Viewpoint Diversity in Irish universities

Orbit v2

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
11,790
It's interesting the progression in those three paragraphs ^ from lofty liberal principles gradually towards no-platforming and authoritarian intolerance.
 


CookieMonster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
33,861
This is literally all B.S.

Irish universities have been deeply conservative at management level for generations, in terms of campus culture and academic policies, and OP is yet another Yankified right-winger parroting other people's talking points.

Naked anti-intellectualism.
This.

I think there is also a lot of confusion, either willful ignorance or simply ignorance, between what is under a University's control and what is within the remit of Student Unions.
 

shoneen

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
1,804
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/university-culture-free-speech-spiked-no-platforming-a7580041.html

The viewpoint of a student union leader in the UK.




Summarized by me as follows: "You are not allowed be critical of behaviors or beliefs of certain groups of people that are viewed by this SU leader as subject to discrimination or people that this SU leader views as unable to defend their behavior/beliefs from such criticism".

Firstly, in what world does this SU leader live in ? Law supports equal opportunity for all and prohibits discrimination. Universities would be in the lead on following that law and going beyond it in the search for diversity.

Secondly, if the people cannot defend their own beliefs and behavior from criticism, why no-platform the critic ? It is not the fault of the critic. I sense that this SU leader feels sorry for certain "soft spoken targets of criticism". There are lots of ways to support such people. Trying to stop the criticism is hardly going to work. It is akin to wrapping them in bubble-wrap.
To be fair, if you're looking for logic and consistency in an argument, the musings of an SU hack is the last place you'll find it. They tend to be professional grievance-merchants without the will or aptitude to get anything done to address the concerns of the majority of students. Most are privileged, well-connected kids playing politics before they get a cushy number somewhere when the graduate.
 

AyaanMyHero

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
859
To be fair, if you're looking for logic and consistency in an argument, the musings of an SU hack is the last place you'll find it. They tend to be professional grievance-merchants without the will or aptitude to get anything done to address the concerns of the majority of students. Most are privileged, well-connected kids playing politics before they get a cushy number somewhere when the graduate.
I don;t really expect to see consistency in SU folks. But this article has led me to understand a little bit more about how student leaders think, i.e. that it hurts them deeply when a well-spoken educated speaker with a stage and a microphone criticizes certain ideas/behaviors when at the same time, they believe the segment of students holding those beliefs or demonstrating those behaviors are not able to talk back. It is a stance founded mainly on emotion.

You would hope that they will eventually be able think rationally as they grow older and not let emotion control their thought process. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see the more left leaning politicians rolling out emotive arguments to the detriment of rationality. So, I say it is a hope but not a given.
 

AyaanMyHero

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
859
This.

I think there is also a lot of confusion, either willful ignorance or simply ignorance, between what is under a University's control and what is within the remit of Student Unions.
Well, I would like challenge that statement. In regard to no platforming in the UK, the government has decided to put a stop to it. This begs the question as to why the university management did nothing ? Also, when Katie Ascough got a message that said Katie has to die, it seems the university management did nothing.

My question is: do the university management have no control over the students ? My answer is: Of course not. In my day, students who damaged property or other people were reprimanded. So, there is a history of management having control.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

caledhel

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Messages
2,151
I don't know, this is all very confusing. "In my day" university was a place where I met a variety of fascinating people among the student body and was given a window to enter a world of knowledge that I had to go through myself or fail the exams. Wide ranging conversation and a default to bold adventure was the code. Freedom of expression, the art of argument, a prepared mind and the dignity of the person were assumed qualities and indispensable if one was to have standing and was to be considered seriously.

Both humbled me, without crushing me, and gave me a lively optimism to live life as it came with a conviction that life makes sense and that it can be lived well. I already had a reflex respect for people who may not have gone from my extended family and I was able to see this value even more clearly, not out of some learned patronising condescension, but because obviously respect is due to people who hold themselves in the world well and from whom there is much to learn.

I did go back a few years later to do a bit more and the crazy was setting in but I dismissed it as nonsense not worth much attention. Now, looking at how things have arranged themselves, I do not see an intellectual environment where people are bolding stepping up to the challenges of the future, I see a sensory cravenness and a refusal to development an active and tempered mind. That is, in the first instance, very much their loss and, in the second instance, very much to the loss of those they inflict their recreant manias upon.

The quote that education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire was a truism. Education was purposed to lead out the potential of the inner self, inculcate the ability to leverage discipline and get the brain lit up. When I look and listen and argue with those of a contemporary bent it seems more a matter of buckets than anything else. All this talk of liberation and tolerance reminds me of a couple of quotes from Laozi - The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas, and, The more you use it, the more it produces; the more you talk of it, the less you understand. Less of the by the nose and more of the educo please.
 

AyaanMyHero

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
859
Covered some more material from Jonathan Haidt. He root causes the US campus problem as follows:

Firstly, he is mostly blaming students rather than management/academic staff. His claim is that US students (starting their university in the early 2010s) have been raised by over-protective parents and an over-protective society. They were sheltered from conflict with other children and there was always an adult around to appeal to in the event of a conflict. The ever-presence of adults led to children not having opportunity to fight their own battles.

Secondly, he says the progressive nature of the campuses with all the emphasis on diversity and inclusion and the dominance of the "social justice left" has further encouraged students to cry foul if their senses are assaulted by anything they hear said on campus against the "victim" classes. He says the university management and academics are actually scared of the students making complaints against them should they say the wrong thing. It is apparently unacceptable to pooh-pooh any compliant of a whining student and so, the complaints are treated seriously enough that academics will try to avoid complaints even if that means not providing relevant knowledge.

It is apparent to me that you cannot know what it is like on Irish campuses unless you work or study there nd very few of us on P.ie fall into that category. However, beyond a few examples of poor student behavior given on this thread, it appears the situation in Ireland is not as bad as it is in the US or even the UK. Why is that, I wonder ?

I would say protective parenting and society has been on the up and up in Ireland but maybe it has not hit the same level as it has in the US. Let's hope we give our children space to self-develop in Ireland. Being able to sort your own problems out might be a great personal differentiation in the near future.

I would say also the Ireland is perhaps not as "progressive" as other nations e.g. we were slow to follow other nations into contraception, divorce and abortion. On one hand, the universities of Ireland (like the US ones) are all in on diversity and inclusion. They also have plenty of gender-based study courses (courses that might be indoctrinating ideas of extreme social justice) just like the US universities. On the other hand, students are probably pretty well developed in mindset before they get to university. In that way, the non-"progressive" nature of Irish society at large may be contributing to keeping social justice radicalism in hand.

I am not saying Irish students are not exposed to the same influences as in US but maybe we are more resistant to contracting the more virulent forms of the campus disease. Potential reasons for that resistance may be that we are still not as "progressive" as other countries and we are prepared to give our children a little more freedom to develop than in other countries.

Hardly an open and closed case but those are my guesses thus far.
 
Last edited:

Baron von Biffo

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
12,413

Mercurial

Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
86,861
University authorities deemed the society’s actions to breach its respect and dignity policies, and ruled that the society’s committee should attend a “respect and dignity workshop”. (my emphasis)

Re-education camps - coming soon to a university near you!
Heaven forbid students might learn something at a university of all places.
 

AyaanMyHero

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
859
University authorities deemed the society’s actions to breach its respect and dignity policies, and ruled that the society’s committee should attend a “respect and dignity workshop”. (my emphasis)

Re-education camps - coming soon to a university near you!
Hard to tell from the article if anyone was actually abused/disrespected. It is pretty scant on detail. How did the news of the antics get to the authorities for instance?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dame_Enda

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
53,611
The Safe Space concept would be perfect in a totalitarian regime wanting to snuff out universities as centres of dissent. The Confucius Institutes have come under scrutiny in the US and UK media for trying to close down discussions on Tibet and China's human rights records in western universities.


...........
The Confucius Institute (CI) program, which began establishing centers for Chinese language instruction in 2004, has been the subject of criticisms, concerns, and controversies during its international expansion.

Many such concerns stem from the CI's relationship to Chinese Communist Party authorities, giving rise to criticisms about undermining academic freedom at host universities, engaging in industrial and military espionage, surveillance of Chinese students abroad, and attempts to advance the Chinese government's political agendas on controversial issues such as human rights in China, Taiwan and Tibet.[1][2] Additional concerns have arisen over the institutes’ financial and academic viability, teaching quality, and relations with Chinese partner universities.[3]

Confucius Institutes have defended their establishments, comparing them with other cultural promotion organizations such as Alliance française and Goethe-Institut.[4] However, unlike the Alliance francaise or Goethe-Institut, many Confucius Institutes operate directly on university campuses, thus giving rise to unique concerns related to academic freedom and political influence.[5] Some observers have noted that CIs are largely limited to teaching cultural and language programs, and the institutes' staff tend to see political and controversial subjects as human rights and democracy as outside the context of the mission of a Confucius Institute.[5][6]


.....
Australia[edit]
New South Wales Greens MP John Kaye said that although teaching Chinese language and culture is important, "Students are being denied a balanced curriculum which explores controversial issues, such as human rights violations and Taiwan, because critical examination might upset the Chinese government." Fellow Greens MP Jamie Parker organized a petition with more than 10,000 signatures, calling for removing the Confucius Classroom Program from local schools.[160] NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli defended the classes, and noted the Chinese language syllabuses did not include the study of political content.[161] Shuangyuan Shi, director of Confucius Institute in Sydney, noted the institute primarily focuses on language, and teachers are not there to draw conclusions for students in regards to controversial subjects.[160] Senior Department of Education officials acknowledge the institutes play an important role in fostering greater literacy in Asian languages, they admit to concerns about China's influence over the program's content. They say that the treatment of "sensitive topics" such as human rights is usually well handled by teachers. Furthermore, the staff at the Sydney institutes noted Beijing never threatened their academic freedom.[162]

After the University of Sydney's Institute for Democracy and Human Rights organized a 2013 talk by the Dalai Lama, the university warned that they could not use its logo, allow media coverage, or permit entry to the event by Tibet activists—forcing organizers to move the event off campus. University officials decided, "there was a better way of doing it. A small group, a small section of the student body, was really not the best thing." Sarah Hanson-Young, an Australian Greens senator, said "As a democratic country, we should be encouraging more open and frank discussion about the current situation in Tibet, not banning the country's spiritual leader from addressing students and staff at universities." A spokesperson for the activist Australia Tibet Council said the university had given in to China. "They have compromised their academic freedom and integrity, and it also sends a disheartening message to the Tibetan people," more than 100 of whom have died in recent self-immolation protests.[163] June Teufel Dreyer, a University of Miami (Florida) professor of political science, claims that Confucius Institutes have distorted history, citing universities in Australia inviting speakers "to shill for the government and talk about how happy all the Tibetans were".[37] A Joint Conference of Australia's 13 Confucius Institutes was held in Sydney on 4 September 2014, intending to increase the CI network's "visibility in Australia’s industry and public policy making communities".[164]


.....
 
Last edited:

AyaanMyHero

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
859
Conservative academic fired in Cambridge, UK. He was certainly seizing the nettle but you need some people to do that in a university. There will be a case taken against the university.

 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top