Student Groups Demand UChicago Change Curriculum, Housing, and Departments Along Racial Lines

university of chicagoI previously praised the position of my alma mater, The University of Chicago, in refusing to limit free speech with the creation of safe spaces and speech codes. Indeed, the courageous position of UChicago stood in sharp contrast to the troubling position of my other alma mater, Northwestern University (which has only grown more hostile to both free speech and academic freedom).  Now the university faces another test of academic principles after a coalition of student groups called “UChicago United” has given the Administration of list of 50 demands. Most troubling are demands that seek decisions impacting the academic integrity of the curriculum and school as a whole.

The group demands the creation of a “Race and Ethnic Studies Department,” a “Black Studies Academic Department,” an “African Studies Department,” a “Caribbean Studies Department,” an “Asian American Studies Program,” a “Center for African and Caribbean Studies” and a “Latinx Affairs Office.”  UChicago is commonly credited with the establishment of the “common core” approach to education and its reliance on classic works.  It has avoided the creation of race-based departments or programs as opposed to traditional academic division (within which faculty are free to focus on different racial or gender or cultural elements of their subject matters).

I have long been an advocate of the traditional division of academic departments.  A faculty senate can certainly debate the merits of abandoning this approach, but it is not a decision left to the students or, worse yet, a group threatening direct action unless the university yields on a matter of academic principle.

The group also asked for UChicago to impose a mandatory “Diversity and Inclusion” requirement for graduation that would be “primarily focused on any US-centric structural oppression, such as race, gender, and sexuality.” Once again, such a requirement has a direct impact on the academic mission and principles.  Many would object to the obvious endorsement of the structural oppression premise of the requirement.

Other academic-related demands include the changing of the social science and humanities curriculums to “include more insight from Black authors, specifically Black women” and to require more teaching of the “the Islamic Golden Age.”

The students also insist that the department be independent but funded by the university.  UChicago is also asked to establish “university-funded and run cultural houses, specifically a Black House, a Latinx House, and an Asian House.”  This is less of an academic matter but it does run counter to the position on safe spaces and the desire for students to live an open, vibrant, and unsegregated environment.  The demands for race-based separation would materially alter the UChicago environment.

There is always room to discuss suggestions for improving the feelings of inclusion and addressing racial concerns for students. However, UChicago should refuse to negotiate over demands that would fundamentally alter its academic curriculum and values.  Those decisions rest with the faculty and should be based exclusively on intellectual and academic values.

Here are the demands: UChicago List


44 thoughts on “Student Groups Demand UChicago Change Curriculum, Housing, and Departments Along Racial Lines”

  1. I’m interested in seeing the school’s official response to this list of demands.

    I’m hopeful the answer is something along the lines of, “No. Here is our curriculum and list of required courses. If you are uncomfortable with these academic requirements or with the programs currently offered by our institution… there’s the door. Should you look around, there are scores of Universities that already have all the items you’re demanding. Perhaps you would be a better fit at one of those schools. Goodbye.”

    Probably why I have little opportunity of becoming a University administrator.

  2. Look like the schools coast to coast are reaping what they’ve sowed. Looks like a bumper crop.

    I thought this demand was interesting….. “”impose a mandatory “Diversity and Inclusion” requirement for graduation””. May I suggest that they begin this one off at graduation by respecting their speaker.

    Schools pull the strings of their little bastard puppet….transcripts, diplomas, admittance and expulsion. They should find their strings and get Chucky back under control.

    If they don’t, the HR departments and interviewers will. I know my first question would be……Where’d you go to school? ( thinking….yeah, we’ll be in touch).

    Going to dust “one” of my diplomas frames today. The one signed by George C. Wallace.

    Obviously we have a huge “assimilation” problem of native (no pun intended) born things.

    1. Thought this was interesting….just made a post, or thought I did and then there is is banner on top of it.

      “Your comment is awaiting moderation”

      If you have the courage…..identify yourself. I have to warn you, I am packing and carrying. Roundup!

  3. Maybe it is time to re-segregate the universities instead of being so shocked by this behavior and list of demands. Agree to their list but also insist on comparable departments for white students. Focus on Western Civilization and a classical curriculum. Then in the future see which group is most successful. Go back to the “separate but equal” doctrine. I am very weary from all of this.

    1. I have an idea.

      Don’t re-segregate, don’t de-segregate, don’t segregate, don’t do anything but


      Allow FREEDOM of assembly.

      People must adapt to the outcome of FREEDOM.

      FREEDOM does not adapt to people.

      Let’s be FREE of the tyrannical oppression that is unconstitutional affirmative action.

  4. Was it a black leader or a white politician who famously declared:

    “Segregation Today, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever”

  5. Tell them no and tell them that as curtly as possible. If they occupy some building, send in campus security and a mess of Pinkertons to drag them out and expel them on the spot.

    A group of evangelical students who demanded mandatory chapel would be told no without a second thought. However, flipping the bird at evangelicals is status-enhancing among faculty members and administrators, while flipping the bird at blacks and hispanics given to effrontery is status-lowering. Just remember you have two problems: trustee nonfeasance and a faculty and administration composed of people for whom high-school never ends. As Ava Gardner once said “Deep down, I’m pretty superficial.” So it is in higher education in our time.

  6. Hey Lawyers, did you click on the list Professor Turley provided: of the demands?
    Let me ask you….that was NOT written by a lame brain student.
    Who wrote that up?
    That has the hallmark of a professional. Lawyer….Lawyer in a thinktank. Think tank funded by Soros or Rockafellers, etc.
    It’s the old Kissinger-Soros-etc. destabilization of South America etc.
    There is a movie about it.
    They love to start at the Universities.

    1. It’s true, most modern college kids are sadly remedial. These are someone’s puppets. The biggest mistake of the 21st century has been entrusting children (i.e. Millennials) with adult responsibility as though they are magically sagacious and when they are not fully formed adults (and naturally, it is done in the name of $$$). It’s time to find our integrity again push back.

      Oh, and Jon: have you ever actuall looked at the Common Core? It was NOT a good idea (that could be its own series of my own posts) and it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that this is the same university responsible for it. Things changed at your alma mater long ago, this is just a more obvious example.

  7. Lots of demands. East Africa’s oldest university Makerere in Uganda closes.
    They don’t roll that way. If you don’t like it here….leave.

  8. mespo, The NYT did a piece last year about how some colleges are feeling the pinch from alumni appalled @ this horsesh!t. That’s the way to push back. Voters pushed back in November. In exit polling, PC was a major factor in swing voters going w/ Trump.

    1. Nick:
      I read it. I’d also recommend a “Snowflake Registry” website so we have the names and exploits of these Che Guevara wannabes. Who wants to hire this racist trash? Not me.

  9. Oh, they’ll capitulate to some degree in the name of inclusion or diversity or some other liberal tripe. We’ve lost the ability to just say “no” to terrorists foreign and domestic. We can’t even call them “terrorists” or, as in this case, run of the mill racists or segregationists. I vote we withhold any donations to colleges until they expel the racists. How provocative in 2017.

  10. And if they holler, make em pay. Fifty dollars every day.
    O U T spells OUT and OUT you go!

  11. “Losers”. Trump hit the nail on the head. Yeah, go ahead and re-segregate.


    Seg re gate! Segregate!
    Dance to the mus ic!

  12. As I mentioned before: Some individuals should be ignored. These students are such individuals.

  13. Those seem to be small portions of what the history department offers.

  14. Kare, you asked if these students see the “irony”. I doubt it.

  15. First, I find it odd that the same students would demand so many African American departments, whilst also requiring more teaching on the Islamic Golden Age, which would be about prolific slavers. Do they not see the irony?

    Here, once again, we see Liberal fascism. They are trying to force their views upon others, and make them mandatory through the school. There is intolerance for opposing views.

    Obviously, the university would be better served with a classical division of academics, as Professor Turley noted. Race can certainly be an interesting topic in any number of departments. But this trend towards segregation, victimhood, divisiveness, and rage profiteering is troubling. Are they afraid some students might forget they are perpetual victims if it is not rubbed in their face on a daily basis? Afraid people might get along and make friends regardless of skin color, and forget they are supposed hate either themselves or others out of guilt or white privilege?

    This is a neurotic perpetual inflammation of the limbic system which produces hysteria on one side and crisis fatigue on the other. I’ll repeat my favorite advice to these students: go dig a well for people in Africa, be a Big Brother or Sister to a child in need, join CASA, plant a community garden, bring an organic farmers market that accepts EBT to the city, walk little kids to school in gang infested neighborhoods. To wit, find a purpose. These students are trying to become heroes in their own eyes, desperately searching for victims, when they have the ability to quietly do truly heroic acts that make a real difference to people, without crowing about it.

  16. Trade the “demands” for the repeal of affirmative action.

    It’s not necessary, appropriate or constitutional.

    Merit’s the ticket!

    What a novel concept.

    1. $22 trillion wasted on the Great Society over the past 53 years.

      “bout time to throw in the towel, eh?

      1. The Office of Economic Opportunity was dismantled in 1973. There was a small successor agency disappeared during the Reagan Administration. The Great Society remnant of consequence is HUD. HUD’s bad, but at current rates HUD wouldn’t spend that amount in 300 years, much less 50.

  17. Maybe this is where you ought to give somebody exactly what they want. The blacks can graduate with a student loan, and an in-depth knowledge of the God-awful poetry of Maya Angelou to show for it. They will be working in fast food joints and as custodial staff until the day they die.

    Plus, the white kids can have safe dorms, and get the good jobs when they graduate.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. They are certainly demonstrating who the real racists are. No doubt about that.

    2. What is this fascination with Maya Angelou? I tried reading her once and after her slathering of gross sexuality, gave up and read more authentic and better written Penthouse letters.

      1. I had a discussion in a forum like this with a collection of progtrash including a contemptible lawyer from Los Angeles who wants a judgeship. The subject was pix on the currency. He’s running off about what a ‘badass’ Harriet Tubman was. Well, so was Audie Murphy. Come to think of it, George Bush the Elder was a decorated combat veteran. Harriet Tubman was a private citizen who did some interesting and commendable things, but she’s only in the history books as a source of vignettes, not as as a person of consequence in the sweep of national history. This chump lawyer’s reasoning made perfect sense to him because he never asked the question of who should be on the currency and why. His point of departure incorporated the assumption that their had to be a black or a dame on the currency.

        Marguerite Jackson (“Maya Angelou”) was an entertainer who took up creative writing as a hobby. She then discovered that there was a look-at-the-emperor’s-new-clothes constituency for her output. (I think that’s much more likely in the visual arts than literature). She even got a sweet-deal professorship at Wake Forest. It was a pretty good grift, and she plied it to the end of her life.

        (There was an article in National Review ca. 1993 by a Wake Forest alum on the terms of her employment there. See John Derbyshire for a critique of the ‘poem’ she penned for the Clinton inaugural).

        1. It’s practically high treason to question her prose or poetry as anything less than Shakespearean. I tried to get through one of her three autobiographies, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” but gave up after only realizing that after much reading all I learned is that, “I Know Why The Tortured Prisoner Sings — to the Torturer.” The poetry has it’s moments (Like “I Rise”) which seems life affirming until you realize that all of her poetry is solipsistic drivel which is, of course, self- indulgent. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is the right metaphor because even though I don’t have breadth of literary knowledge many here have, I do know trash when it blows across my desk, and it sure doesn’t look like royal vestments.

      2. I think her writing is basically garbage, but me and Penelope Dreadful did run one of her lost poems on our blog: Here it is:

        The Watermelon Runs
        By Maya Angelou

        Listen to me
        Daughters and sons,
        And watch out for
        the watermelon runs.

        So big, so green
        So very mean

        Like a whore all big and round
        Spit that seed out on the ground

        Hoochie coochie man so sweet
        Dive head first in that pink meat

        Eat it up until it hurts
        Don’t stop until the melon squirts

        Hurry scurry run out back
        To the little wooden shack

        Contemplate the crescent moon
        Take your time, don’t leave too soon

        Heed that rumble in your gut
        Don’t dance the Watermelon Strut

        And before you do your nailin’
        Don’t you eat no watermelon!

        Since we had also ran one of James Dickey’s lost poems, we tried to be fair to Maya, and we did a good critical analysis of the elements of her poem. Even though we thought it was a dumb poem.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    3. Pretty much at this point is a
      RACE to the bottom for all the races.

      And why not? Satan’s LIE of monkey to man evolution, says we are all animals anyways.
      And when they decided to teach there are NO Moral absolutes. Whose to say we can’t make it up as we go along?
      Chaos. It’s Satan’s signature dance.

      1. Satan = primitive beliefs about the nature of reality.
        I know, I know, Satan made me say that…

    4. Only about 0.5% of the baccalaureate degrees awarded in this country are in victimology programs. Even if every person taking such a degree were black, they’d still encompass fewer than 5% of the black students therein. On the arts and science program I know best, they hand out about 700 diplomas a year. About 2% are in interdisciplinary programs highly vulnerable to politicizaation, and < 1% are in black studies. Victimology programs are present to meet the emotional needs of faculty and administrators. You'd inconvenience very few students by abolishing them. (At that particular institution, the top four majors in the general student population are the top four majors among black students as well).

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