Campus Free Speech

University of Oregon Defends Bias Response Team: Believing Victims Is the Point

'The team is not there to pass judgment.'

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Bully
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University bias response teams—which investigate students and faculty members accused of telling insensitive jokes or making offensive remarks—are humorless, illiberal, and dangerous. But the University of Oregon is proud of the work its BRT is doing. 

"The university's Bias Response Team works hard to assist students and others who feel that they have witnessed or been the victim of bias," UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger told The College Fix. 

As I previously reported, UO's BRT routinely ignored the free speech rights of students and informed on them to disciplinary authorities for incredibly small, slight instances of insensitivity. A professor who made a joke about sexual assault, for instance, was reported to the Office of Affirmative Action. 

But it's not the BRT's job to decide whether a perceived bias is valid, says Klinger: 

"While some of those cases may seem outside the typical way that people think about bias, the university takes seriously its obligation to perform due diligence on behalf of all students," Klinger continued. "The team is not there to pass judgment whether the person making the report should or should not feel that they were the victim of bias. The team is there to review the situation and determine if there exists an opportunity for education and dialog." 

Over at The Daily Beast, I argue that these bias response teams—a growing presence on college campuses—are a force for speech repression: 

No doubt some proponents of good manners will cheer this news and wonder why anyone would complain about colleges encouraging students to be better behaved. But college isn't kindergarten: Administrators at public universities do not have the right to bully their impolite students. On the contrary, students and faculty members enjoy broad First Amendment protections. And if they are afraid to speak their minds, the dialogue on campus will suffer. 

Which is not to say that rude and hostile students should live free of consequences. By all means, let their friends and neighbors shame them. It may even be appropriate to teach them to change their views. But the right place for such an undertaking is the classroom, and the correct educational vehicle is the professor. When professors are free to criticize their students, and students are free to defend themselves, a beneficial exchange of ideas can take place. Everybody walks away better informed. 

The anti-bias bureaucracies are an entirely different animal, since their authority stems from the university administration itself. Students who are called before a bias tribunal are at an enormous disadvantage, and will feel like their continued enrollment requires deference to the authority figures. 

Read the full thing here

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  1. Would, would, would, would, would. Would pass on the loser.

  2. What they need to realize is that the falsely accused is also a victim

    1. Well, sure, but under intersectionality, they don’t count.

      1. occasionally white men accuse women

  3. Does the Bias Response Team get nifty jumpsuit uniforms with utility belts? Do they rappel down the side of buildings and crash through dorm windows to corner the subjects of their investigations?

    1. They get nifty brown shirts and armbands–and I think there was mention of boots of some type……

      1. Are these brown shirts and arm bands made by Hugo Boss?

    2. No one expects the Bias Response Team!

  4. “The team is not there to pass judgment whether the person making the report should or should not feel that they were the victim of bias. The team is there to review the situation and determine if there exists an opportunity for education and dialog.”

    So, yeah, you know, no judgments anywhere in the mix. Just free exchanges of ideas and expression.

    1. Otherwise known as conversation.

  5. Which is not to say that rude and hostile students should live free of consequences. By all means, let their friends and neighbors shame them.

    I say the same thing about fatties and sluts, and yet somehow I’m the bad guy for meting out peer consequences to those groups.

    1. Yes, shame them. Make them march naked, and have a nun ring a bell.

    2. I can’t imagine a more shameful consequence of being fat than being hit on by Fist.

      1. It would diminish what little self-confidence their giant bodies possess.

  6. The team is not there to pass judgment whether the person making the report should or should not feel that they were the victim of bias.

    There you go. It makes no difference whether there actually was any “bias”, only whether the person “felt” dissed in some way.

    Since there is no factual inquiry whatsoever, there really isn’t any need for due process. This isn’t about getting rid of bias, its about assuaging hurt feelings. I mean, if you don’t care whether there was any bias in the first place, there’s no way you can actually do anything to get rid of bias, is there?

    The team is there to review the situation and determine if there exists an opportunity for education and dialog.

    I guess this means they ask the person with the hurt feelings whether forced education and dialog will make them feel better? Honestly, since this only about hurt feelings, I can’t see what other standard could possibly be applied.

    Seems you don’t need a whole office for this. In fact, I don’t really see why you need anyone tasked with this. Why not just have the butthurt person issue demands directly to the target of their ire, with consequence imposed on the target if they don’t comply?

    1. It keeps coming back to this absurd notion that people have a right to not be offended, real or perceived. Bias is just a cutesie term that sounds like discrimination. Trouble is, everybody has a bias, it’s undeniable. That’s called thoughts and opinions. Do we want to quash all independent thought in the name of bias response.

  7. University bias response teams……not significantly different than these guys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks_VmFWBVvo

  8. “The team is there to review the situation and determine if there exists an opportunity for education and dialog.”

    It’s a fucking university! Of *course* there exists an opportunity for education and dialog!

    1. *** ponders opportunity for education in tag closure ***

  9. What about the students’ privacy rights? If they made some off color remarks on campus, they can be reported?

    I smell a lawsuit. Honestly, it’s the only way these educrats will learn.

  10. Didn’t I do a Law & Order parody thing on the BRT? You have my permission to use it and claim it as your own, Soave. Here or at TDB. (And if I don’t mind, how could Dick Wolf?)

  11. What would you do if you were hauled into a forced “education” session?

    Perhaps I would tell off-color jokes the whole time. (Oops, is the term “off-color” bias-response-team worthy?) I need jokes!

    Maybe I should just repeat “I am biased against stupidity!” over and over again.

    Possibly I could come up with a long list of what “BRT” could stand for and then just repeat them all. Heck, maybe I could get my interrogators/educators involved!

    No! I’ll show up in a sombrero and dance an Irish jig while drinking warm sake.

    1. How about weeping inconsolably and loudly?

  12. Don’t be so kind, Robby. They are offices to promote Fascism. These people would send you to the ovens if they could

  13. But the right place for such an undertaking is the classroom, and the correct educational vehicle is the professor.

    ?!?!?

    What?

    Has The Hair been huffing hair spray again?

    So Professors, who control the grades, and thereby professional advancement of their students, are the “right” people to be ideologically bullying students for ThoughtCrime?

    That’s just *so* much better than having university administrators do it.

    1. But the right place for such an undertaking is the classroom, and the correct educational vehicle is the professor.

      Uh, no, its not. The classroom is for teaching the class, not for enforcing the latest goodthink on a captive audience.

      If my medieval lit professor is spending class time edumacating us on how to talk to butthurt neurotics, that’s not what class is for, capisce?

  14. It would be interesting to set up groups to report on each other (to avoid getting strangers involved) from different self-described attitudes — various races, genders, backgrounds, political views — and expose the BRT biases.

    It would be especially fun to report BRT members to the BRT for their bias in which victims they believed and didn’t believe.

    1. Now you’re talking.

      The “internal contradiction” of Progressivism is found in turning the apparatchik machine against Progressive ends. File a million complaints against the privileged classes. Pit one tentacle of the leviathan against another.

      You may find these kangaroo courts obscene. And they are. But failing to avail yourselves of them only leaves their power available to your enemies.

      One way cease fire is surrender.
      One way rule of law is subjection.

      Fight back, or be crushed. Peace is not an option.

      1. “Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.”

  15. No, there are no comments that merit re-education. We are talking here not just about professors but about conversations between college students. Many innocent comments can be misinterpreted, especially by the easily offended. Double-meaning jokes are the staff of life. Being rude and obscene is to be a college student. Don’t you remember calling your friend a butt-head? Bias. Professors have NO business correcting students unless they are being obscene in their class. They should not correct “bias” which may in fact be a valid opinion. Under the bias reporting system, it would be illegal to suggest that being overweight is bad for your health, that STDs are something to avoid (slut shaming), that BLM may have some invalid claims, and I would guess to even mention Trump’s name. Of course no bias response would occur for those attacking Jews or Christians or white men…

  16. What if someone calls you a racist, can you report them?

    Or is this not really about civility after all, but only about enforcing correct speech?

  17. When I read “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” I thought the Inquizitorial Squad was humorous hyperbole… how wrong was I?

  18. A great reserch of University of Oregon Defends Bias Response Team that Beliveing is the very great and strong character of anyone. According to the reserach Believing Victims Is the Point and such student get success who have strong believe ourself. We should do same like mentioned in this article which is big lesson of life. On ther other hand, I try to pay for essay but happy to read such research article. Such articles are good for the students.

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