Thought Police

By Bryan • canada, grad school, queens • 29 Nov 2008

From the Montreal Gazette…also on national radio.

It would be hilarious if it were not so chilling: Queen’s University will hire six “facilitators” who will listen in on student conversations, vigilant against incorrect speech. Officially, says the University’s website, these incognito “intergroup facilitators,” will “respond to, stimulate and invite engagement across difference and tensions that arise among and between groups” in residences. They’ll pay special attention to “incidents of bias, prejudice … harassment and discrimination” and they’ll be good at all this, because they will “receive intensive and specialized training in the areas of social-justice theory.”

…and there goes the credibility of my future degree…

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Watch out, watch out. :P

  2. Alex B.

    That is CRAZY! Thank you for posting that. I wonder if that is part of some kind of social experiment, or if they really believe that they’re trying to bridge the communication gap between groups on campus. Then again, the position of “intergroup facilitator” could be a prerequisite for a snitch, spy, or agent provocateur in the case of peaceful protests, etc. (the SPP protest in Montebello, Quebec is a good example, and the WTO riots in Seattle is another).

  3. Queen’s has had a spat of racist events on campus recently, so that was a catalyst for the ‘facilitators’. While I obviously don’t condone them, they were incredibly hyped up by the media and reading some of the articles written about them one would think that there was a race-riot occuring at Queen’s.

    Admin is very concerned regarding the incidents, as well as Queen’s ‘whiteness’ and for some reason assumed that these facilitators would address this without admin actually having to do anything themselves – reputation is really big at this school, but the irony is just.

  4. These facilitators kind of remind me of the ‘monitors’ in Chinese classrooms. Given the homogenity of China these monitors were not there to facilitate dialogue and increase diversity awareness but to rather maintain social and political harmony through similar ‘listening-in’ techniques.

  5. Hmmm…given you pointed it out that way, I think putting the facilitators there is ok.

  6. Well, none of us are privy to what ‘their’ opinion or definition of apt and appropriate conversation is. Moreover, we are equally unaware of how far they are willing to take the concept of political correctness. It is very subjective. I have nothing to hide within my values, convictions and opinions and I think my track record abroad speaks for my appreciation of diversity and toleration. But I don’t know how they would feel about that…

    People of lesser thoughts on these subjects need to be encouraged (and they are a minority), not nannied – for it just reduces the ability of the rest of use to have free dialogue.

    At the end of the day it doesn’t affect me personally as these enforcers are present only in the undergrad residences…where brains are easily molded.

    Anything like this in the Phillippines?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *