There is a controversy at State University of New York (SUNY) that is reminiscent of our recent discussion about the exclusion of white students in a housing advertisement at Claremont. The SUNY controversy concerns a course put together by Resident Advisors Ciaran Slattery, Nicholas Pulakos, and Urenna Nwogwugwu, entitled “#StopWhitePeople2K16.” Once again, the controversy raises the question of equal treatment at universities since SUNY would presumably react aggressively at RAs holding a course entitled “#StopBlackPeople2K16.”
The RAs insist that they merely want to “help others take the next step in understanding diversity, privilege, and the society we function within” by teaching the “tools” to respond to “uneducated people. Resident Advisers hold official positions with the university and are selected to serve as counselors as well as resident authorities.
Much of this controversy could be addressed by SUNY by saying that it treats any course as protected under free speech, including the type of inverse course title discussed above. However, it is clear that such a course would not be tolerated. So what is the standard?