News & Politics

UCONN Welcomes Anita Hill, Offers Counseling for 'Even the Thought' of Ben Shapiro

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Far-left provocateur Anita Hill spoke to a student group at the University of Connecticut. This despite Hill’s participation in the “high-tech lynching” of an African-American nominee for the Supreme Court.

In response to this partisan provocation, college administrators are offering counseling for folks who may be threatened or triggered.

The email reads, in part, “In the meantime, please utilize the many campus resources available to you should you want to talk through your feelings about this issue, including my office, the Cultural Centers, the Dean of Students Office, and CMHS, if necessary.”

UCONN should be lauded for taking proactive steps to ensure that potentially offensive speech is met with responses of maturity and tolerance, especially given the speaker’s history of making uncorroborated and unproven accusations against an African-American man seeking appointment to the highest court in the land.

Except that’s not what happened at all. Anita Hill was feted at UCONN’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Convocation. According to the UCONN website,

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Convocation featuring Anita Hill

Thurs, Jan 18, 1:00 pm

MLK Living Legacy Convocation

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Convocation provides the opportunity for the UConn community to acknowledge that, in spite of the passage of time, through actions we are all accountable for making Dr. King’s dream a reality. Through this annual program, it is our goal to showcase a message of humanity, hope, understanding and the need for continuous learning as a community committed to inclusion.

We are proud to welcome Anita Hill as the speaker for this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Convocation to be held on January 18, 2018 at 1 pm in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.

Please join us for an inspiring afternoon.

Believe it or not, the trigger warning email wasn’t sent to inoculate students against the far-left provocateur.

You can have a moment to recover from your shock.

No, that email was actually sent in response to a proposed talk, not yet finalized, by Ben Shapiro. Shapiro is a right-winger, so naturally, the UCONN students may feel threatened.

Here’s the entire email sent to students to prepare them for the horror of hearing a message school administrators don’t like:

Happy New Year and Welcome Back for the Spring Semester!

I hope you all had an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends during the break and you are ready to hit the ground running to make the spring semester your best yet!

I wanted to make you aware of a situation we have recently learned about. There has been a request received for Ben Shapiro to come to campus as the guest of the College Republicans. Ben Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator, columnist, author, radio talk show host, and lawyer. There has been no confirmed date, location or time at this point and the University will be following the new event procedures as outlined in early December, which includes holding an event review which a member of the ODI team will be a part of. We understand that even the thought of an individual coming to campus with the views that Mr. Shapiro expresses can be concerning and even hurtful and that’s why we wanted to make you aware as soon as we were informed.

In the meantime, please utilize the many campus resources available to you should you want to talk through your feelings about this issue, including my office, the Cultural Centers, the Dean of Students Office, and CMHS, if necessary.

While the event is not finalized (some external reports have indicated Jan 24 in Laurel Hall though that is not confirmed), we will be sure to keep you up to date as we learn additional information, particularly after the event review is held.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or 8604862422.

Wishing you a productive semester,

Joelle Murchison

Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

A hiring manager in the insurance industry in Connecticut summed it up in this comment on Facebook:

The THOUGHT, the VERY THOUGHT that someone has a different opinion, is hurtful. It hurts. It hurts to think that not everyone agrees with me about everything. I can’t tell you how many actuaries I have recruited from UCONN. I want to write to the president and ask her, what the hell are you doing? That’s a massive disservice to these kids.

More evidence that the state of the university today does not match the original definition, “a large and diverse institution of higher learning created to educate for life and for a profession and to grant degrees.” Originally, academia meant more than merely a safe space for social justice warriors.