Friday, March 30, 2012

California State Colleges and Universities May Screen for Sexual Orientation in Admissions Applications

Tina Korbe beat me to this story, "California state colleges consider asking students about sexual orientation on application forms."

Korbe's commenting on this morning's front-page Los Angeles Times article, "California state colleges weigh asking students about sexual orientation." But she's missing something especially key at the report: LGBT screening will embed another layer of political correctness on campus and put pressure on instructors to satisfy the grievances of the various student constituencies. Years ago, at UCSB, a student in my Black Politics course told me that I wasn't teaching the class the right way. He said I wasn't supposed to focus on all these statistics and historical details, etc. I was supposed to teach the class from the approved perspective, to conform with the activist agenda. I was frankly shocked that a student had that much confidence to try to set the instructor straight. It was clear that I was supposed to teach in solidarity with the brothers and sisters. I was supposed to focus on the oppressed. It was a nightmare. (During that same class, I caught some black students cheating on the final exam and it turned into a disaster when the students' parents got involved. As a doctoral candidate, I had no choice but to pass the students. It didn't matter what happened. I heard talk of a lawsuit so no matter what happened during the final there would be no consequences for the students. The department chair had upbraided me earlier in the semester after minority students complained that I was grading too hard. By the time I dealt with the cheating thing I just wanted to get away from this upside down world where rules and standards didn't matter all all, at the University of California.) I'm reminded of this after reading this quote at the Times' report:
UC Berkeley student Andrew Albright, who is gay and a student government activist, said some gay and lesbian students might be initially nervous about how their responses would be used.

But he said most would participate if the potential benefits, such as increased services, are made clear and if UC keeps its promises that an individual's information will be confidential and only used in aggregates.

"I think in general it's a good thing," said Albright, a third-year political science and sociology major. Beyond counseling services, professors might alter approaches to various lectures if they know a sizable percentage of the class is gay or lesbian, he said.
If folks remember the Stalinist reaction to the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, just imagine if screening for sexual identity at colleges and universities works to create yet another politically correct group of people who will be free from the normal standards and rules of behavior. The activists are running the campuses. I can imagine how horrified some families are at the prospects of sending their kids to public universities. Things are out of control. You will be told what is acceptable to teach. It's happening already. Students are challenging professors' grading policies by filing civil rights complaints, and college administrators are jumping as fast as they can to avoid alienating key constituencies. I'm dealing with these things first hand. It seems unreal, but if you're on the inside you see how the bureaucracy functions as a system to itself. It's scary.

In any case, Fox News had a report a couple of weeks ago, and quotes Ward Connerly on sexual orientation screening:
“It’s a very bad idea," Ward Connerly, president of the American Civil Rights Institute and former regent board member for the University of California system told "I think that it will lead to another protected class”....

Connerly said schools should accept or reject students based solely on merit, and stop the practice of measuring the makeup of incoming classes by race, gender or sexual orientation.

“I don’t think a university should be asking about a student’s sexuality, race, or gender," said Connerly, who brought attention to the university system's race-based system of preferences within its admissions policies. "This is a step in the wrong direction.”
I'll have more on this later...

UPDATE: Linked at Instapundit. Thanks!

Glenn adds at trippy video, "Transfer to Sector 8!" Check it out.