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National Review, Social Justice Activists, Advocates, University of Arizona, Timpf

National Review's Katherine Timpf reports that the University of Arizona is hiring "social justice activists", but Arizona's job description has the title as "Social Justice Advocates".

Small detail, but should be corrected.

Timpf characterizes this as a "tattler" job; at least one aspect of the job description lends to their characterization: job expectations include reporting "any bias incidents or claims to appropriate Residence Life staff."

The main thrust of the position appears to be fostering communication about diversity and "social justice".  Some of the job responsibilities:

  • Plan and execute one active and one passive social justice program per month within the halls;
  • Plan and host residence hall ‘Real Talks’ twice a semester;
  • Lead Social Justice Act to React (A2R) modules for Resident Assistants (RAs) at one staff meeting per month or as assigned;
  • Partner with Advocates Coming Together at least once a semester to do programming;
  • Create and maintain SJA Bulletin boards in the halls;
  • Attend monthly meetings with the Assistant Director of Social Justice Education and/or Graduate Assistant for Social Justice Education.

Timpf appreciates most of the job duties, but has made the main argument in the article about the reporting of bias incidents:

"...all of [the other duties are] fine. I’m all for being a nice, sensitive person, but encouraging outside sources to report 'bias incidents' whenever they feel that other students have been wronged is a terrible idea. It’s one thing to give students a place to report any problems that they’ve experienced themselves, but shouldn’t it be up to the person who was involved to decide whether or not there even was a problem in the first place?"

Timpf makes her concern clear enough, but doesn't address the issue from the point of view of the University or the point of view of "kind of person wants to get a job policing 'microaggressions'" (her words, or her editor's).  Her article might be strengthened by presenting the case for such a position fairly, then attempting to refute it -- instead, she pulls out only one bullet point (the reporting of bias) and opines on how it is wrongheaded.

It is unclear what Residence Life would do with a report of a "bias incident" or "bias claim", nor is it clear how any human can be free of biases.  Is Timpf biased against anti-bias student workers, and are these "tattlers" insightful enough to be anti-biased against non-anti-bias columnists?

Good luck, University of Arizona.  Good luck, National Review.  Good luck, World.


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