The University of California is encouraging its’ students to report any behavior that makes them feel the least bit harassed or offended in anyway.
According to National Review:
The University of California system is encouraging it’s students to report everything from “unwanted jokes” to “teasing” using its online “intolerance report form.” If you hover your mouse over a subsection of the form labeled “hostile climate,” it states that “examples include unwanted jokes or teasing, derogatory or disparaging comments, posters, cartoons, drawings, or pictures of a biased nature.” It also has a section for “Other Campus Climate Issues,” which it defines as “any intolerant behavior not specified above.” Of course, any student who is being harassed at school in a way that, as the form puts it, is “severe or pervasive enough to affect campus or academic life,” should be able to contact the administration for help.
There are two primary problems with this policy. First, it creates a false reality for students. College is supposed to prepare you for the real world. In many ways the typical college life is a false reality, nonetheless it does prepare you for the real world. However, practices like this one will make that less and less true. In the real world, we constantly encounter, words, thoughts, images and ideas that make us feel offended or harassed. Creating a false reality free of these controversies is doing no favors to students. College is supposed to be place where opposing ideas are freely exchanged and discussed. But if students are encouraged to report verbiage that makes them fell offended or harassed, colleges will cease to be such a place.
The second primary problem is that it undermines the credibility of those who have real complaints. There are those who experience real bullying or verbal and sexual harassment. But if you have five hundred people filing bogus claims of verbal harassment. Then those who are truly being harassed will have their credibility undercut. Not only that, but administration has less time to properly deal with real complaints of bullying or verbal and sexual harassment when they have a plethora of bogus complaints for which they must file paperwork and such.
The school is encouraging their students in a form of mental weakness that is manifested by giving the student’s an outlet to have someone to complain to every time they are offended by something they hear. This does the students no favors and in fact harms them. In addition it does, the student body as a whole more harm than good.