Women’s Studies Course at the University of South Carolina Requires Loyalty Oath

May 28, 2002

By Brian Carnell at EquityFeminism.com

CNSNews.Com recently reported about a women’s studies graduate seminar at the University of South Carolina that apparently requires students to adhere to the ideological views of the professor teaching the class.

The class is taught by professor Lynn Weber, who is also the director of USC’s Women’s Studies Program. In “guidelines for classroom discussion” that Weber distributes, students are told that they must,

acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and other institutional forms of oppression exist.

The guidelines go on to inform students that by participating in the class they “agree to combat actively the myths and stereotypes about our own groups and other groups.”

According to CNSNews.Com, a student who objected to this ideological litmus test forwarded a copy to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education which fired off a letter to USC pointing out that the guidelines are unconstitutional. As FIRE President Alan Charles Kors wrote in a letter to USC,

Through these official ‘guidelines,’ USC demands that students embrace and remain loyal to professor Weber’s own viewpoints and beliefs. In a USC classroom, in a required course, no less, students must hold a preordained set of opinions, regardless of whether or not they agree, under the stated, explicit, and coercive threat of being graded poorly for honest intellectual dissent.

Universities tend to value academic freedom above everything else, except when uppity students get the idea that it applies to them as well.

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Cases: University of South Carolina: Mandated Orthodoxy in the Classroom