ADVANCING THE SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA AT LEWIS-CLARK STATE COLLEGE
By Dr. Scott Yenor & Anna K. Miller
Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) has joined the cult of race and gender victimology, otherwise known as social justice education. This poisonous ideology has penetrated many aspects of campus life at LCSC, from administration to general education requirements to where students live and sleep.
Administrators often introduce the poison into the university. LCSC’s 2021 Strategic Plan aims to increase faculty and staff participation in Diversity and Inclusion training. These sweet-sounding goals are really just the leading edge of the social justice agenda. Diversity means changing standards to attract minorities, while Inclusion means designing a new “institutional climate” to highlight the grievances of minorities and to blame the majority culture for achievement disparities.
Diversity and Inclusion training will make its way into the classroom through LCSC’s Center for Teaching and Learning. The center provides Anti-Racism training to faculty members. Anti-Racism training comes from the idea that racism is a white problem. People taken with “white fragility,” convinced they are innocent of racism, need anti-racism education to discount any views a white person expresses that do not make race and racism a central feature of their analysis of society, especially in any case of disparate outcomes.
The center encourages faculty to indoctrinate students with anti-racism education, too. As one LCSC recommended resource explains, “There Is No Apolitical Classroom.” Forcing politics on students in the classroom is an abuse of universities, as they are intended to be unique institutions dedicated to the pursuit of truth, not activism. Yet, the center desires for political activism in LCSC classrooms to become routine.
The faculty syllabus is a “gateway to inclusion.” Professors must incorporate anti-racism and inclusion statements into their syllabi and make students participate in Anti-Racism activities. For example, the center suggests students undergo implicit bias tests. Implicit bias is an attempt to prove to all they are bigots at heart. This repeatedly-debunked pseudoscience claims that race predicts discriminatory behavior. The center wants students to participate in the “Whiteness Project.” The Whiteness Project attempts to indoctrinate white people with the idea that whiteness is a dominant, oppressive force and is the root cause of systemic racism in American society. Training at the Center for Teaching and Learning is voluntary, for now.
Similar to Boise State University (BSU) and the University of Idaho (UI), LCSC has required general education courses dedicated to propagandizing and indoctrinating students with social justice ideology. All LCSC students must take a Diversity course to graduate. For instance, HRPT 184 Diversity in Organizations is designed to “increase awareness and appreciation for … diversity” and explore “historical and contemporary experiences form perspectives of both women and men of diverse races, ethnicities, social class, religions, sexual orientation, ages and abilities focusing on how those perspectives effect human relations in the workplace.” Another example is ID 300 Ethics and Identity, which studies “ethical questions and cultural values as they relate to differences in race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and other categories that together form the basis of identity in the social world.”
The majority of LCSC’s 24 Diversity courses are permeated with social justice ideology, though less so than the required diversity courses at BSU and UI.
LCSC offers experiential or service learning in its courses and study abroad programs. Experiential learning sounds like providing students experience in real world jobs through internships or field work. That is almost never what experiential learning means. Instead, experiential learning diverts students’ labor and tuition money to support progressive organizations and train students for careers as progressive activists. For example, in a business major’s nonprofit management class requiring service learning, one student made campaign ads for a progressive nonprofit organization known as Twin County United Way (TCUW). TCUW is a leftist group dedicated to advancing the core tenants of social justice, “diversity, equity and inclusion.”
LCSC’s experiential learning program does not appear to be as advanced in propagandizing students with blatant social justice activism as the UI. But, we can expect LCSC to continue seeking out progressive nonprofit partners and diverting resources to acclimating students to organizing and participating in activism.
The Housing and Residence Life at LCSC makes student housing into a venue for social justice advocacy. Some housing units are dedicated to social justice themes like “Gender Inclusive.” LCSC’s gender inclusive housing “respects the complexities of gender identity” and allows for same gender, opposite gender and gender non-conforming students to live together, regardless of the realities of biological sex. This housing option “seeks to provide an environment welcoming for all students of all gender identities.” Straight, traditional students are forced to live with those asserting one of today’s 50+ genders.
Many more examples of social justice education exist at LCSC. So far we have thoroughly investigated UI and BSU, but we intend to examine every public university and community college in Idaho to see just how deep the social justice rot has corrupted these institutions. Soon we will turn full attention to LCSC and then Idaho State University (ISU).
Idaho lawmakers have largely focused their attention on BSU’s fanatical culture and blatant activism, and secondary attention to the UI’s rapidly expanding social justice administrative regime.
Soon members of the House will vote on Senate Bill 1179, which gives BSU a slap on the wrist but does nothing to curtail the misuse of public funds occurring at Idaho’s other public universities; it even rewards LCSC with $409,000. As LCSC’s increasingly radical student government stated, the university will gladly accept the money but wants to continue supporting diversity and social justice programs. Lawmakers must recognize that rewarding LCSC is a mistake. If left unchecked, LCSC will join UI and BSU by building itself into a social justice university.
Scott Yenor is a Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life. Anna Miller is Education Policy Analyst at the Idaho Freedom Foundation.