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Evergreen State College Adds Required Workshop on Civil Disagreement

Evergreen State College Adds Required Workshop on Civil Disagreement
In this Wednesday, May 24, 2017 file photo, hundreds of students at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., protest against the college administration and demanded change after weeks of brewing racial tension on campus. Threats have prompted the small college in Washington state to cancel classes Monday, June 5, 2017, for the third consecutive weekday after protests on the progressive campus drew national attention. (Lisa Pemberton/The Olympian via AP, File)

In the wake of the Evergreen State College disaster, incoming freshmen will now be required to attend a workshop designed to teach them how to have civil conversations with each other.

Back in May, Evergreen was seized by mob rule, overtaken by bat-wielding vigilantes, and administrators were held hostage. The cause? Bret Weinstein, a biology professor, objected to the school’s annual “Day of Absence,” which formerly saw minority students voluntarily not come to campus for the day. This year, white students and faculty were “asked” to leave campus for the day.

If this sounds like a scene from a dystopian horror movie, just wait. It gets worse.

Weinstein, who called the Day of Absence an “act of oppression in of itself,” was forced to flee campus after students mobbed him during class and police officers admitted they could no longer guarantee his safety. Weinstein has since filed a $3.8 million lawsuit against the university, and vows not to return until the campus can be “made safe” for him and his wife, who is also a professor there.

Evergreen State, which now has a reputation worse than Mizzou’s, has spent the last few months attempting damage control. But will it help? Will Evergreen recover? And will it be able to stave off any future student meltdowns?

The administration hopes this new mandatory workshop is will help. All incoming freshmen must sit through a workshop titled “Conversing Across Significant Differences at The Evergreen State College,” supposedly designed to teach these young adults in need of remedial training in civil behavior:

Education at Evergreen is unique in part due to the numerous opportunities students have to reflect on and discuss complex issues.

Join us in engaging some of these ideas and listening to a panel of faculty and staff from around the college discuss the myriad ways we challenge each other to learn and think across significant differences.

The workshop is only one of several that students must attend during orientation, including a sexual assault prevention workshop and one dedicated to bystander intervention. PJ Media reached out to Evergreen State College to ask if students could face sanctions for refusing to attend; the school has not responded.

While not required, incoming students will also have the option to attend a number of other social-justice themed events, including a “Welcome Reception for Queer and Trans Students” and a “Sustainability”- themed snack session.

Hopefully, radical students have calmed over the summer, and incoming freshmen won’t have to deal with baseball-wielding vigilantes or hostage situations anytime soon. The school has since updated their mission statement for the Day of Absence to stress that all events are “completely voluntary,” but I suspect that next Spring’s Day of Absence will also cause a ruckus on campus, nonetheless.

No word yet whether Bret Weinstein and his wife will return to campus. But if they didn’t, I wouldn’t blame them. Who would want to return to a campus run by violent 20-year-olds? A campus where even police can’t guarantee your safety? The constant threat of mob action for committing wrongthink should be more than enough to deter not only Weinstein, but new students as well. My advice to new students? Transfer to a different school while you still can.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

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