Official at taxpayer-funded Michigan State University have outlawed whiteboards from doors in dorm buildings because it’s possible that someone could scrawl some offensive message or image on them.
The ban will take effect in the fall, reports the Lansing State Journal.
The Daily Caller is not making this up.
The problem is that Michigan State’s Office of Institutional Equity occasionally receives reports about objectionable messages on whiteboards on dorm doors. The 13 employees on the Office of Institutional Equity staff are frustrated because they are very seldom able to identify the people who created the messages.
“The functionality of whiteboards used to outweigh the downsides,” Kat Cooper, a for Michigan State’s residence hall staff, told the Journal. “That’s not happening anymore.”
Cooper added that students don’t need whiteboards on their dorm doors because kids these days are able to express themselves on social media or by texting each other.
Some students on campus are skeptical about the new ban on glossy, white surfaces hanging on dorm doors.
“People can write racist words on anything. A brick wall, a tree, or even a person’s body,” junior Yamani Vinson, a member of Michigan State’s Black Student Alliance, told the East Lansing newspaper. “Are we supposed to get rid of those things too?”
At the same time, Vinson suggested that it’s important for the public school to dictate that students “understand the importance of diversity.”
Junior Aaron Stephens, who says someone wrote a racial slur on his dorm door two years ago, said he advocates limitations on harassment, but he’s unsure a whiteboard ban is the right course.
“The bigger issue is the fact that someone that’s part of our community would feel the need to use hateful language in the first place,” Stephens told the Journal. “That needs to be addressed further.”
New students at Michigan State are forced to undergo cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness training, Cooper said.
Students can still hang whiteboards inside their dorm rooms.
Michigan State is most famous, of course, because the taxpayer-funded school maintains — or, at least until very recently, maintained — a women’s study lounge in its main student union in which male students may not trespass.
An economics professor from another public school, the University of Michigan–Flint, filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights over the ladies-only student lounge. (RELATED: Michigan State University Faces Civil Rights Complaint Over WOMEN-ONLY Lounge In Student Union)
“The women’s study lounge is a gender-exclusionary space that blatantly discriminates against men,” the professor, Mary Perry, told TheDC last summer.