Many of us were critical of the decisions of Evergreen State College in not just its holding of it “Day of Absence” event were whites were expected to leave campus but its treatment of Biology professor Bret Weinstein who was hounded out of the college (and later received a $500,000 settlement for his mistreatment). The school has also been criticized for racial exclusions of authors in the school newspaper. Now there is a report that Evergreen could be heading in the same direction of the University of Missouri, which has seen a massive drop in applications in the wake of controversial decisions in race-related controversies. Evergreen reportedly expects a 20 percent decrease in admissions even as it replaces its “Day of Absence” event. There is now a proposed “inclusion” course. The Administration and faculty were remarkably slow in adjusting its course, which seemed to abandon Weinstein and embrace racial exclusionary principles. It is still early to determine if Evergreen will experience the disastrous “Mizzou Effect.”
The treatment of Weinstein was highly disconcerting. He made a reasoned objection to the plan for this year’s “Day of Absence.” As shown in a videotape, there was a mob scene around Weinstein as students called him a racist and called for his resignation. Protests have denounced his “anti-blackness” and demanded his removal from teaching. Rather than rally around their colleague and the principle of academic freedom, the faculty at Evergreen State College has sent a letter to students supporting the protesters and their demands for disciplinary action of Prof. Weinstein. The faculty called for none of the students to be disciplined under “the misguided language of the current Student Conduct Code.” The letter also calls for actions to counter “alt-right narratives that are demonizing Evergreen and Day of Absence specifically.”
The controversial request for white faculty and students to leave for the “Day of Absence” is now gone. A new course designed to explore diversity of views and values has been proposed.
Evergreen may be able to weather this downturn. It generated less publicity as Mizzou but the administration and faculty have served their institution and students poorly in the last couple years.