Colleges and universities continue to compete with each other over who can link the most absurd aspects of education to “white supremacy.”
The latest example comes from the University of Colorado-Boulder, which during a recent conference for instructors and graduate students insisted that “perfectionism” and a “sense of urgency” were aspects of “white supremacy,” Campus Reform reported.
“The university’s Equitable Teaching Conference, hosted by the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, convened instructors and graduate students for virtual sessions on how to use ‘equity-minded practices’ in the classroom. Attendance at the conference was entirely voluntary; faculty and instructors were not required to participate,” the outlet reported. “Presentation slides obtained by Campus Reform reveal details of a session titled ‘Anti-racist pedagogy and decolonizing the classroom,’ taught by Dr. Becca Ciancanelli. One of the slides lists ‘perfectionism,’ ‘sense of urgency,’ ‘quantity over quality,’ and ‘individualism’ as ‘Cultural norms of White Supremacy.’”
Slides for “decolonizing the classroom” told participants they should “resist colonial and neoliberal coercion around time and productivity” by refusing to push hard deadlines for assignments or allowing students to set their own deadlines. It also suggested no penalties for late work. Those who attended the conference were told they should “help students become conscious of the colonial morality around the use of time (worth=productivity).”
The suggestions for how to decolonize the classroom included critiquing “the (white western masculine) disembodied rationality focus of the educational system” and questioning “the need for mastery, certainty and perfection.”
“Other sessions at the conference included ‘Crafting a Social Justice Syllabus’ and ‘Empowering Microaggression Reporting with your Syllabus.’ A representative from CU Boulder tells Campus Reform that no presentation slides were used or recordings made of these sessions,” the outlet reported.
It is not the first time UC-Boulder has waded into social justice issues. Last July, The Daily Wire reported that a university memo suggested that those who apply to the school should be willing to “combat systemic racism,” arguing it was a “non-negotiable condition of enrollment and employment.”
Several of the university’s diversity administrators released a statement at the time:
We strongly support the many messages of solidarity that members of the CU Boulder community have shared in recent days, from the chancellor, vice chancellors, deans, department chairs and directors to CU Student Government, United Government of Graduate Students, and other student groups. At their core, many have expressed the following: Black Lives Matter, and as a campus we condemn all acts of racist violence and discriminatory behavior — regardless of who commits them.
We may be confronting the unparalleled challenges of a global pandemic, but we can’t let that work distract us from making real changes to our campus culture to combat systemic racism and bias-motivated behavior. These changes must be seen in how we recruit students, faculty, staff and administrators — in how we signal to them the need to embrace our community values as a bottom line, non-negotiable condition of enrollment and employment.