Friday, November 04, 2005

Duquesne University: Republicans and Conservatives Protected (Supposedly) From Discrimination

From the Duquesne University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct:

. . . some interesting provisions claiming to protect students with diverse political views.
Information about student views, beliefs and political associations acquired in confidence by faculty members in the course of their teaching, advising and counseling should remain confidential.
And then:
Duquesne University seeks to foster a safe environment conducive to learning and the free exchange of ideas. In accordance with the Mission of the University and all policies residing under the Code of Student Conduct, any offense motivated by discrimination will not be tolerated. An offense motivated by racism or others forms of discrimination wherein the accused intentionally selects the alleged victim(s) because of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, political affiliation, gender, age, marital status, or inclusion in any group protected by law. Students found responsible for violations of the Code based on bias will be subject to stringent sanctions.
Note the inclusion of “poltiical affiliation.” If actually enforced, this would mean that any act of vandalism against a student because of a conservative or Republican affiliation is a “hate crime.”

Interestingly, when the code turns to “harassment” political views aren’t included among the “protected categories:”
The following acts are violations of the University standards and will result in disciplinary actions as stated in Article V.


Harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veterans status.
So, it’s OK to harass people based on their political views, but not to discriminate on that basis.

This might have a principled basis, given the difficulty in distinguishing normal political discourse from real “harassment.”

But the case of Ryan Miner, who described homosexual acts as “subhuman” on a blog entirely unaffiliated with the university, and now finds himself in trouble, makes it clear that, in reality, only politically correct groups and opinions get protected.

Which makes Duquesne your very typical, average university.


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