The University of Mississippi (UM) might punish students who make offensive remarks, but it hasn’t clarified whether it will actually double down on students who commit “microaggressions.”
The college’s outgoing general counsel Lee Tyner made comments suggesting the university would do so.
“Some people would say you can’t punish a one-off racial slur because it’s not pervasive,” Tyner told Inside Higher Ed. “Effectively my position is to stop them from doing it again and again before it becomes pervasive.”
“You’ve got to be able to cure the hostile environment before it’s created,” he added.
The school has not clarified, however, whether they would actually punish a student for making an offensive comment.
“The policy allows UM to take action when one person harasses another and to cure a hostile environment before the harassment causes significant harm,” school spokesperson Lisa G. Stone said in a statement, according to Campus Reform.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Vice President of Policy Research Samantha Harris told Campus Reform they haven’t received or recorded any instances of a student’s being punished or suspended for remarks deemed offensive enough to constitute a microagression. She did say UM’s policy exhibits a tension between the school’s policy and Tyner’s comments.
UM did not reply to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Over 90 percent of university students in America believe that universities should invite a variety of speakers to campus, but 78 percent of self-identified liberal students think it’s fine to rescind an invitation to speak if concerns arise, according to a FIRE survey. Roughly 69 percent of both liberal and conservative students indicated that speakers shouldn’t be allowed to come to campus if they’ve made ethical remarks.
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