- The Washington Times - Monday, August 31, 2015

Instructors at Washington State University have told students they risk receiving a failing grade for using language they deem to be offensive, such as “male” and “female” or “illegal” immigrant.

According to the syllabus for Selena Lester Breikss’ “Women & Popular Culture” class, “Gross generalizations, stereotypes, and derogatory/oppressive language are not acceptable,” Campus Reform first reported.

“Use of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist, or generally offensive language in class or submission of such material will not be tolerated,” the syllabus explains. “(This includes ‘The Man,’ ‘Colored People,’ ‘Illegals/Illegal Aliens,’ ‘Tranny’ and so on — or referring to women/men as females or males) If I see it or hear it, I will correct it in class since it can be a learning moment for many students. Repeated use of oppressive and hateful language will be handled accordingly — including but not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and — in extreme cases — failure for the semester.”

Professor Rebecca Fowler’s “Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies” class follows a similar philosophy. Students taking her course will also be punished for using the term “illegal alien” in their assigned writing.

According to her syllabus, students will lose one point every time they use the words “illegal alien” or “illegals” rather than the preferred terms of “undocumented migrants/immigrants/persons,” Campus Reform reported. Fowler said students will “come to recognize how white privilege functions in everyday social structures and institutions.”

Students in Professor John Streamas’ “Introduction to Multicultural Literature” class are told to “[r]eflect your grasp of history and social relations by respecting shy and quiet classmates, and by deferring to the experiences of people of color.”

He also asks students to “understand and consider the rage of people who are victims of systematic injustice.”

Campus Reform found at least two other WSU professors who require their students to acknowledge that institutionalized forms of racial oppression exist.

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