Monday, March 30, 2015

An Anonymous, Online, Geo-Tagged System to Report Microaggressions at College!


reason |  So remember, kids, you don't go to college to learn new things and feed your head. You go to college to be subjected to an anonymous system of collecting information about the bad thoughts you have and the misstatements you make, some of which you might not even have intended to be hurtful.

But rest easy, because if you are in fact accused of microaggressing, your accuser "would likely have to reveal their identity" if any charges are pressed (emphasis added). Because we know how well colleges do at handling legal-style proceedings.
The system would allow individuals reporting microaggressions to remain anonymous. However, junior Kyle James, vice president of communications and co-sponsor of the bill, said those reporting a microaggression would likely have to reveal their identity if they wanted to pursue any legal action.
James said in addition to a space to report the particular incident, the online system would track the demographics of those reporting microaggressions as well as those accused of committing them.
More here and here.

I would like to believe that awfulness of imposing such a system is self-evident, especially at a university, which is supposed to be about the free and open exchange of ideas and the production of knowledge (at least in the few spare moments between football games and re-education seminars). In an astonishingly short half-century, we have cycled from a demand for "free speech" on college campuses to the condemnation of speech via anonymous, online, geo-tagged systems that may or may not accord the accused any ability to speak up in their own defense.

Unless your goal is to chill or control speech and thought, this sort of program is a complete anathema to everything that higher education is supposed to promote and cherish. But there you are, another year older and deeper in debtFist tap Big Don.