UCLA pays students to advocate social justice and “educate their peers”

If you haven’t read the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE’s) 2017 report on U.S. college “bias response teams”, you should, even though it’s long. FIRE found 231 such teams, with 143 at public institutions. Their purpose is to investigate cases of bias and issue reports about them, which may or may not involve disciplining any students, staff, or faculty involved. While such teams may serve a useful purpose in preventing harassment, they also pose a palpable danger to free speech–speech by both faculty and students.  The problem is that what constitutes a reportable offensive is invariably nebulous, so all kinds of stuff gets reported, including obvious cases of free speech. Have a look at FIRE’s list of reported incidents. I decided to just pick one at random without reading it and, I swear to Ceiling Cat, here it is (I turned the footnotes into links):

(You can also read a short summary of the FIRE report at The Washington Examiner.)

Hand in hand with the bias response teams go the reporters: the students who get upset or outraged enough to contact the teams. (Again, some of these reports are justified.) And some schools will actually hire students to either make reports, or, as in the case of the University of California at Los Angeles, to go among their peers advocating “social justice,” which of course is usually a form of Regressive Leftist Politics. As Campus Reform reports (yes, it’s a right-wing site, but who else would cover this?),

The University of California-Los Angeles is offering to pay students to serve as “Social Justice Advocates” who will “educate” their peers about “systems [of] oppression.”

The Social Justice Advocates program [JAC: note that the form has disappeared and is “closed”!] seeks students who want to help their classmates “navigate a world that operates on whiteness, patriarchy, and heteronormativity as the primary ideologies,” and comes with a quarterly stipend, the amount of which has yet to be determined.

“Social Justice Advocates will systems [of] oppression and how they intersect and build upon each other to maintain the status quo,” the description continues. “Most importantly individuals and the collective will be empowered through liberatory scholarship and practices and strengthening their emotional intelligence to create change within their spheres of influence.”

The application for the inaugural students asks aspiring Social Justice Advocates to explain their interest in social justice, list their preferred gender pronouns (such as “zi” and “hir”), and describe any experience they have in facilitating workshops on “social justice” issues.

Successful applicants will join the inaugural cohort of 8-10 Social Justice Advocates for the upcoming fall semester, during which time they are expected to commit three hours per week to their duties, which include weekly meetings and crafting presentations.

The program is funded through the Bruin Excellence & Student Transformation Grant Program (BEST), which receives funding from the university’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and from Gold Shield, Alumnae of UCLA.

The pilot program for Social Justice Advocacy involves several workshops, and here they are. I am not making them up:

All aboard the struggle bus!  This isn’t discussion and exploration of viewpoints, but indoctrination.

Is a public university supposed to be paying its undergraduates to inculcate their peers with such views? Yes, some of those views are good ones, but I thought that in college you were supposed to come to these conclusions yourself after a process of reading, listening, learning, and thinking—not have them shoved down your throat by hired Thought Goons.  Somehow when I was in college (1967-1971), the students managed to see the injustice of segregation and the futility and needless deaths of the Vietnam War—all of it without being harangued by hired “social justice advocates.”


h/t: BJ


  1. Posted May 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Is it just me, or does this remind you of the rise of the Red Guard in China, empowering youngsters to denounce others and then carry out some brutish retribution justified merely by accusation… but, of course, in the name of some social justice term _______ (stick in whatever virtuous label one wants here)?

    Why don’t real liberals (and not just the more outspoken conservatives) see just how dangerous this abdication from liberal principles this movement really is… to all of us?

    • DrBrydon
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      That’s exactly what they remind me of. In the name of multiculturalism, I think they should use that name, or is that now cultural appropriation?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 20, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        *Exactly* that.

        We will now proceed to have show trials, in which the vict^H^H^H^H offender will tearfully confess his crimes against all the -Isms and be sentenced to some suitably humiliating penance.


        • jwthomas
          Posted May 21, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          It reminds me very much of the
          European witch trials of the 17th/18th centuries. “Witchfinders” went about sniffing out “witches” who were almost invariably elderly women disliked by one or more of their neighbors, some of whom were known as “healers”, and subjecting them to certain tests and tortures before hanging them. All this in the name of “God.”
          Every generation since has had its “witches,” from early Muslims to Communists in the State Department, but no one seems to learn from history. All done in a “righteous” cause.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 21, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            Since you mention them, witch trials were apparently quite a profitable industry for the courts, who could charge the witch’s family (or his/her estate) for the cost of the trial. Some legal functionaries made quite a good living out of it. Now what does that remind me of…?


    • Posted May 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t real liberals … see just how dangerous this … is

      Because they’re not true liberals? Much of the left is not that liberal and never has been.

    • Rita
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      YES! The Cultural Revolution.

    • BJ
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Yup, I’ve been saying this ever since the public humiliation of Nicholas Christakis at Yale. It was a public shaming session, and eventually forced both him and his wife to leave the school.

    • nicky
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      That sounds very similar indeed. Needless to say that the ‘Cultural Revolution’ did almost as much damage as the ‘Great Leap Forwards’.

    • somer
      Posted May 21, 2017 at 3:17 am | Permalink

      +1 Im sick of “social justice” that is about grievance culture and entitlement over the majority. If ability is actively discriminated against to cater sufficiently to handicap, if black people, non western people, extremist women can demonise white westerners and white men because in some stages history they have been oppressed – or just disadvantaged by nature in the case of disability – then they are satisfied with nothing short of the destruction of the society and its replacement with violent anarchy based on resentment and dictatorship wielding total power in favour of “the masses” or invasion or just descent into religious banana republic.

  2. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    One nice thing about the theater community is they are both left-wing but don’t buy into this stuff at all. They are in many ways still authentically Progressive Left.

    Last year Shotgun Players in Berkeley mounted a hilarious parody of political correctness called “Caught” by Christopher Chen.
    On the more serious side, the recent stage play “Roe v. Wade” is very fair-minded toward the anti-choice Christians in a way that might get the play protested on many college campuses even though it ultimately comes down on the pro-choice side. (Even if it didn’t get protested, no one conditioned by the current campus environment could have possibly written the play as it stands!!)

    On the other hand, back in the 1990s, Unitarians seemed to me to be ahead/behind the curve on this one, very rigidly PC in pursuit of social justice in ways similar to those described in this post. (I abandoned Unitarianism in 2011 after a 22-year run, shortly after completing studies to become a Unitarian minister!!)

    There’s a lot of important half-truths (maybe even three-quarters) buried underneath the jargon of all this social justice, but the job of salvaging the good ideas is becoming harder.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that students tend to react or participate in things that affect them or things they are made to believe affect them. All aboard the struggle bus is a fine example of this invented belief and the march goes on.

    I do not mean to down play the demonstrations and marches during the Vietnam conflict because they were real and wide spread. But ask yourself – would they have been nearly as great as they became without the draft system in the U.S. at the time. I think not. Therefore, once the draft was eliminated after Vietnam, would there ever be more large scale protests of our government actions overseas. Iran and even Afghanistan are likely actions for large protests so where are they? In their absence we have time for other social struggles.

    • j. baldwin
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      I seem to recall plenty of protests of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…during Bush’s tenure. It evaporated when Obama took office. Probably just a coincidence, but the bombs kept falling.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        I meant to say Iraq, not Iran. Yes, there were demonstrations but once the war was up and running the demonstrations seemed to be more of an annual thing. They were not sustained on campuses so much, at least I did not see coverage and that may have been the problem as well, that they were not well covered. In any case, the protests were relatively small scale compared to Vietnam.

    • Diane G.
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      “… would they have been nearly as great as they became without the draft system in the U.S. at the time. ”

      OH, I think that paid a huge role. Right or left, the majority of people seldom respond to the point of taking action until the issue directly concerns them–in this case, the threat of being sent (or having one’s friends/loved ones sent) to ‘Nam to murder and perhaps be murdered.

      Still, hasn’t there’s always been a left that stands for human rights wherever they’re threatened?; witness the Freedom Riders in the early/mid 60’s (not to mention those who developed and passed the legislation the Freedom Riders defended). They and the somewhat later war protesters seemed to catalyze a more altruistic, big tent left that embraced environmentalism, gay rights, second-wave feminism, etc. I think it was easier to unify then, when we all read/listened to the same media. Nowadays, with the internet, movements just become ever more Balkanized, our innate tribalism ever more reinforced. Such a shame, when the very same technology could be used to the exact opposite effect.

    • somer
      Posted May 21, 2017 at 3:24 am | Permalink

      I don’t find these realistic concerns – they are so out of proportion to reality – they have no concrete proposals for betterment = they are just about resentment or a naive idea of total sameness. To my mind this is not social justice – its about impoverishing or obstructing everyone in pursuit of an unobtainable ideal because of ones resentment or ones desire to fit in to a peer group. They are not remotely rational. No one size fits all for all time ideology does anyone any good whether its communism or supply side economics or Gramscianism or laissez faire classical market economics or religion. I have to say i do not agree that human affairs are reducible to mathematical rules. All attempts a reducing human affairs to a singular cause and philosophy that should exist regardles of circumstance and time have been an utter and total disaster.

  4. DrBrydon
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The University of California-Los Angeles is offering to pay students to serve as “Social Justice Advocates” who will “educate” their peers about “systems [of] oppression.”

    Educate them about oppression by oppressing them? I know that the views held by SJWs are a minority among college students, and I know from my own younger relatives that colleges still turn out good people, but my knee-jerk reaction is, maybe college is no longer the right thing to do after high school. Between the cost and the political re-education, it just seems so pointless.

  5. sshort
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Brace yourself, kids…

    Teletubbies was made up stuff. Their world is not real. The only narrator is in your head.

    Take the tiny antennas off your heads and stop gazing at the screens on your tummies.

    We do not all get along.

  6. alexandra Moffat
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    It smacks of the re-education camps/gulags of the Chinese Maoists and the Soviets??

  7. Richard
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    The world has gone mad.

    Back in the days of the DDR the Stasi had one informant for every 6.5 people in the East German population. How they would laugh now at seeing the West do this to itself.

  8. Steve Pollard
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    What a lot of workshops! How do they find the time to do any work?

    Ah, I forgot. Most of them will be “social studies” students. Not much work required. Plenty of time for workshops.

    Many scientists involved in these workshops? Any?

    • Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      ‘Anyone who uses the word ‘workshop’ who doesn’t work in light engineering is a twat’ – Alexei Sayle.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 20, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Yay!!! to Alexei Sayle.

        (As is anyone who uses ‘workshop’ as a verb.)


  9. BJ
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    The truly scary thing (besides paying students to ideologically indoctrinate others and creating a secret police force among students’ peers) is that literally anything can be bias now.

    I posted this in the last thread about this stuff, but just in case any of you missed it, here are two bias reports from U of Wisconsin:

    (1) “There was a white female student that kept making glares at me and another student. She would glare at both of us and then continue to proceed on her phone. This proceeded for 2 hours. Both me and the victim were Asian American women. I don’t know if race plays a part in it. Though this event was small and seemingly insignificant, it made me and the other victim feel unsafe, uncomfortable and paranoid. We did not approach this person.”

    Notice how they mention their races and genders, how it made them feel “unsafe,” and how they call themselves “victims.”

    (2) “It’s nothing serious, but I feel I need to get this out of my mind. Around 2pm afternoon last Friday, I went to Gordon Market to grab some late lunch, and got french toast from one of the male kitchen staffs there. I don’t know why but he gave me a clearly quite burnt toast among all other breads that were not burnt. I was so shocked but I couldn’t say anything and just accepted it. I am a female Asian student.”

    Again, notice how she mentions her race and gender, and that the offender was a nasty male! Burnt French toast. This is a bias incident. She was “shocked” and needed to get this “incident” out of her mind and report it to somebody. She also felt she “couldn’t say anything” (like maybe, “could I have that piece instead?”). And think of how much more privileged she probably is than some guy working behind the counter at a college cafeteria.

    Link: https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/32323/

    • Craw
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I am alarmed at her outrageous cultural appropriation. French toast?

    • sshort
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I recall a music writer, maybe it was Rolling Stone, recalling that he and some friends were sitting around the living room of their group house one fine morning just relaxing. A girl walks in unexpectedly, starts to look around frantically, lets out a little squeal and says she has to get out because of all the “bad vibes.”

      He said he turned to look at his friends, and, in that moment, knew the sixties were over.

      May this moment pass soon as well.

  10. Filippo
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    ” . . . during which time they are expected to commit three hours per week to their duties, which include weekly meetings and crafting presentations.”

    I wonder if the university will impose a minimum “sales quota” on them so as to justify their being paid.

    I’m reminded of (what I perceived to be) a Christian zealot, as I was walking to class on my university campus, out of the blue interrogating/haranguing me about my religious beliefs.

  11. Denise
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    If I were of college age now, I’m not sure I’d even go. I’m not sure I could tolerate this stuff.

    • Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Presumably, this indoctrination is elective right now. But if these folks get their way, it will be made compulsory. And then what is not compulsory, will be forbidden.

      • BJ
        Posted May 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        A hell of a lot of schools make women’s and/or cultural studies mandatory for graduation now. How can you indoctrinate your army, otherwise?

        • Posted May 20, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          Yes, to be effective indoctrination should be mandatory. Otherwise, why would anyone want to listen to this stuff? Until it is mandatory, they must bribe students, either with money or easy grades. But bribed students do not make the best missionaries.

        • somer
          Posted May 21, 2017 at 12:40 am | Permalink

          thats crazy

    • Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      If I was at university now I’d be doing a lot more pot than I did then.

  12. Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    The University of California-Los Angeles is offering to pay students to serve as “Social Justice Advocates” who will “educate” their peers about “systems [of] oppression.”

    If only those Salem girls had been able to monetise their accusations…

  13. Steve Gerrard
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I find it odd that the SJWs are so focused on what people say, when they should be more concerned with what people think. Making someone not say the N word doesn’t mean the person no longer thinks it.

    The same applies to all these speech related complaints. How can they feel safe if everyone is silent, and they don’t know what anyone is thinking?

    • Richard
      Posted May 21, 2017 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      Please don’t get them started on ‘thoughtcrime’ – things are bad enough already.

  14. Posted May 20, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    UCLA is passing the buck back to the “offended” students as a way to shut them the “blank” up in re complaints to other students, teachers, administrators and the media and, to relieve the administration of an onerous responsibility. Instead, why don’t they teach their students how to discuss sensitive topics in a rational and productive manner. Aren’t they supposed to be educators?

    • Filippo
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      “Instead, why don’t they teach their students how to discuss sensitive topics in a rational and productive manner. Aren’t they supposed to be educators?”

      I’d like to think that there was a time in the past when students arrived at college prepared to so discuss such topics. Would you reasonably agree that parents have some reasonable and appropriate responsibility regarding the matter? Perhaps universities should include a test of these sorts of things as part of the application process, and those who can’t pass scrutiny won’t be accepted. A great sense of entitlement/privilege abides across the fruited Amuricun plain.

    • BJ
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      If you look at the guidelines the state of California as a whole has released in the past two years regarding social justice issues, I don’t think they’re passing the buck at all, but rather following the wishes of the state as best they see fit.

  15. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    “The program is funded through the Bruin Excellence & Student Transformation Grant Program (BEST)”

    As an aside, note how these acronyms *always* end up being some word with positive connotations. Like, they never ever come up with names like ‘Committee for Re-assessment and Amelioration of Prejudices’. (That was not very good, admittedly, thought up in a hurry. Red Dwarf did better –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KlASxNooXc )

    Sometimes it’s uncomfortably obvious that the perpetrators thought up the acronym first and selected the words to fit. Such as – oh Gods, there’s pages of them:


  16. FullMcIntosh
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    White Knights, all aboard the struggle bus!

  17. jeffery
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I sure wish that I could get paid to “educate” my peers! I was just about ready to bring up the “Cultural Revolution” in China when I saw the first comment.
    “on the other hand” being “ableist”? This is way BEYOND insane….

  18. Dale Franzwa
    Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Sounds to me like these students need a good workshop in how to grow up. How to take the knocks life deals us and move on without being constant cry-babies.

    • Filippo
      Posted May 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I think at least one thing they should do is read Booker T. Washington’s “Up from Slavery,” paying particular attention to the circumstances of his being accepted for admission to, and persevering in completing his academic work at, Hampton Institute.

  19. Florent
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    I remember an article posted here about a lady of color who protested the BLM movement (or its use of some event) and ended up bannished from her own movement, and had to apologize publicly, and even suffer some sort of public humiliation – all voted by some same sort of goons as depicted here.

    Has anyone a link to this ?

  20. Posted May 21, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I wonder what are the qualifications and training provided to the “peer educators.” Will they be trained in effective pedagogy? Will they require or confer some form of certification? Do the workshops have well defined objectives, outcomes and assessment methods?

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