Utah Valley University Faculty Must Report ‘Argumentative’ Students To ‘Behavior Assessment Team’

Ian Miles Cheong | Contributor

As colleges across the United States crack down on free speech and the expression of political views that do not align with the progressive left, Utah Valley University has issued an advisory for its professors and campus faculty to report any students who act out of turn to the school’s Behavior Assessment Team.

The new guidance policy, issued by the dean’s office of the publicly funded Utah Valley University, calls on campus faculty to report students who use “inappropriate language,” behave in “argumentative” ways, or speak “loudly” to be dealt with.

The College Fix reported Tuesday that the letter, titled “Recognizing and Responding to Students of Concern,” dating to August 16, 2017, was provided by a professor at Utah Valley who expressed their concerns about the policy.

Besides listing behaviors that merit concern, such as stalking, bullying, or students who show signs of self-harm, the guidance letter also instructs professors to use techniques including “supportive gestures” to calling emergency services, depending on the situation.

However, the guidance also includes a number of “disruptive behaviors” that “interfere with normal work/academic process” with vague examples:

  • Making numerous complaints
  • Argumentative
  • Anger towards others
  • Behavior that challenges University expectations
  • Failure to be compliant with rules
  • Unreasonable demands
  • Refusing to preform assigned tasks or answer questions
  • Speaking loudly, shouting
  • Using inappropriate language (vulgar or sexual)
  • Throwing items not intended to strike an individual
  • Concerning email, social media, paper, or communication through CANVAS

It suggests consulting with the Behavior Assessment Team to monitor the student “to ensure that there is positive behavior change.”

“I’m afraid that this Behavior Assessment Team is a bias response team in disguise,” said the anonymous professor to The Fix. “Yes, even in a deep-red state at a university in one of the most conservative counties in America, faculty are afraid to speak their minds publicly if their opinions aren’t 100 percent politically correct.”

The professor described the Behavior Assessment Team as a “tool of intimidation instead of a tool to foster inclusion.” The professor said that the faculty was told that the team was established to deal with students who represented a threat to others’ physical safety or for students who disrupted classes, but is instead functioning as a Bias Response Team.

“This year is the first time when we have been encouraged to report students for their words that may go against the inclusivity initiative or that may subjectively make someone ‘feel unsafe,’” the professor said.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

Tags : bias response team censorship social justice
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