John Leo: ‘Brainwashing 101’
November 7, 2007
Among the questions now being debated: why did President Harker merely suspend the program for the rest of the academic year, instead of quashing it entirely? And more basically, why should dormitories have their own curriculum? Possible answer: highly ideological freshman orientation programs are now widespread and meet so little resistance, the temptation to extend the brainwashing to all four years of college may seem irresistible to eager ideologues.
In addition to its indoctrination, the residence program has its own speech code. The university’s “residence life escalation procedures” divides emergencies into three levels of seriousness. The A) level, the most dire, includes life-threatening situations, sexual assault or rape, drug busts, serious injury and this: “Any instance that is perceived by those involved as being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or otherwise oppressive.” All A) emergencies are to be reported immediately, at any hour of the night or day to the residential life professional on duty (parents are not to be notified). If the “instances” of oppressive behavior are comments or beliefs, the provision is clearly unconstitutional. But then, what goes better with an illegal indoctrination program than an equally illegal speech code?