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Colleges Have Started Using Literal Speech Police To Stomp Out Mean Language

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speech police

At my alma mater, the campus police and I go way back. Most Fridays, I was the designated door answering brother, either because I committed some heinous crimes in a past life, or because the Judicial Board gave up on trying to ban me from movie night and just made me the doorman as penance. I knew all the right things to say, and even took some liberties from time to time in hopes of deescalating some tense porch situations. I was bold enough — on one occasion — to even offer the three members of the group affectionately known as the “Pitt Po” a beer, seeing as we had plenty left by the time they told us to shut down. Usually, these blue-clad fun-ruiners had better things to do than bother us. As if patrolling an urban campus, snuffing out drug deals, and parrying break-ins wasn’t time consuming enough, the campus (and sometimes city) cops were tasked with breaking up parties, though, despite the fact that they were guilty of nothing more than keeping the geriatric neighbors awake past Wheel of Fortune.

As if all that wasn’t taxing enough, some members of campus police departments are now tasked with enforcing regulations against “biased speech.” According to the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, campuses are assembling “Bias Response Teams” to patrol biased speech. For some context, biased speech is defined as literally everything we say. The best part? Almost half of these Bias Teams report law enforcement personnel as members of the staff.

From Foundation of Individual Rights in Education:

Of the 232 institutions surveyed in FIRE’s report, 167 identify the officials or offices that receive and review reports of offensive speech. The majority of these institutions’ BRTs include student conduct administrators, but a shocking 42 percent list law enforcement personnel among their BRT members: in other words, literal speech police.

These officers attempting to crack down on mean language encourage offended students to tattle on one another, not to shy away from reporting out-of-control professors, and even report off-color things uttered on social media platforms. John Carroll and Appalachian State went so far as to compile some of these offenses in a “Bias Report.” Included in the reports cited? One student reported a microaggression, another was offended by a Yik Yak post, and a third didn’t like a pile of beer cans. Seriously.

It sure seems like times are changing, and the only way to subsist in the world of higher education is to board the social justice and political correctness train before it flattens every microaggression in its path. I hate to see people of my ilk be reprimanded for stepping into the realm of “biased” language. Assimilation may be the only way to survive. I propose we, men of high character and Greek letters, start our own compliance group. We’ll become Certified And Non-Discriminatory Initiates of the American Safespace Society.

We’ll call it C.A.N.D.I. A.S.S. for short.

[via Foundation of Individual Rights in Education]

Image via Shutterstock

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Kramer Smash

Unabashed Pitt alum with an affinity for brown girls and Manhattans. Send lovelies to

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