Depending on who you ask, to be ‘politically correct’ is either to be mindful about people’s preferences regarding race, gender, ethnicity, and religion—or to be an authoritarian keen on censoring free speech and coddling special snowflakes.
Nobody will argue that respecting appropriate terminology isn’t important, but several academics have expressed concern that aspects of the so-called “PC culture” are hindering education. This month, student protests at universities like Yale have made headlines after demonstrators demanded college campuses be “safe spaces.”
One university in Toronto, Canada is fighting back. A small music production school called the Harris Institute has announced it’s taking a stand against so-called PC culture, citing concerns that the system of beliefs fundamentally undermines the purpose of higher education: to be challenged with and dissect contrary viewpoints, rather than silence them.
“I have experienced and followed with great concern the increasingly disruptive challenges post-secondary educators are facing with political correctness issues,” said the institute’s president, John Harris. “In my view the most valuable aspect of post-secondary education is being undermined.”
City News Canada explains the new policy:
“Starting on March 21, students at the school will be required to acknowledge in writing the school’s Rules of Civility, which state that students, faculty and staff who are found to have ‘shouted down an opposing view’ can be placed on probation or dismissed.”
Harris says the college instituted the policy after increased complaints from students about the words being used in lessons.
“We’ve got courses that talk about hip-hop culture and rap culture and for some people those are sensitive areas in terms of racism, sexism, et cetera,” Harris said.
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