University of Delaware: Students Required to Undergo Ideological Reeducation

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: University of Delaware

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