delaware Faculty Senate approved a new educational program for campus residence halls today. The 45-7 vote in favor of endorsing the new, multi-pronged proposal came after months of work and debate sparked by criticism that the former program was forced on students and stifled their rights to free speech. Debate by the Senate stretched over several hours and two meetings. Students for and against the program were present at both gatherings, the first of which was last Monday. They carried signs and handouts for faculty members who had a say in the outcome. But proponents and opponents […]

      » Read More

    • Episode 113: Residence Life Program Proposal at the University of Delaware

      May 12, 2008

      Today at 4 p.m. the Faculty Senate of the University of Delaware will vote on whether or not to allow the proposed Residence Life plan to proceed. FIRE has been monitoring this situation diligently and has devoted an episode of our podcasting series, FIREside Chats, to discussing the proposed plan. Listen as Adam Kissel, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, and Robert Shibley, FIRE’s vice president, talk about ResLife’s agenda and point out the parts of the plan that aim to change students’ “thoughts, values, beliefs, and actions.” If you’re a student or faculty member at the University of […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware ResLife on YouTube

      May 9, 2008

      University of Delaware student Sean Holland posted this video about the ResLife controversy on YouTube. It is a poignant reminder of some of the worst aspects of last year’s thoroughly discredited indoctrination program.

      » Read More

    • More Delaware ResLife Materials Removed from Website

      May 9, 2008

      ResLife has removed more materials from its website, including pages such as this one: http://www.udel.edu/reslife/about/diversity.html Diversity Vision “The Office of Residence Life, within its offices and its residence halls, will become a place where diversity among people is recognized, valued and demonstrated. Racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism and other behaviors and systems that empower some while oppressing others will not be tolerated. Programs, policies, and procedures will reflect the importance and acceptance of diversity. Actions that encourage and promote diversity will be valued and rewarded.” (From “The Creation of a Housing and Residence Life Program Which Recognizes, Values, and Demonstrates […]

      » Read More

    • ‘Progressive Democrat and Environmentalist’ Speaks Out Against Delaware Indoctrination

      May 9, 2008

      FIRE loves when students beautifully express the principles of individual rights. We recently saw a copy of a great letter that University of Delaware student Alyssa Koser, a self-described “progressive democrat and environmentalist,” sent to the officers of Students for the Environment (S4E). She eloquently expresses the difference between supporting an agenda and foisting it on others. As a student in the dorms for a number of years, Alyssa knows very well what ResLife has been doing to indoctrinate students, and she wants it to stop—even though she believes largely in ResLife’s social and political agenda. Here’s her letter, reprinted […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware ResLife Fighting for Every Inch: Proposal Re-re-re-revised

      May 9, 2008

      Fifth time the charm? The University of Delaware Residence Life proposal has been revised yet again, but its essential elements remain the same. The proposal still tries to change students’ “thoughts, values, beliefs, and actions.” It still is an educational program with “learning outcomes.” It maintains the RA “conversations.” It maintains highly politicized and highly suspect activities. “Citizenship responsibilities” are still the responsibilities defined by ResLife, now in even more narrow terms of environmental sustainability. It is not enough to simply put the word “environmental” before the word “sustainability” and then trust ResLife to re-envision all of its activities through […]

      » Read More

    • Prediction by University of Delaware RA Comes to Pass

      May 8, 2008

      When the 2007-2008 University of Delaware Residence Life indoctrination program became the subject of withering public attention before it was quickly “suspended” by its president, FIRE received dozens of emails from students and RAs about ResLife’s coercive administration of the program. I am amazed that senior administrators still seem willing to trust ResLife to administer a new indoctrination program, watered down but chock-full of a social and political “sustainability” agenda that goes far beyond UD’s environmental initiatives. Today we publish for the first time an email from an RA who apparently feared retribution from ResLife and chose to remain anonymous. […]

      » Read More

    • Victory for Freedom of Conscience at University of Delaware; More Debate Ahead

      May 6, 2008

      FIRE is very pleased that the University of Delaware Faculty Senate has delayed a vote on the deeply flawed Residence Life proposal for next year, as I requested. The campus now has a bit less than a week to genuinely debate it. I hope that sincere debate ensues and that Faculty Senate leaders and upper-level administrators do not try to keep pushing the proposal through. As I have written before, the proposal is soaked in a highly politicized social and political agenda around the idea of “sustainability” as the correct model for “citizenship.” A good number of Senate faculty, and […]

      » Read More

    • Open Letter to University of Delaware Faculty on ResLife Proposal

      May 5, 2008

      This afternoon, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate is to vote on (or table till another time) a proposal for what I have described as another indoctrination program using evidence directly from the proposal. I have sent an open letter to the UD faculty via the Faculty Senate in advance of the meeting. The text of it can be viewed here. I point the faculty to this evidence and say: In this letter, I am asking each of you to read the 2008-2009 Residence Life Program Plan with the same level of critical engagement that you use when you are […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware ResLife Hides Another Document

      May 2, 2008

      Following the attention given by the Delaware Association of Scholars to the University of Delaware Residence Life position called “Graduate Assistant for Diversity Initiatives,” the university has removed the job description from its website. Fortunately, we have an archived copy here. The position’s responsibilities include(d) “Resource Development,” which include(d) the following: Serve as a resource in the area of multicultural and diversity issues for Residence Life staff members and residence hall students. Develop resource files for programs and workshops on such topics as: Inter-Cultural Communication Stereotyping Oppression Prejudice Reduction Privilege Ally-building Heterosexism/Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness Racism Ageism Ability […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware ResLife Misappropriates UD Environmental Sustainability Initiative for Social Activism

      May 2, 2008

      On May 5, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate is scheduled to vote on a fundamentally flawed, possibly illegal indoctrination program in the UD residence halls for next year. As I wrote earlier this week, the plan should be rejected. This is because the program hinges almost entirely on a highly politicized “sustainability” education agenda, one in which ResLife has already determined the moral and political conclusions students are supposed to reach. The plan’s “learning outcomes” are elaborated throughout the program in such a way that students will be pressured to adopt ResLife’s very specific views about students’ “responsibilities” as […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware Association of Scholars Urges Rejection of UD ResLife Proposal

      May 1, 2008

      Joining FIRE, the Delaware Association of Scholars (DAS) has called on the University of Delaware Faculty Senate to reject the Residence Life proposal that is to be voted on during its May 5 meeting. Since the DAS makes a few points not already present in my analysis here, we reproduce the release in full here.

      » Read More

    • Sustainability All the Time: An Analysis of University of Delaware’s ResLife Proposal

      May 1, 2008

      As I wrote yesterday, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate is poised to restore the highly politicized indoctrination program that was roundly condemned last year, even by the faculty themselves. But the Faculty Senate should reject it. I analyze the overall program goals, the seven “learning outcomes,” the many ways that ResLife proposes to shape students’ thoughts, values, attitudes, and beliefs, and the endless curriculum of “sustainability”—not just environmental sustainability, but a highly politicized set of social and political views—here. If the faculty is intent on having a plan for the fall, this is not it. Try cutting half of […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Set to Restore Indoctrination Program

      April 30, 2008

      With minimal announcement, minimal student input, and hardly six days available for debate, the Faculty Senate at the University of Delaware has finally posted a new Residence Life proposal—and as expected, it is all about indoctrination into a highly politicized agenda. The Faculty Senate should reject it at its May 5th meeting. The program still tries to change students’ “thoughts, values, beliefs, and actions.” It is still thoroughly about sustainability. It maintains the RA “conversations.” It maintains highly politicized and highly suspect activities. It is still focused on “learning outcomes.” As we said about last year’s program, this is a […]

      » Read More

    • The worst campus codeword

      April 29, 2008

      The academic left is fond of buzzwords that sound harmless but function in a highly ideological way. Many schools of education and social work require students to have a good “disposition.” In practice this means that conservatives need not apply, as highly publicized attempts to penalize right-wing students at Brooklyn College and Washington State University revealed. “Social justice” is an even more useful codeword. Who can oppose it? But some schools made the mistake of spelling out that it means advocacy for causes of the left, including support for gay marriage and adoption, also opposition to “institutional racism,” heterosexism, classism […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware ResLife–Fourth Time the Charm?

      April 15, 2008

      On the front page of its Local section, today’s Delaware News Journal reports the latest in the ongoing saga of the University of Delaware Residence Life program. (The News Journal recently blasted UD for failing to repudiate the worst aspects of the program.) Yesterday evening, a group of student leaders and the Student Senate met with UD Vice President for Student Life Michael Gilbert and professor Matthew Robinson, who chairs the faculty’s Student Life Committee. According to the article and a student who attended, the students essentially told UD to stop trying to educate students through the residential program. The […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Retreats on Oppressive Speech Code

      April 14, 2008

      The University of Delaware has revised a speech code that used to classify “[a]ny instance that is perceived by those involved as being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or otherwise oppressive” as an emergency equal to fire, suicide attempts, and alcohol overdose. This code was blatantly unconstitutional and about as absurd as you can get in 20 words or less, for these reasons: This language is overbroad because “oppressive” is not a clear term on which to base judgments of one’s language or actions. “Perceived by those involved” is an improper, unconstitutional standard for determining whether a statement or action truly […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE Board of Advisors Member Blasts University of Delaware

      April 9, 2008

      FIRE Board of Advisors member Candace de Russy wrote a scathing piece for Pajamas Media today on FIRE’s case at the University of Delaware. She notes that instead of doing away with the dreadful Residence Life program altogether, the university simply prescribed superficial reform and allowed the Residence Life staff—bewilderingly, still employed—to carry on as before. President Patrick Harker “passed the buck” on the issue to the faculty, which in turn left the Residence Life office intact and in charge of the new program. If only they had followed the advice of FIRE, the National Association of Scholars, and the […]

      » Read More

    • National Organizations Keep Hitting U. Delaware Indoctrination Program

      March 28, 2008

      Five months after FIRE exposed the University of Delaware’s now thoroughly discredited residential indoctrination program, FIRE and other national organizations continue to keep the University of Delaware high on our agendas. The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has reached a turning point in presenting Part 9 of an ongoing series of investigative reports titled “How Many Delawares?” This segment is especially worth reading. It is detailed and incisive, and it provides an excellent comparison to Delaware in the Intergroup Relations program at the University of Michigan. Believe me, this is a program that FIRE will be taking a close look […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware News Journal Calls for Total Repudiation of University of Delaware’s Thought Reform Program

      March 24, 2008

      Check out the powerful editorial ‘UD should outright repudiate student indoctrination efforts‘ in Sunday’s Delaware News Journal. The News Journal‘s continuing attention to this issue is especially crucial because it is clear from reports that the University of Delaware’s Residence Life officials do not understand that they have done anything wrong. My own experience, speaking at UD last fall, left me extremely disheartened about many students’ and ResLife’s understanding of the right of private conscience. We may face a serious challenge as a free society if we are raising a generation of students to believe they have the right to […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware ResLife Controversy Continues

      March 21, 2008

      In today’s Delaware News Journal—the leading Delaware newspaper—Beth Miller reports on the ongoing controversy over the University of Delaware’s residential program for undergraduates, which was largely cancelled last year for its attempts to indoctrinate students with a highly politicized ideology. As Miller reports, some students said they were uncomfortable in some discussions and were forced to reveal opinions they preferred to keep private or had no opportunity to explain. Questions about their sexual identities or their views on issues such as affirmative action and gay marriage made some squirm. Others said they were made to feel like racists because they […]

      » Read More

    • UD panel to decide on residence life program

      March 21, 2008

      A Faculty Senate committee will review plans today for fall 2008 residence hall programs at the University of Delaware, where officials last fall canceled a 4-year-old program critics said stifled free speech, attempted to indoctrinate students and put too much responsibility in the hands of resident assistants. The faculty’s Student Life Committee, which spent several months reviewing the controversial Residence Life program, rejected it last week. In its report, the committee emphasized that student participation should be voluntary, recommended that qualified professionals and faculty facilitate some discussions, and urged increased monitoring of all such efforts. The dorm-based Residence Life sessions—conducted […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Faculty Condemns Old ResLife Program

      March 19, 2008

      The University of Delaware’s Student Life Committee, which recently rejected a proposal for a highly politicized residential program in the dorms next year, has also roundly condemned the old program in a February 22 report. For those who have not yet heard of the discontinued and discredited program, please follow the links above. Here is how the UD faculty committee summarized it: During the Fall 2007 semester, an external organization [that's FIRE] gained access to the curricula as well as other information on the program and information that had been posted on the Residence Life website and led a public […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE Op-Ed in University of Delaware Student Paper

      March 18, 2008

      Adam Kissel, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, has an editorial published in the University of Delaware’s student newspaper, the Review. In it, he calls for the student body to be aware of Residence Life’s “sustainability” program, writing that, Documents written or promoted by Residence Life officials demonstrate that sustainability is a highly politicized, comprehensive agenda including positions on topics such as affirmative action, gay marriage, abortion, corporations and worldwide redistribution of wealth. Residence Life wants everyone to embrace those highly politicized opinions. After all the University of Delaware went through after FIRE widely publicized its unconstitutional freshman orientation […]

      » Read More

    • ResLife Indoctrinators Attack FIRE at Closed Conference

      March 4, 2008

      Leaders of the notorious indoctrination programs in college residence halls, bent on their highly politicized “sustainability” ideology, have hit a new low. As the National Association of Scholars (NAS) has reported, officials at a closed conference sponsored by University of Delaware’s Residence Life directors have resorted to name-calling and lies in order to attack FIRE and other critics of the University of Delaware program. One person at the conference charged critics of the program with “hate, fear, ignorance, and stupidity,” and another characterized FIRE as a “bad organization with ties to white supremacy groups.” As for my use of the […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Rejects New Residence Life Proposal

      February 19, 2008

      The University of Delaware (UD) Faculty Senate’s Student Life Committee has rejected a proposal from the Office of Residence Life to run a new residential program in the Delaware dorms next year. Reports from inside UD suggest that Residence Life (ResLife) officials are entirely unrepentant, believing that their only mistake (now admitted, it seems) was making elements of the old program mandatory. But as we have discussed in detail (using UD’s own documents), the programming also was coercive, invaded students’ privacy, ridiculed and pressured students with “incorrect” views, violated students’ freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, and was intended […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Sets Politicized Agenda for Resident Assistants

      February 19, 2008

      Despite outrage from the national media, students, and civil libertarians, indoctrination still seems to be the goal of the University of Delaware Residence Life staff. The latest call for resident assistants at the University of Delaware has been issued, and the materials show an unrelenting effort to push a political agenda through the RAs to the students, flying in the face of official assurances from University of Delaware President Patrick Harker that the residential program would be suspended pending a full evaluation and a new plan. For one thing, ResLife’s “Diversity Vision” still reads: The Office of Residence Life, within […]

      » Read More

    • More Reflections on University of Delaware Indoctrination Program

      January 31, 2008

      This week, Thomas Wood continues his series for the National Association of Scholars on “How Many Delawares?” with “Res Life and the Decline of Campus Community (Part I).” Wood makes a startling observation about the explosion of college “residence life” officials—more and more of whom, I suspect, have the job of promoting and enforcing “community norms” that have been declared and imposed by offices of residence life. A statistic at one particular college probably gives a pretty accurate idea of the phenomenon generally. Hamilton College, which has about 1,600 students, currently employs 23 Res Life student affairs specialists. In the […]

      » Read More

    • Four year plan

      December 3, 2007

      As almost every aspect of the American university has been drenched in political correctness, a certain outrage fatigue has set in. Who is still shocked by news of Shakespeare being replaced by P. Diddy, lectures on the political implications of masturbation, and photographic retrospectives on the Black Panther Movement? Wouldn’t it be best just to roll one’s eyes and move on? Perhaps not. Over the past two weeks, news has come out of Delaware that the state’s public institution organized a freshmen orientation that, even for the most hardened of academic observers, would seem sinister and bizarre. Last August, the […]

      » Read More

    • Tarred with the same Big Brother brush

      November 29, 2007

      At the climax of his classic work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell condemns his fictional hero, Winston Smith, to a terrifying spell inside a cell with the object of his deepest fear. As heavy scenarios go, that doesn’t sound too far removed from how critics of the University of Delaware described its diversity training educational program (or ‘the Class of 1984’ as others were calling it). According to the National Journal, the Residence Life program included one-on-one meetings between students and program organizers, as well as group sessions aimed at schooling students in some, um, ‘interesting’ definitions of racism: A racist […]

      » Read More

    • Liberal ‘racism’ is not about bringing people together

      November 25, 2007

      People of the political left are racists. Almost all of them, I’d have to say. And I mean that in the kindest way. Oh, they aren’t “racists” in the conventional, bad sense. At least not intentionally. But many liberals are thoroughly consumed with matters of race. In the sense that “deists” are guided in their lives by the existence of God, and “militarists” are consumed with breaking things and killing people, “racists” are those whose daily lives are filled with obsessions about ethnicity and race, as well as the subject’s categorical subdivisions, such as oppression and privilege. They are like […]

      » Read More

    • More Thought Reform Documents from the University of Delaware

      November 16, 2007

      Readers of The Torch who are interested in the University of Delaware thought-reform curriculum should keep checking our case materials for more documents. Students at the University of Delaware might be particularly interested in the full articulation of what Residence Life thought of them and how Residence Life wanted them to change. Each complex’s curriculum is posted here and makes for quite an engaging read. Some of the material talks about UD students in positive terms, but some of it does not. For instance, Sendy Guerrier writes for the Dickinson complex and the Rodney Complex: the culture and environment of this […]

      » Read More


    • Thought control alive and well at University of Delaware

      November 10, 2007

      Last week we learned a mandatory University of Delaware (UD) program requires all students living on campus to acknowledge that “all whites are racist.” This school of higher learning offers white students “treatment” so they can overcome “any incorrect attitudes regarding class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality” they held when they entered the school. According to the university’s Office of Residence Life Diversity Education Training documents, UD states “A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. ‘The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware: Residence Life Fighting Back?

      November 3, 2007

      FIRE expresses our deep appreciation to the University of Delaware (UD) faculty who provided vital support to our efforts to expose the unconscionable and unconstitutional residence life program at Delaware. We encourage faculty who know of similar programs at their own schools to let us know what is going on. We cannot stress enough the importance of exposing to the light of day such abuses of freedom of conscience at our nation’s universities. Unfortunately, it seems that Residence Life is not taking kindly to having their program immediately and completely shut down. Faculty and RAs who stand up against the […]

      » Read More

    • Comprehensive Media Coverage Essential to FIRE Victory at the University of Delaware

      November 2, 2007

      Press coverage of the reeducation program at the University of Delaware (UD) has been astounding. Check out FIRE’s events page and look at the events over just the last few days. Yesterday, Greg appeared on CNN Headline News’ Glenn Beck show, FOX News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes, and this morning he was on America’s Newsroom. FIRE staffers have appeared in numerous radio interviews, and print coverage has also been extensive, including a front page article in the Philadelphia Inquirer and an excellent editorial in The News Journal.   The blogosphere has been ablaze with links to the UD website where […]

      » Read More

    • Victory at University of Delaware

      November 2, 2007

      NEWARK, Del., November 2, 2007—After an intense campaign led by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the University of Delaware has dropped an ideological reeducation program that was referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The program’s stated goal was for the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. Following FIRE’s campaign, which called the attention of the national media and the blogosphere to the Orwellian program, university President Patrick Harker terminated the program, […]

      » Read More

    • U. of Delaware halts residence-life program that was criticized as ‘thought reform’

      November 2, 2007

      The University of Delaware announced late Thursday that it had suspended its residence-life education program, days after a prominent free-speech group accused the institution of engaging in “systematic thought reform.” In a message to the university, Patrick T. Harker, Delaware’s president, said administrators and faculty members would review the program. “There are questions about its practices that must be addressed,” Mr. Harker said, “and there are reasons for concern that the actual purpose is not being fulfilled.” To read the full story, please click here: http://chronicle.com/daily/2007/11/586n.htm

      » Read More

    • Diversity program creates division

      November 2, 2007

      When University of Delaware freshmen showed up at their dorms this semester, their orientation included an exercise aimed at bridging cultural divides. But the program backfired after they were told to write down stereotypes of different ethnic and religious groups and publicly give their views on issues such as gay marriage and affirmative action. “You have girls giving you hard looks because they’re Jewish, and you just wrote something offensive, like they’re cheap, even though you don’t believe it,” said Grace Banks, 18, of Smyrna. “It caused a lot of separations. . . . The whole situation was really uncomfortable.” […]

      » Read More

    • U. of Del. says dorm program isn’t ‘thought control’

      November 2, 2007

      by Associated Press The First Amendment Center   DOVER, Del. — University of Delaware officials yesterday defended a residence-hall program that a civil rights group has criticized as trying to force dormitory residents to adopt university-approved ideologies on moral and social issues. School officials said students who choose to participate in the residential-life educational program are not required to adopt particular points of view but are presented with ideas to challenge them and stimulate conversation and debate on various topics, including diversity. “Far from stifling free speech, the residential-life educational program seeks to encourage free speech,” said vice president for […]

      » Read More

    • Victory at University of Delaware

      November 1, 2007

      University President Ends Mandatory Ideological Reeducation Program   NEWARK, Del., November 2, 2007—After an intense campaign led by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the University of Delaware has dropped an ideological reeducation program that was referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The program’s stated goal was for the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on politics, race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. Following FIRE’s campaign, which called the attention of the national media and the blogosphere to the Orwellian […]

      » Read More

    • Victory at University of Delaware

      November 1, 2007

      Late Thursday, University of Delaware President Patrick Harker released on the school’s website a Message to the University of Delaware Community terminating the university’s ideological reeducation program, which FIRE condemned as an exercise in thought reform. He stated, “I have directed that the program be stopped immediately. No further activities under the current framework will be conducted.” Harker also called for a “full and broad-based review” of the program’s practices and purposes. While concerns remain about the University of Delaware’s commitment to free expression, FIRE commends President Harker for his decision to immediately terminate the Orwellian residence life education program. […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware Starts Removing Materials from Web Site

      November 1, 2007

      The University of Delaware has removed its “Whole New World” training materials from its website—the materials that included the teachings about racism which we mentioned in our letter and press release about the case, and which have been roundly criticized by multiple bloggers (here’s one among many).  The materials used to be here.   For the record, they were titled: Confessions of Donna (actually the title is “Confessions of a Recovering Racist”) – still in Google cache Culture of White Supremacy – still online in almost identical form, for example, here Detour Spotting for White Anti Racists – still online […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE Responds to Delaware’s Reply

      November 1, 2007

      FIRE is shocked and disappointed that the University of Delaware has chosen to defend its invasive and unconstitutional residence life education program. Our five-point response to Michael Gilbert’s reply to us is here. The evidence supporting our analysis is overwhelming, and we offer a few hundred pages of materials to those who want to see them here.   We also continue to get anonymous and signed accounts from students that support our analysis, and today we got an anonymous package in the mail containing still more “lesson plans” that RAs are, apparently, required to deliver. For instance, in the “Room […]

      » Read More

    • Another Former Delaware RA Speaks Out

      November 1, 2007

      The Say Anything blog has posted another account from a former RA at Delaware that just adds to the huge volume of reaction that FIRE is getting from its exposure of the University of Delaware’s thought reform program. This former RA, Dan Lenker, begins:  I was also a Resident Assistant for the University of Delaware before I transferred out of state in 2006. FIRE IS JUSTIFIED in its accusations. In regards to previous comments stating that students should just go elsewhere, that is very unfair to in-state students since Delaware has a very limited university selection, and out of state […]

      » Read More

    • More Delaware Students and RAs Speak Out

      November 1, 2007

      We continue to get reports from the front, from University of Delaware students—and a former RA—who say that yes, the thought reform program really is this bad at the University of Delaware. These reports are in addition to the reports published earlier this week.    One former RA and current student is so scared of retribution that he/she wrote us from an anonymous email address, writing:  I was an RA before they started this new curriculum at the University of Delaware. When they instituted this curriculum, they had a “you better love it, or get out!” attitude. I didn’t like it, […]

      » Read More

    • FIRE Response to Michael Gilbert, Vice President for Student Life, University of Delaware

      November 1, 2007

      FIRE is shocked and disappointed that the University of Delaware has chosen to defend its invasive and unconstitutional residence life education program. Rather than immediately renounce and dismantle what the university itself calls a “treatment” program for students living in its residence halls, the school has chosen instead to obfuscate, deny, and distort the program’s intention, its operation, and its effect. Vice President for Student Life Michael Gilbert raises several erroneous and misleading points in response to FIRE’s October 29 letter that demand an immediate answer. Below is a list of assertions from Gilbert’s letter, followed by FIRE’s rebuttal of […]

      » Read More

    • Some made uneasy by UD diversity training

      November 1, 2007

      Brooke Aldrich considers herself open-minded and accepting of all kinds of people. But the University of Delaware freshman said statements made in a recent diversity training session on her floor of Russell Hall tried to make her believe she was a racist. “I personally have no problem with anyone of any background, race, sexual identity, or any religion,” said the 18-year-old Hockessin resident, who is majoring in animal science. “I accept people for who they are as people. But coming out of the group sessions makes you feel as if I was in some way a racist, just by the […]

      » Read More

    • The Delaware Approach: Coming Soon to a Campus Near You?

      October 31, 2007

      The University of Delaware’s senior residence life staff are so proud of their totalitarian approach to student “education” that they are hoping to export their model to educators from around the country.   In the November–December 2006 issue of About Campus—a magazine for college and university educators—UD Director of Residence Life Kathleen Kerr and Associate Director of Residence Life James Tweedy published an article entitled “Beyond Seat Time and Student Satisfaction: A Curricular Approach to Residential Education.” In that article, Kerr and Tweedy discuss their belief that residence halls “represent an important setting for delivering a curriculum focused on citizenship […]

      » Read More

    • Delaware Association of Scholars Denounces University of Delaware Reeducation Program

      October 31, 2007

      Yesterday, the Delaware Association of Scholars (DAS) joined FIRE in denouncing the egregious program of thought reform at the University of Delaware. Extreme by any measure, the program is an out-and-out assault on the individual liberty, dignity, privacy and autonomy of UD students. It is tyranny disguised as citizenship education. DAS makes the same point that FIRE made yesterday: While such a program would be very problematic on any campus, it is also unlawful and unconstitutional at a public university. A public university is required by law and the Constitution to respect the constitutional rights of its students. No public […]

      » Read More

    • Is the University of Delaware Violating the Federal Law on Human Subject Research?

      October 31, 2007

      A core part of the University of Delaware’s residential life program focuses on finding the most effective method for behavioral and thought reform. As covered in the FIRE press release, the University’s own research agenda, and previous posts, the University’s residential life program requires its students to undergo experimental thought-reform “treatments.” The University assesses and tracks the efficacy of their various “treatments” through pre- and post-treatment surveys, one-on-one interviews and behavioral observation. Unfortunately, it conducts this research without informing its students that they are being used as subjects in a massive reeducation experiment.   The federal law governing research on […]

      » Read More

    • Mike Adams on University of Delaware

      October 31, 2007

      Check out Mike Adams’ cutting rebuke of the University of Delaware’s comprehensive thought reform program: The University of Delaware has just become one of the most Orwellian campuses in America. Students in its residence halls are now being subjected to a re-education program that is actually dubbed—in the university’s own tax-payer funded materials—as “treatment” for students who have incorrect attitudes and beliefs.   Delaware now requires nearly 7,000 students in its residence halls to adopt specific public university-approved (read: government-approved) views on issues ranging from race, to sexuality, to philosophy. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (see www.TheFire.org) is […]

      » Read More

    • Brave Newark World

      October 31, 2007

      The University of Delaware has just become one of the most Orwellian campuses in . Students in its residence halls are now being subjected to a re-education program that is actually dubbed—in the university’s own tax-payer funded materials—as “treatment” for students who have incorrect attitudes and beliefs. Delaware now requires nearly 7,000 students in its residence halls to adopt specific public university-approved (read: government-approved) views on issues ranging from race, to sexuality, to philosophy. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (see www.TheFire.org) is calling for the total dismantling of the program. Readers of this column should call (302-831-2111) or […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware accused of indoctrinating students

      October 31, 2007

      The University of Delaware has come under fire by a civil rights group that claims the school is trying to force dormitory residents to adopt university-approved ideologies on moral and social issues. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, said the university’s residence life education program amounts to an “Orwellian” attempt at thought control that violates students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech. The group says they’ve “never encountered a more systematic assault upon individual liberty, dignity, privacy and autonomy of university students than this program.” FIRE officials called for the program, whose goal […]

      » Read More

    • Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend: Thought Reform Makes Another Appearance

      October 30, 2007

      Showing stunning disregard for their students’ rights, the University of Delaware has been operating a mandatory “residence life education program” in its residence halls. The program, brazenly referred to by university administrators as a “treatment” designed to alter students’ interior beliefs as well as their outward conduct, requires all students living in the residence halls to adopt specific university-approved viewpoints on various issues, ranging from politics and sociology to moral philosophy and even science. Firsthand materials from the program are available here, and student reactions are available here.   As detailed in FIRE’s press release and in Adam’s post, the […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware: Students Speak Out

      October 30, 2007

      Students are speaking out against the University of Delaware thought-control program. (See today’s press release for more information.) One student writes: When I walked in for the one-on-one, I was handed a sheet of paper and asked to fill it out.  Even though I tried to explain that I didn’t feel comfortable filling out a sheet, I was told that it was mandatory. When I asked what would happen with it once it was handed in, she said it would be placed in a file and nobody would access it. I still felt slightly uncomfortable with the idea, but complied anyway.  The answers on […]

      » Read More

    • Yes, Blue Hens, Your Reeducation Is Mandatory

      October 30, 2007

      At the University of Delaware (UD), as we announced in our press release today, reeducation in the residence halls is mandatory. As a freshman, unless you live at home, you must live in one of these dormitories-cum-reeducation camps. (1) Public and internal documents alike stress time and again that “every student” must be reached. As an RA says about one-on-one sessions, “Not to scare anyone or anything, but these are MANDATORY!!” (2) The philosophy of the program is defined explicitly as being distinct from that of the “voluntary” program model. (3) RAs “deliver” the “curriculum” at mandatory meetings. (4) For […]

      » Read More

    • University of Delaware Requires Students to Undergo Ideological Reeducation

      October 30, 2007

      NEWARK, Del., October 30, 2007—The University of Delaware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and […]

      » Read More

    • Indoctrination at Delaware

      October 30, 2007

      Many universities try to indoctrinate students, but the all-time champion in this category is surely the University of Delaware. With no guile at all the university has laid out a brutally specific program for “treatment” of incorrect attitudes of the 7,000 students in its residence halls. The program is close enough to North Korean brainwashing that students and professors have been making “made in North Korea” jokes about the plan. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has called for the program to be dismantled. Residential assistants charged with imposing the “treatments” have undergone intensive training from the university. […]

      » Read More