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March 31, 2000 08:14am
Outrageous! Cultural Plunges at San Diego State; Roman Orgies at Cornell University
Source: Intercollegiate Studies Institute
by: Company Press Release

(WILMINGTON, DE) -- San Diego State University mandates that all its graduate students in the teaching credential program take a Maoist-type ``cultural plunge'' whether they want to or not. Meanwhile, Cornell dormitory officials this year sponsored a ``Roman Orgy,'' which served up massages, condoms, dimmed lights, and incense. ``It wasn't long before the clothes started to come off,'' said one Cornell student.

These and other incidents over the past few months prove political correctness is alive and well on the American college campus. They earned a ``Polly'' as a part of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's (ISI) Third Annual Campus Outrage Awards. Students nationwide were invited to submit their campus's most outrageous examples of PC. ``Pollys'' are given each year on April Fool's Day to highlight the zany, bizarre, and noxious tendencies of radical faculty and students on the nation's college campuses.

``Certainly this is the type of publicity our colleges would like to do without,'' said Winfield Myers, senior editor of ISI's College Guide project. ``But it's exactly the publicity we believe our schools need to keep them honest. Trustees, parents, and concerned citizens appreciate our annual review of the nation's most egregious cases of PC, and we're pleased to oblige.''

The five 2000 winners are:

1. San Diego State University: One of the ``required'' courses to enter the graduate teaching-credential program at San Diego State is Introduction to Multicultural Education. In this class, students must participate in ``cultural plunges,'' in which each student must put himself into uncomfortable situations to learn ``tolerance.'' Students must visit a place that is mostly populated with gays and lesbians, such as a gay bar or club, and, if they are white, an all-black church to see how being the only white person feels. During one class session, each student has to recite aloud before the group in Maoist education camp fashion, ``I am gay'' or ``I am lesbian'' (regardless of whether or not he is) and then describe how it feels to be gay in various discriminatory situations.

2. Cornell University: Resident Advisors at Cornell hosted a ``Roman Orgy'' party in a campus dormitory -- with funding from student fees. While organizers suggested that the party would consist of just massages and snacks, it was not long before the clothes started to come off. RA's even set the mood: dimmed lights, incense, and a bowl of condoms. Cornell tuition money sponsored a real orgy, the organizers were let off without punishment, and the dorm's judgment was that it was ``a very positive and good event,`` according to a student quoted in the ''Cornell Daily Sun.``

3. Student Government at University of Wisconsin-Madison: University of Wisconsin's student government excessively spent student fees (tuition dollars) on various items, including fine restaurants, luxury hotels, valet parking, and junk food. Last year's expenses included more than $29,000 spent on travel. Last fall, the finance committee approved funding for $50 worth of tobacco to be purchased for a campus organization, even as it launched its anti-smoking movement.

4. University of Texas administration: UT canceled a scheduled speech by Henry Kissinger. During the few weeks before his arrival, campus protesters beat their message out: Henry Kissinger is nothing more than a war criminal. The Radical Action Network protested during the weeks leading up to the event, covered the campus with flyers, and held a teach-in to spread their message that Kissinger doesn't belong at UT. In the end, the UT administration caved in to the pressure from the protesters and canceled Kissinger's speech, claiming that his speaking on campus would cause an outbreak of violence and endanger the people in the auditorium. The UT administration has a history of suppressing free speech; last year, UT police simply watched as protesters disrupted Ward Connerly as he debated affirmative action.

5. Harvard and Yale (tied): When Yale's gay/lesbian club discovered satirical posters on campus celebrating ``Gay Avarice Week,'' ``Gay Sloth Week,`` and ''Gay Lust Week,`` in response to the campus's celebration of ``Gay Pride Week,'' club members tore them down and complained to the administration. Yale's top brass reacted predictably by claiming it was a hateful attack by a very few sick individuals (Yale Herald) and vowing that if the author were revealed, he would be taken to the Executive Committee charged with policing alleged harassment. At rival Harvard, the gay/lesbian club plastered the campus with posters and flyers celebrating National Coming Out Day. Some students believed that the publicly placed materials were, at best, obscene and that some were pornographic.

Harvard's administration refused to stand up to the activists by claiming that the true issue was the protection of free speech. The administrations of these Ivy League schools reacted differently in the two cases: favored groups can get away with public displays of pornography, but anyone satirizing protected groups faces the wrath of officials in high places.

The ``Polly'' has been referred to by the Washington Post as the coveted Campus Outrage Award for loony political correctness. It debuted in 1998 by bringing national attention to the case of Jared Sakren, a professor of drama at Arizona State University, who was fired for teaching Shakespeare.

T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., President of ISI, said, ``We created the Campus Outrage Awards to widely disseminate instances of outrageous totalitarianism, politicization of the curriculum, and left-wing bigotry on college campuses. Many university deans and presidents decry the idea that political correctness exists and claim that critics of PC use exaggerated or outdated anecdotes. Here's proof to the contrary.''

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan educational think-tank, was founded in 1953 to further in American college youth a better understanding of the economic, political, and spiritual values that sustain a free society.

For more information on the Pollys, contact Winfield Myers, 800-526-7022, or Email, outrage@isi.org.

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