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campus unrest
Addressing Racial Isolation on Campus

College administrations have generally offered two responses to campus social justice protests: More diversity training, and more identity centers. The idea is that the best ways to address racism and prejudice on campus are to teach students to conform to the academy’s dominant political paradigm, and to create “safe spaces” for minority students to gather with members of their own identity group.

The problem is that neither of these solutions has much of a track record of success. In an interesting post at Heterodox Academy (a new website quickly making itself indispensable for campus-watchers), social psychologist Chris Martin surveys some of the academic literature on diversity training and self-segregation efforts. Neither of them have been shown reliably to work in combatting racism; some studies show that they actually exacerbate racial tensions. Martin then offers three approaches that colleges could pursue to address racial alienation that have a basis in social science and evidence:

First, colleges can attempt to tackle stereotype threat, which is what happens when people choke because they feel threatened by a negative stereotype. […]

Second, colleges can support a sense of belonging in school. It’s normal to feel like an outsider when you begin your college education. Unfortunately, students from minority groups may assume that incoming White students feel included and that feelings of exclusions are unique to minorities. Even worse, they may not realize that those feelings are transient […]

Third, colleges can induce a common ingroup identity among students, creating a situation where each student views other students as members of a unified college community. Minority students often identify solely as minority students, and this tendency can be exacerbated by diversity programs. However, they can adopt a dual identity, so that they feel like their racial identity is complemented by their identity as an ordinary student. White students can also be induced to view the college community as a single community, rather than view minority students as an outgroup. […]

Read Martin’s whole post. He discusses concrete steps that colleges could take to advance these objectives, and cites academic studies demonstrating their efficacy.

Various forms of prejudice clearly persist on college campuses, just as they persist everywhere else in society. If colleges are interested in addressing this, they should try those strategies that have the best chance of working, rather than blindly acceding to an ideological project.

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  • theresanursemom

    The identity politics and various group “studies” are of the upraised middle finger variety. When this is the predominant attitude and sensibility that exists in a given environment, balkanization is sure to follow. Good luck draining the bottomless well of resentment that these groups have dug for themselves, even Christ himself would have his hands full trying to quell their hatred…

  • ronetc

    Please give one example of “Various forms of prejudice clearly persist on college campuses.” Other, of course, than quota systems for racial group inclusion to the disadvantage of non-favored students . . . and to the disadvantage (mismatch) of the quota group individuals themselves.

    • Pete

      Racial quotas are the discrimination most prevalent in colleges and universities. Hopefully the U.S. Supreme Court will finally put this immoral and unconstitutional policy down.

      But alas, the court itself is loaded with affirmative action beneficiaries so that the best we can hope for is a 5-4 decision for rationality.

  • Fat_Man

    “Various forms of prejudice clearly persist on college campuses, just as they persist everywhere else in society.”

    In that case we should shut them down and send the people running them to jail.

    • GS

      And for what? You are picking on them for the wrong crime. Those running the colleges with the course offerings like “lesbianism in Picasso blue period” or “transgender basket weaving in [some god-forsaken cesspool]” could be jailed for a criminal waste of resources on a mega-scale, though.

      • Fat_Man

        Sorry. I left of the /sarc tag.

  • Anthony

    “Along with the rise of a neoliberal economic order that privileges the market, we witnessed the evolution of a national attitude that increasingly views social crises as personal problems.” qz.com/1570078/americas-millennials-are-in-crisis-and-its-not-all-in-their-heads/

    • ronetc

      This post is mostly unintelligible as English. But near as I can tell, we are encouraged to focus on “the issues raised by the students.” However, those issues have been non-existent to silly. Thus, it’s hard to take them seriously, no matter how loudly the students shout.

      • Anthony

        It’s not the post; read the link if you’re more than just snark.

        • ronetc

          Ah, thanks, I see now, you were quoting and the “…” were supposed to be ellipses. I had already read that article but did not recognize it chopped up. But I had the same response to the article when I originally read it. That anyone who writes sentences such as “Along with the rise of a neoliberal economic order that privileges the market over citizens, we’ve witnessed the evolution of a national attitude that increasingly views social crises as personal problems” is not thinking or writing rationally. And the student issues are still non-existent to silly.

          • Anthony

            No thanks necessary (and you know use of ellipses and personification is not one). Your argument if there is one may be with author – who may not share your viewpoint but such is case in world of 7,000,000,000 plus. Thanks.

        • ronetc

          You have abandoned the English language again. What in the world does this mean: “please don’t be beguiled by conformist need to up-vote inanities in order to effect an idea of the same “correctness” you assail – that is, don’t be taken in by up-vote to indicate support when in reality it may represent opposition towards poster who received criticism (but keep thinking)”?

          • Anthony

            Simply: as you comment @ web sites sir, some of your comments may be up-voted even when logically fallacious; do not conflate purposes of acknowledgement when non sequitur is evident. “The keep thinking” is res ipsa loquitur (no more restatement – either you’re audience or you’re not, thanks).

          • Fred

            What he’s trying to say is “Don’t be fooled by the upvotes. They don’t support you they just express hatred for me.” In other words, your comment is nonsense and it’s all about him. That’s our Anthony, a legend in his own mind. The language he writes in btw is not standard English but a dialect known as Anthony-ese, characterized by overblown rhetoric, unnecessary (and sometimes incorrect) use of Latinate or Greek-based vocabulary and untranslated Latin, condescending tone, and unnecessary and obscurantist ellipsis. It is designed to obscure the fact that its user is utterly incapable of original thought, clear expression, constructing an argument, or responding to an argument constructively.

          • Anthony

            Fred, ronetc is smart enough to see through your cognitive obsession (and for record let us note it is now going on six years). Your six year fomenting about my TAI comments rather than utilizing TAI’s offering to regularly write your views indicates a seething that requires honest appraisal (not a tendentious rant/rationalization).

            With that in mind Fred, remember both Dan Greene and Greg Forster (two smart/intelligent men without agendas beyond helping the reader) provided you exemplary advice that you ignore rather than take as a christian gift. The long and short of this Fred is that we still have nothing to exchange and I reply now in order to insure ronetc understands your history regarding my name (a trigger) and your impulse to misrepresent someone you know nothing about. I stand by both Oct, 23, 2014 and Oct. 23, 2015 replies as this reply is too set record for another since you used my name.

    • Jim__L

      College students do have it pretty soft these days. I look back on my college days as a structured and simplified life that has little or no bearing on the efforts the workforce demands. It’s a world of full of partial credit, flexible deadlines, “just get the main principle and don’t worry about the details, and you’ll be OK”, easy-to-find information, helpful resources, standard problems with standard answers — and that’s in an Engineering program! Sure, I was lucky in that the math and logic came easier to me than most, but it’s still a far cry from the sort of nonsense you have to put up with in the workplace.

      The only thing that’s changed is things have gotten far more politically correct — you can get in a lot more trouble for having the wrong sense of humor now, or for hanging onto notions of biology that match up better with reality than they match up with the more radical “-Studies” ideas.

      So… yeah. We should not be excessively impatient with (and certainly not cruel to) these students, but frankly, the idea that their childish responses to microcomplaints might become social policy is not sane. We are focusing on their manifest personal problems as the source of the problem because we want them to get their acts together an solve those problems for themselves, and we don’t want to see palliatives for those personal problems dominate the political discourse.

      • Anthony

        Read the link if you have interest. Information, as I said before, may not have an agenda – it may just be information contrary to your taste.

        • Jim__L

          Of course that article has an agenda — it never mentions the fatherlessness problems of the Millennial generation. College debt is about the only issue they mention that has an actual bite, rather than something that a resilient spirit should be able to handle.

          The rest of it is just Leftist talking points, without much to them.

          • Anthony

            Gotcha.

          • Boritz

            Chat Go, Cat Hog, Act Hog, Hag Cot, Hat Cog

          • Anthony

            10-4!

  • TheCynical1

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt (1937)

  • GS

    The autosegregation, since it is entirely voluntary, is not to be opposed in the least. The xenophobic impulse is an evolutional hardwire, and they could just as well start a noisy campaign trying to prevent winter. One does not argue with Mother Nature. That said, the said impulse should be channeled in appropriate forms. Bowel movement is also natural, but crapping in the streets is frowned upon.

  • ronetc

    Here is an excellent related essay: http://www.hoover.org/research/real-cause-campus-racism

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