An “intercultural” event held Thursday at Virginia Tech University (VT) asked participants to follow a blistering array of rules and expectations to make sure nobody has their feelings hurt.
The Virginia Tech Intercultural Engagement Center is holding a special kick-off event for the new school year. Despite being an “intercultural” center, rather than hosting a single reception, the center is holding 12 different receptions, each targeted at a different identity group. There are receptions targeted not only at black or Hispanic students, but also at the “disabled community,” military veterans, and students from Appalachia.
Besides subdividing its intercultural welcome into 12 different groups, the center is also requesting that attendees follow several practices to make sure nobody is triggered or has their feelings hurt. For starters, attendees are asked to include their preferred “gender pronouns” on their name tag, to make sure a person isn’t mistakenly labeled a “her” when she prefers “it,” “hir,” or “zher.” (RELATED: DC Will Fine You For Using The Wrong Pronouns)
“Not assuming others’ pronouns in a way to be inclusive of trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people,” the center said in a Facebook post.
In addition, though, the center is also asking attendees to color-code themselves based on whether they like talking to other people. The system is described as follows:
Add a green, yellow, or red dot to indicate your color communication.
GREEN – The person is actively seeking communication; they may have trouble initiating conversations, but want to be approached by people interested in talking.
YELLOW – The person only wants to talk to people they recognize, not by strangers or people they only know from the internet. The person might approach strangers to talk, and that is okay; the approached person is welcome to talk back if that is the case.
RED – The person does not want to talk to anyone, or only wants to talk to a few people. Please do not approach someone with a red sticker.
Feel free to change this as often as you like!
Lastly, attendees are also told to add a blue dot to their name tag if they don’t want to be photographed, though they are warned this is an imperfect system and large group shots may still accidentally include them.
It’s not the first time VT has taken pains to avoid offending people. In May, the school briefly attempted to disinvite conservative speaker Jason Riley due to fears his presence would cause protests.
An event featuring social scientist Charles Murray was allowed to go forward despite protests, but only after VT president Tim Sands published an open letter openly attacking Murray’s ideas.
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