University of Delaware

Location: Newark, Delaware
Website: http://www.udel.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Delaware has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • University of Delaware: Students Required to Undergo Ideological Reeducation

    October 29, 2007

    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 […]

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Student Centers Policies: Campus Speakers 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes

    The costs of all necessary arrangements must be absorbed by the host organization. (The host group is responsible for ensuring the safety of the speaker as well as those who listen, and the expense for such arrangements must be borne by the host group.)

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  • Student Centers Policies: Use of Campus Buildings and Grounds by Students and On Campus Groups 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Recognized student organizations seeking to hold events on the grounds or public areas of buildings must submit an Outside Facilities Use Request with approval of the Director of the University Student Centers or his or her designee.

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  • Student Guide to University Policies: Code of Conduct- Disruptive Conduct 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Specific violations of this standard include, but are not limited to: … Making, exhibiting, or producing any inappropriate, loud, or disruptive noise or behavior

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  • Student Guide to University Policies: Code of Conduct- Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a physical nature when: … such conduct has the purpose or effect of unlawfully interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or unlawfully creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.

    The following is a non-exhaustive list of actions that may constitute sexual harassment: … Repeated degrading or insulting comments that demean an individual’s sexuality or sex; Unwarranted displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures ….

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  • Student Guide to University Policies: Code of Conduct- Other Discriminatory Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Other discriminatory harassment includes any verbal or physical conduct toward another that is based on the other’s race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law, and that: a. unreasonably creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning and/or working environment; or
    unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance.

    Behavior of a sexual or discriminatory nature that does not necessarily rise to the level of sexual or other discriminatory harassment may nonetheless be unprofessional in the workplace, disruptive in the classroom, or violate other University policies and could warrant remedial actions and/or discipline.

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Green Light Policies
  • Is the Truth Politically Correct?

    March 6, 2013

    Greg Lukianoff, the author of Unlearning Liberty, was recently interviewed in The Wall Street Journal on the subject of politically correct speech in colleges and universities. Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, is alarmed by the loss of free speech on university campuses.  Lukianoff says baby boomers who remember universities as institutions of free thinking would not recognize today’s schools. Where once there was freedom of speech, now there are strict speech codes determined by extreme political correctness. Just how bad is it? In 2007 Brandeis University made a finding of harassment against a professor for simply explaining the […]

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  • ‘Unlearning Liberty’

    January 3, 2013

    by Allie Grasgreen Inside Higher Ed In spring of 2007, Valdosta State University student Hayden Barnes was expelled for posing a “clear and present danger” to campus. To protest an expensive and environmentally unfriendly parking garage, Barnes had created a collage illustrating potential dangers the garage might cause (smog, environmental destruction, etc.) and posted it on Facebook, calling the project the “[Valdosta State President Ronald] Zaccari Memorial Parking Garage. The “memorial” bit referred to Zaccari’s calling the garage part of his legacy, but the president, who had been assured Barnes was harmless, claimed to take it as an “indirect” threat […]

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  • Young: Political correctness on campus chills debate

    November 26, 2012

    ‘You have a right to your opinion unless it oppresses others.” I came across this maxim — a sure prescription for well-intentioned censorship — a few days ago on Tumblr, the social media site popular with the college-age crowd. Judging by its number of “likes” and “shares,” the post had found widespread support among the site’s users. Fortuitously, I happened to be reading Greg Lukianoff’s excellent new book, “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate,” which explains well how such a thought-stifling mindset would take hold. Lukianoff, an attorney, is president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education […]

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  • How Free Speech Died on Campus

    November 16, 2012

    At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university—”a bizarre, parallel dimension,” as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, calls it. Mr. Lukianoff, a 38-year-old Stanford Law grad, has spent the past decade fighting free-speech battles on college campuses. The latest was last week at Fordham University, where President Joseph McShane scolded College Republicans for the sin of inviting Ann Coulter to speak.  […]

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  • Free Speech on FIRE

    November 10, 2012

    The essentiality of freedom in the community of American universities is almost self-evident,” wrote Earl Warren in a 1957 Supreme Court opinion. Apparently, American universities themselves have come to disagree. In Unlearning Liberty, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) president Greg Lukianoff demonstrates that the First Amendment is in serious danger at many institutions of higher learning. Where universities once went to court to protect campus speech from state intrusion, students and even professors must now go to court to keep schools from censoring them. Sometimes schools go beyond censoring unapproved viewpoints, and simply compel students to express the […]

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  • Flash! Republicans urge free speech on college campuses

    October 10, 2012

    With the elections imminent and rivalries fiercely cresting, I was surprised and very pleased to find this on page 12 of the Republican Party’s national platform: “We oppose governmental censorship of speech through the so—called Fairness Doctrine or by government enforcement of speech codes, free speech zones or other forms of ‘political correctness’ on campus.” This clarion call to our most fundamental individual constitutional freedom is a much—needed recognition by the GOP that many colleges and universities have long been dictating what views can and cannot be expressed on campus by individual students and professors. So far this recognition has […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • ‘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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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. […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • Flunking free speech

    December 24, 2007

    In 1995, the liberal New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis advised his young readers—a constituency he mistakenly assumed existed—that if they felt wounded, were abnormally thin-skinned, or desirous of professorial protection against a delicate sensibility, they might consider enrolling at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an institution possessing rigorous safeguards against various forms of “harassment.” This was all rather surprising to Lewis because, as he noted, “Speech codes at universities had seemed to be on the decline. Several were held unconstitutional. So it is of more than parochial interest that an extraordinarily sweeping code should be proposed in this […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • U. of Delaware Abandons Sessions on Diversity

    November 16, 2007

    The University of Delaware spent years refining its residence-life education program. One week of public criticism unraveled it. Late last month, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a free-speech group, accused the university of promoting specific views on race, sexuality, and morality in a series of discussions held in dormitories. The program was designed to build understanding among diverse students, but some participants complained that it told them how to think and pried into their beliefs with questions like “When did you discover your sexual identity?” To read the full story, please click here: http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i12/12a00103.htm

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  • Academic cesspools II

    November 14, 2007

    In my Oct. 20 column in these pages on “Academic cesspools,” I wrote about “Indoctrinate U,” a recently released documentary exposing egregious university indoctrination of young people at prestigious and not-so-prestigious universities (www.onthefencefilms.com/movies.html). I said the documentary only captured the tip of a disgusting iceberg. The Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a frontline organization in the battle against academic suppression of free speech and thought, released information about what’s going on at the University of Delaware, and probably at other universities as well, that should send chills up the spines of parents of college-age students. The following […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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., […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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, […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • ‘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 […]

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  • Is freedom to speak, freedom to hate?

    February 21, 2006

    Bob Huber has close ties to skinhead groups in the region. He operates a hate-based record label in Newark and plays guitar for a hardcore band called Teardown. He is featured in the “Skinhead Hall of Fame” on a popular white supremacist Web site. He sports racist tatoos. And last month, with the help of the Keystone State Skinheads, he organized UPRISE 2006, a white power hardcore rock show in Southeastern Pennsylvania that drew more than 150 people. He also taught Introductory Physics II (PHYS 202) at the university last month. The Wilmington News Journal reported Feb. 12 that Huber, […]

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  • U. of Delaware Opts for Tobacco Policy That Won’t Hinder Researchers and Student Groups

    August 14, 2014

    Earlier this year, the University of Delaware (UD) considered a tobacco-free campus policy that contained a provision (PDF) that would have forbidden “[u]niversity programs, departments, and student organizations, including campus publications … from accepting money, advertising, and gifts from tobacco companies.” Thankfully, after a UD professor spoke up about the overly broad reach of this provision, the university dropped this language from the policy and implemented a version more respectful of free speech and academic freedom on August 1.

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  • 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 […]

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  • U of Delaware Tries to Enforce Trademark Law Through Campus Courts

    December 14, 2012

    The annals of FIRE’s cases provide plenty of examples of universities doing a terrible job of adjudicating campus offenses from protesting, to rape to, er, saying things on Facebook that people don’t like. Now the University of Delaware, last seen giving George Orwell’s vision a run for its money, has a new job for its campus courts: dealing with trademark infringement. At issue is the case of two students, Benjamin Goodman and Adam Bloom, who invested thousands of dollars in producing t-shirts to be sold to UD student sports fans with the tasteless (but probably inevitable) slogan: “U can suck […]

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  • Anti-Bullying Rule Threatens Free Speech at University of Delaware

    August 10, 2012

    NEWARK, Del., August 10, 2012—In violation of its legal and moral obligation to protect students’ First Amendment rights, the University of Delaware (UD) has adopted a prohibition on “bullying” that subjects students to punishment for constitutionally protected speech, including “teasing” or “ridiculing” other students.   “No one likes bullying, but most conduct that could be called bullying on the college level is already illegal. This policy goes much too far by prohibiting constitutionally protected speech,” said Samantha Harris, Director of Speech Code Research for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).  The policy, which FIRE has named “Speech Code […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Delaware

    August 10, 2012

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for August 2012: the University of Delaware (UD). UD’s Code of Conduct prohibits “bullying,” defined as Any deliberately hurtful behavior, usually repeated over time, with the desired outcome of frightening, intimidating, excluding or degrading a person. This includes, but is not limited to, physical assault, verbal abuse, teasing, ridiculing and spreading of rumors or private information about a person and may be done by any method of delivery, such as verbal, written or electronic. With this, UD is the latest university to implement a poorly drafted, overbroad bullying policy that threatens constitutionally […]

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  • 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, […]

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  • 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. […]

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  • University of Delaware Professor Jan Blits Receives Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award

    February 11, 2011

    FIRE is pleased to announce that University of Delaware professor and FIRE friend Jan Blits will receive the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award tonight at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) from Michael Grebe of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The $10,000 award is given annually to a person who has been outstanding in upholding academic freedom and the ability to speak freely at America’s colleges and universities. In 2009, Professor Blits received FIRE’s own Prometheus Award for his efforts in ending the University of Delaware’s appalling political indoctrination program. Blits, along with fellow University of Delaware professor Linda […]

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  • Resolutions to Protect Academic Freedom of Faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Delaware

    November 19, 2010

    Faculty bodies around the country have been enacting new academic freedom protections in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, about which we have written plenty here on The Torch. In a footnote in Garcetti, the Court reserved the question of whether professors at public universities have academic freedom to criticize university policies or even enjoy academic freedom in their own research and teaching, but some lower court decisions in academic freedom cases since Garcetti have nevertheless further endangered faculty members’ traditional academic freedom. Joining the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin, the Faculty Senate at the […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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, […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE’s Thought Reform Efforts Continue to Resonate

    May 1, 2009

    It seems like every week we’re reporting that FIRE’s short film on the University of Delaware’s experiment in thought reform has doubled the amount of views received on YouTube from the week before—a trend I’m all too happy to continue. This week the folks at Reason (which—throwback!—published Alan Charles Kors’ article “Thought Reform 101″ back in 2000) gave FIRE an extra hand by blogging about the video on their website, helping to push it toward 50,000 views. Thought reform at Delaware was also the subject of Robert’s article this week for Pajamas Media. Robert also discussed Virginia Tech’s efforts at […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • 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  

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  • Rights in the News: Harvey’s Harvard Candidacy Continues to Grab Headlines

    February 27, 2009

    As April’s election for Harvard University’s Board of Overseers draws nearer, the candidacy of FIRE co-founder and chairman Harvey Silverglate continues to attract attention and enthusiasm. Scot Lehigh’s excellent column in The Boston Globe is just the latest testament to this, as Adam wrote earlier for The Torch (and as the Cato Institute’s Cato @ Liberty blog briefly noted as well). Even unlikely supporters such as this blogger in Falmouth, Nova Scotia have taken notice of Harvey’s candidacy. FIRE expects the energy to continue to rise in the final weeks before voting ballots are sent out to Harvard alumni. Hopefully […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • Rights in the News: FIRE’s Letter to Obama Hopes to Inaugurate New Era for Speech on Campus

    January 23, 2009

    This past Tuesday, which saw the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, FIRE sent President Obama a letter detailing the violations pervading America’s higher education system, and requesting that the President and his administration join the fight against unconstitutional speech policies that threaten the liberties of millions of students. Phi Beta Cons is just one of the many interested observers waiting to see how the new administration will respond to FIRE’s letter. As a constitutional scholar and a former lecturer on constitutional law, we and many others in the legal and academic communities are […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-Up: Quick Victory at Binghamton Keeps FIRE Looming Large

    November 21, 2008

    It’s a good day when FIRE is able to declare victory in a nasty dispute before the waves of attention generated by our initial involvement have had time to settle. Such was the case with Binghamton University’s (BU’s) Department of Social Work, which dropped its investigation of graduate student Andre Massena within a day of FIRE exposing his egregious treatment at the hands of BU administrators. The Volokh Conspiracy, which picked up FIRE’s press release detailing BU’s appalling violations of Massena’s constitutional rights within hours of its being issued, was equally quick to report FIRE’s victory. Students for Academic Freedom […]

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  • Citing University of Delaware Case, UGA Student Calls For Respect of Students’ Rights in Dorm Life

    November 19, 2008

    University of Georgia (UGA) student Chris Chiego published an op-ed in today’s edition of The Red and Black, UGA’s student newspaper, describing a number of issues that have occurred within the university’s residential life program. Recently, an entire floor of a dorm at the university was fined as a result of vandalism in a shared bathroom. As Chiego puts it, “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.” Other problems are more serious, and include housing policies forbidding […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: Victory at Temple College Highlights FIRE’s Week

    November 7, 2008

    FIRE scored another victory for free speech and academic freedom this week with its successful intervention on behalf of Kerry Laird, an instructor at Temple College (TX) who was ordered to remove a religiously themed cartoon and a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche translating to “God is dead” from his office door. Within half an hour of receiving FIRE’s letter, Temple College President Glenda O. Barron swiftly and commendably reversed the order and reaffirmed Laird’s constitutional rights at the public college. Scott Jaschik, writing for Inside Higher Ed, ably captures both the gravity of the constitutional issues at stake at Temple […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: National Media Takes Quinnipiac to School, With FIRE’s Help

    October 31, 2008

    The national media has officially descended on Quinnipiac University (QU), with FIRE’s early efforts to end the injustices visited on the Quad News and the QU chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) helping to pave the way. FIRE’s press release issued Wednesday helped to bring a new wave of attention to QU’s shoddy treatment of the newly formed Quad News, as well as the administration’s threats against the SPJ for associating with that independent publication. Law professor Eugene Volokh is only one of many to take notice of FIRE’s warning to QU; the Free Expression Network and the […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: FIRE’s Defense of Satire and Political Expression on Full Display

    October 24, 2008

    Earlier this week, FIRE blogged and issued a press release about Lone Star College–Tomball’s threats against the school’s Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter for distributing a satirical and entirely protected “gun-safety” flyer. After pointing out the college’s exploitation of the tragedies at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois as a way to silence protected speech, we also castigated the administration for contemplating punishing YCT with probation or outright dissolution. As Adam pointed out in plain terms, “there is simply nothing to investigate and not a single reason to censor.” Lone Star’s completely unreasonable response has drawn the ire of numerous […]

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  • Delaware Program’s Continued Significance Informs Recent Articles

    October 13, 2008

    “The abracadabra bon mot is ‘sustainability.’” So goes a recent editorial in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune by Katherine Kersten examining the growing trend on university campuses to promote a highly varied and politicized agenda among its members under the guise of a seemingly benign magic word. “[W]hat, exactly, does ‘sustainability’ mean?” asks Kersten. For many, she says, it signifies small-scale, non-controversial efforts people can make to help preserve the environment. “It has the ring of improving the environment, and conjures up images of low-voltage light bulbs and farmers markets. If so, say many folks, bring it on.” While many universities have […]

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  • Weekly Media Round-up: FIRE’s Expertise Widely Cited, and Pressure Grows on Brandeis and Third Circuit Schools

    October 3, 2008

    Today’s Chicago Tribune featured an article examining the widening controversy over restrictions on political speech and activity at the University of Illinois, which go so far as to suggest that displaying a candidate’s bumper sticker on one’s car is out of bounds. FIRE is closely monitoring this case, as well as a similar situation at the University of Oklahoma, where all manner of political speech has been banned from the university network. FIRE has sent letters to both universities, asking for immediate clarification of the policies consistent with each school’s legal obligation to uphold the First Amendment on campus. Hopefully […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • ‘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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • 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 […]

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  • ‘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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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. […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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.

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • Looking Back at the University of Delaware

    December 24, 2007

    When FIRE first heard reports of a mandatory thought reform program at the University of Delaware (UD) this fall, we began an investigation that led to our exposing a deeply disturbing attempt at ideological reeducation—right in the residence halls of a public university in America. The buzzword du jour used to describe the UD program was “shocking,” and that classification was spot-on. In fact, the details of the Residence Life program were so shocking that we fielded hundreds of calls and e-mails from the media, our supporters, our allies, and the general public questioning the validity of our claims. But […]

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  • Psychotherapy in the Delaware Dorms

    December 13, 2007

    Tom Wood at the National Association of Scholars has begun a series of articles on the notorious Residence Life program at the University of Delaware, under the title “Tracking Down Indoctrination.” In the second article in the series, “Psychotherapeutic Interventions, Transformative Learning, and the Dorms of U Delaware,” Wood makes a good observation about the scope of the Delaware coverage thus far: [V]irtually all of the attention has been directed at the details of the radical views on race it promulgated. Little or no attention has been given to placing these details within the larger context of the concept of […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • University of Wisconsin’s Bias Reporting System Went Out with a Whimper, But Anonymous Bias Reporting Systems Remain

    November 29, 2007

    An article in The American Thinker mentions FIRE’s victory at the University of Delaware, where an egregious thought reform program was shut down after FIRE’s publicity campaign. The article highlights “Think Respect,” a “bias reporting mechanism” at the University of Wisconsin whereby students were encouraged to “report anything” that could possibly be construed as bias-related. A bias incident was defined to include “verbal, written or physical” acts directed against a student because of “actual or perceived characteristic(s)” such as political affiliation and religion. The program was condemned by eminent University of Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse, who noted that such […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • John Leo and Don Downs on the University of Delaware Case

    November 27, 2007

    There has been a lot of great coverage of the University of Delaware case, but I want to draw special attention to two important articles over at Minding the Campus. First is Don Downs’ article, which asks, “Where Was The Faculty?” In his article Don explores the role of administrators in creating the program and the complicity of faculty in allowing it to happen. Don writes about his institution, the University of Wisconsin, “Other than the speech codes—which the faculty abolished after giving the measures a second look in the late 1990s—the major threats to free thought at Wisconsin have arisen from programs […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • We have reasons for giving thanks

    November 22, 2007

    That’s what Thanksgiving is all about, a uniquely American holiday that was born in the Judeo-Christian heritage upon which the country was established, that has been ordained by Congress and that has been proclaimed by the President.   Other cultures and other countries do recognize times of thanksgiving, but only in the United States has what is considered a solemn occasion been celebrated with feasting rather than fasting, with joy rather than remorse, with anticipation rather than reflection.   Even in the country’s most difficult times — the struggles for simple survival by the earliest colonists, the dark days of […]

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  • Taking My Licks at the University of Delaware

    November 20, 2007

    Last night I realized that I have had it pretty easy all these years speaking on college campuses as a First Amendment advocate. After dozens of speeches at dozens of colleges, I’ve come to expect low to moderate turnout. Those who show up largely support free speech even if it’s controversial (at least in theory), and usually no campus speaker or student—despite great efforts to find one, in some cases—seriously wants to take the other side of the issue. That was not at all the case at University of Delaware (UD) last night, however. I was invited to UD to […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • U. of Delaware Story Hits Student Press

    November 9, 2007

    The college media has taken note of FIRE’s recent case at the University of Delaware. This morning, the University of Pennsylvania’s Daily Pennsylvanian ran a feature story on the controversy. And on Thursday, The Harvard Crimson ran a staff editorial critical of Delaware’s program. The Crimson staff wrote: This is not the stuff of cultural cohesion. Rather, the program at the University of Delaware represents the worst mechanisms for building diversity on a college campus: Its methods were to victimize and criminalize, and its effects were to polarize. […] We are relieved that the University of Delaware program has been […]

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  • Kaminer on University of Delaware: ‘Continuing Vigilance’ Necessary

    November 7, 2007

    Noted author, feminist, and civil libertarian Wendy Kaminer makes several excellent observations about FIRE’s recent victory at the University of Delaware (UD) on The Free For All, the blog she shares with FIRE co-founder Harvey Silverglate. Following up on her perceptive comments about the “un-American” qualities of UD’s reeducation program from last week, Kaminer sagely points out that as ever, sunlight is the best disinfectant—particularly when an egregious abuse of individual rights, like the one exposed at UD, is institutionally sponsored. As she writes: University of Delaware officials did not terminate this program because they suddenly realized the wrongfulness of […]

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  • John Leo: ‘Brainwashing 101’

    November 7, 2007

    Check out another great column by John Leo about the University of Delaware’s reeducation program.  John writes: Among the questions now being debated: why did President Harker merely suspend the program for the rest of the academic year, instead of quashing it entirely? And more basically, why should dormitories have their own curriculum? Possible answer: highly ideological freshman orientation programs are now widespread and meet so little resistance, the temptation to extend the brainwashing to all four years of college may seem irresistible to eager ideologues. And he concludes: In addition to its indoctrination, the residence program has its own […]

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  • Health Care Renewal Blog on U. of Delaware’s Thought Reform Program

    November 5, 2007

    Last week, FIRE CFN member and crusader against corruption in health care Roy M. Poses wrote a great analysis of the University of Delaware’s former reeducation program from the perspective of medical ethics: [T]his program seems to profoundly violate some fundamental values of health care and of human research. Except in very particular cases of incompetent patients or patients who are at immediate risk of harming themselves and others, no one should be subject to a treatment without his or her consent. In such a situation, compelling subjects to participate in associated research is equally unethical. Some may argue that […]

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  • Media Documents Delaware’s Defense, Dismantling of Dorm Program

    November 5, 2007

    As Torch readers no doubt know by now, the University of Delaware announced the immediate suspension of its residence hall reeducation program this past Thursday. This stunning and much-welcomed development was due in large part to the extensive media coverage generated by FIRE’s efforts. Luke has covered the blogosphere’s reaction, but the traditional media is also to be commended for knowing an important story when it sees one. The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Associated Press, and The News Journal (Delaware) all provided thorough coverage of both FIRE’s concerns about the program and its subsequent termination. FIRE […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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, […]

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  • 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

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  • 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.” […]

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  • 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 program, […]

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  • 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. […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • University of Delaware, Thought Reform, and Widgets

    November 1, 2007

    Many students from the University of Delaware (UD) have contacted FIRE to express their outrage over the university’s reeducation program. Don’t worry, there is much you can do in addition to speaking out on campus. FIRE has assembled essential resources to aid active students, faculty members, and concerned citizens in their efforts to oppose campus oppression. We encourage college students, and especially students at UD, to join FIRE’s Campus Freedom Network (CFN), our new initiative to preserve individual rights on college campuses. The CFN is a network of students and faculty members dedicated to advancing individual liberty on their campuses. […]

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  • 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, […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 human […]

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  • 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 calling […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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. […]

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  • Student Sues University of Delaware

    August 2, 2007

    A University of Delaware student filed suit against the university on Wednesday, claiming the university violated his First Amendment rights. Administrators suspended and banned Maciej Murakowski from campus after students complained that a number of posts on his website were graphic, “racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic.” He’s seeking reinstatement, credit for missed classes, and punitive damages.

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  • University of Delaware President Doesn’t Punish Students for Party

    May 18, 2007

    Students at the University of Delaware held a “south of the border” party where attendees dressed up like Hispanic gangsters and Latino gardeners wearing nametags with Latino names such “Pedro” and “Jose.” Campus outrage ensued. Several of the students involved have apologized.   University of Delaware President David Roselle released a statement on May 11 praising university members who responded responsibly to the party, which they found offensive. He said, “Candid and respectful conversations have helped resolve this situation and have led to a better understanding of the perspectives of others.”   President Roselle also promised to withhold punishment from […]

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  • FIRE Co-Founder to Debate at the University of Delaware

    May 3, 2007

    Next week, FIRE co-founder Alan Charles Kors will debate William Galson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, on the topic, “Have Universities Become the Enemy of a Free Society?” The debate will take place on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Delaware’s Trabant Theater.   Dr. Galson was formerly one of President Clinton’s top advisors, and is currently a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. Dr. Kors is the George H. Walker Endowed Term Chair at the University of Pennsylvania and, along with Harvey Silverglate, is the co-founder of FIRE and author of The […]

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  • Still Looking for Answers from Phi Beta Kappa

    December 14, 2005

    FIRE recently wrote a letter to John Churchill, secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, in which we ask the organization to stand behind its stated commitment to freedom of expression by addressing the issue of repressive speech codes at its member institutions. In a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required), Churchill responded that although Phi Beta Kappa is “interested in freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression,” the society does not “undertake that kind of investigative activity.” Apparently, the society has the resources to conduct a “rigorous three-year review” of prospective member institutions that includes […]

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