Saturday, October 1, 2011

Diversity?

Doesn't diversity require discrimination? If there is to be a wide choice of available student affiliation on a campus doesn't that require that each group be allowed define itself — to create its own identity. Vanderbilt is a private school and thus freer to create its own orthodoxy but Rod Dreher explains why Vanderbilt's approach to diversity would, if followed consistently, result in something more like chaos:
"We are committed to making our campus a welcoming environment for all of our students," Vanderbilt University says. Which is, of course, bullshit. It's what institutions say when they wish to curtail the religious liberty of their students. It means that Vanderbilt is determined to be unwelcoming to traditional Christians, Jews, and Muslims, who, if they are faithful to the teachings of their respective religions, cannot morally affirm homosexuality.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, Vanderbilt is threatening to yank recognition from a dozen groups, including Christian groups, for not conforming to the university's diversity policy. The university's Christian Legal Society is one of those under the gun. From the newspaper:
The Vanderbilt chapter of the Christian Legal Society has rewritten its bylaws to include language that supports the university's diversity policies. But when Vanderbilt asked the club to remove a requirement that the group president lead Bible studies, the club drew the line.

"Our group will no longer be able to exist," said law student Justin Gunter, one of the chapter's leaders.
Understand what the university is requiring: that a group cannot set any conditions for the beliefs its leadership must hold.

This is crackpot stuff.

In principle, the university's gay rights group would not be able to require its president to affirm gay rights. As Colleen Carroll Campbell points out, "By the logic of Vanderbilt administrators, the Muslim Student Association must allow ultra-orthodox Jews to run its meetings." .... [more]
Meanwhile, on a Wisconsin campus, censorship targets a drama prof.

Once upon a time liberals on college campuses were champions of "sifting and winnowing" — of academic freedom — of the belief that if ideas were allowed to compete truth would emerge.