WSU Professors Threaten Student Free Speech

Numerous Washington State University professors have instituted policies in their classes which violate a student’s free speech rights. These policies are intimidating students to adopt certain language patterns and threatening the student’s grade if the fail to follow such patterns, thus these policies are in violation of the student’s First Amendment rights.

These professors are targeting words such as “male,” “female” and “illegal alien.”

From Campus Reform:

According to the syllabus for Selena Lester Breikss’ “Women & Popular Culture” class, students risk a failing grade if they use any common descriptors that Breikss considers “oppressive and hateful language.”

The punishment for repeatedly using the banned words, Breikss warns, includes “but [is] not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and— in extreme cases— failure for the semester.”

Breikss is not the only WSU faculty member implementing such policies.

Much like in Selena Breikss’s classroom, students taking Professor Rebecca Fowler’s “ Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” course will see their grades suffer if they use the term “illegal alien” in their assigned writing.

According to her syllabus, students will lose one point every time they use the words “illegal alien” or “illegals” rather than the preferred terms of “‘undocumented’ migrants/immigrants/persons.” Throughout the course, Fowler says, students will “come to recognize how white privilege functions in everyday social structures and institutions.”

Yet another professor at WSU goes even further.

White students in Professor John Streamas’s “ Introduction to Multicultural Literature” class, are expected to “defer” to non-white students, among other community guidelines, if they want “to do well in this class.”

In the guidelines in his syllabus, Streamas elaborates that he requires students to “reflect” on their grasp of history and social relations “by respecting shy and quiet classmates and by deferring to the experiences of people of color.”

If this were not bad enough Professor Streamas invokes a double standard when he expects students to defer to students of who might be illegal or of another ethnicity, for fear of offending one of his students. Yet he clearly has no problem offending white students, as he previously referred to one of his students as a “white sh*tbag,” and also stated that WSU should stand of White Supremacist University.

First off if being called “illegal,” “male” or “female” offends you, suck it up, buttercup! NEWSFLASH: You don’t have the right not to be offended.

More specifically, if being called “illegal” offends you, you have two choices: 1) go back where you came from, or 2) don’t be illegal.

This is a very dangerous situation at WSU. If these policies are allowed to stand without a fight, what makes us think that such policies, will not spread and become the norm in universities across the nation.

As Buck Sexton said: “Colleges are radical laboratories.” If these policies become the norm on college campuses, they will eventually become the norm in society. 

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