Oregon State University to Hold Segregated Workshops on Race

This month, to relatively little outrage or public notice, Oregon State University is holding segregated “diversity” sessions for students, staff, and faculty. At “retreats,” students and faculty will learn about identity and micro-agressions (for example: expressing a belief in merit, wearing an offensive Halloween costume, or having someone feel like she does not belong).

The Daily Caller reports that a total of four workshops will be held: one for non-white students, another for white students (to educate them about their “white privilege”), one for multi-racial students, and one for white faculty and staff called “Examining White Identity.”

The testimonials at the university’s website indicate that the sessions are sure to foster more “cry-bullies,” as we saw on campuses across the country in 2015. And it seems that among Oregon State’s 30,000 students, none raised significant objections to funding being spent on segregated sessions.

This same outrage almost happened in 2013 at Hamilton College, too. But that proposed segregated “dialogue” never went forward, thanks to students affiliated with the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI).

In 2013, from the lavishly funded on-campus Days-Massolo Center (ironically founded “to embrace the importance of supporting a diverse and inclusive community”), an email was sent inviting students to participate in a “dialogue about internalized racism.” The “dialogue,” however, was for “people of color” only. Another dialogue for white students and faculty was promised for the following semester, and the program would have culminated in a non-segregated session.

AHI students, led by senior Dean Ball, got the administration to back down.

Ball described what happened in a blog post at Legal Insurrection, a site run by Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson, a Hamilton College alum who has been dismayed by what’s been going on at the small elite liberal arts college.

Ball described speaking to Amit Taneja -- Hamilton College’s “Director of Diversity & Inclusion” -- and expressing dismay at this new form of segregation. Taneja, without any evidence, told Ball that his views were in the “minority” of the student body.

Ball pointed out that Taneja’s job description was to protect minorities.

Ball was a leader of the 150-member student body at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, an independent non-profit education corporation founded by three Hamilton College faculty members: history professors Robert Paquette and Douglas Ambrose, and economics professor James Bradfield. The three were concerned about the decline of academic standards and loss of freedom. As Paquette puts it, AHI upholds the “ethos of a liberal arts education,” countering the all-too common liberal arts college’s “political agenda that masks a totalitarian impulse in a utopian illusion.”

The AHI offers students educational opportunities they rarely get in college: exposure to Augustine, Plato, and Leo Strauss through reading groups; lectures on and off campus by distinguished scholars and writers; the opportunity to write for a student newspaper, Enquiry, that respects their opinions; and internships, directed readings, and social gatherings at the AHI building on the village square, about 1.5 miles from the campus on the hill.

The center was originally to be on campus, but found itself the target of a faculty-led hostile takeover attempt. The story is related in the New Criterion; I now live in the building as one of two resident fellows.