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 behalf of individual rights, due process rights and rights of conscience on campuses) is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which they contend is a “flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech.”


University of Delaware ’s residence life education program is a grave intrusion into students’ private beliefs,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “The university has decided that it is not enough to expose its students to the values it considers important; instead, it must coerce its students into accepting those values as their own. At a public university like Delaware , this is both unconscionable and unconstitutional.”

FIRE reports that the university’s views “are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to ‘sustainability’ door decorations.”

Allegedly the U of D students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs).

The RAs who facilitate these meetings have received their own intensive training from the university, including a “diversity facilitation training” session at which RAs were taught that “[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.”

RAs, according to FIRE, are directed to ask intrusive personal questions such as “When did you discover your sexual identity?”

According to FIRE, the university has decreed its students must be reconditioned to recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society.

FIRE quotes the University materials: “Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression,” and “Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality.”

FIRE claims students are required to take actions that outwardly indicate their agreement with the university’s ideology, regardless of their personal beliefs.

Such actions include displaying specific door decorations, committing to reduce their ecological footprint by at least 20%, taking action by advocating for an “oppressed” social group, and taking action by advocating for a “sustainable world.”

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Schools: University of Delaware Cases: University of Delaware: Students Required to Undergo Ideological Reeducation