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Fixing College?

Disclaimer: All opinions in this post are those of the author, and in no way represent the opinions of Butler University.

Recently an article was published on the website The College Fix attacking a professor in the Political Science department of Butler. It’s been the talk of the town among students and professors. This blog post is committed to understanding and critiquing each side of the polemic situation.

The Student’s Side:

I’ve been in the class where the white male’s are attacked relentlessly on all sides. It isn’t fun, and in my (obviously unbiased) opinion is misguided at times. Of course it comes from a good place of protecting the female and minority racial portions of our society from centuries of a societal inequality that is ingrained in all of us to some extent. However, when the protecting turns into attack, it becomes an eye-for-an-eye situation that leaves no one satisfied or more understanding for it. If the student perceived this was the atmosphere of the class, he was right in being upset.

The Professor’s Side:

Judging by the discrepancies in the article’s title and the actual words used in the syllabus, the situation is being blown out of proportion. The article pronounces to the virtual heavens that students are “told to disavow ‘American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality.’” “Disavow” was a well chosen verb that paints the picture of a demanding view point imposed upon the students and is meant to incite anger in readers. The actual quote asks the students “to write and speak in a way that does not assume American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status, etc. to be the norm.” Nothing is an attack in this statement, and rather reasonable for a political science class.

See my analysis of the situation HERE.

8 Responses to Fixing College?

  1. [...] two articles on the university’s official website take aim at Lovelace for blowing the situation “out of proportion” and for failing to be [...]

  2. Anonymous says:

    What Lovelace is talking about is dispassionate intellectual inquiry in to what actually is or is not, no matter what we’d prefer (you know, the truth… which doesn’t change, no matter which race, class and/or gender one is)… and not making an argument via ad hominem attack upon authors of opinions you don’t like that, clearly, you’ve learned there and for your mentors you’ll happily do on a “university” website (although said mentors will enjoy your effort, especially your taking responsibility without mentioning them anywhere, they won’t remember you after their next breath– you’ve been used, enjoy).

  3. Mike says:

    Colleges like Butler are Soviet-style indoctrination centers. Those brave few who question socialist orthodoxy can expect to be vilified. God help any student who dares think for himself in this oppressive propaganda mill. Indoctrination masquerading as education. Disgraceful! Alumni, are you listening?

  4. Brian Gross says:

    No, “Billy”, you shame the Butler name, and so does anyone who questions the right to defend either the student or the professor. This matter has been put before the all knowing court of public opinion, and if Andrew Erlandson wants to speak on it, then the only people hurt by it are those extremists on both ends who shut their ears to differing opinions.
    That this issue has been brought to light to discuss is an indicator of a concerned populace. That it brings out the most crass and unthinking of us as the loudest is perturbing. Andrew’s thoughtful reflection is of a higher sort than most of the knee jerk reactionaries, on both the side of the professor and the student, want to hear.

  5. Billy says:

    You shame the Butler name.

  6. John Templeton says:

    So it is now the official position of Butler University, through its Office of Admissions, to target students who exercise their free speech rights in a public forum non-associated with the university? Have you never heard of FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) which prohibits colleges, both public and private, from doing this? Since this is being done on the University Administration’s own website (not a student newspaper where, for example, Butler could claim little or no control and thus less liability) has anyone from your general counsel’s office talked to you about the repercussions?

  7. [...] articles on the university’s official website take aim at Lovelace for blowing the situation “out of proportion” and for failing to be [...]

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