BREAKING: Stanford students reject Western Civilization course initiative
Stanford University students rejected a resolution during their spring election that would have brought Western Civilization courses back to their curriculum.
Only 14 percent of the student body voted in favor of the motion, with 1992 voting against and 342 students voting in support of the initiative.
The resolution was put on the spring ballot for Stanford’s 2016 election after The Stanford Review campaigned aggressively to restore Western Civilization courses to the school’s core requirements. Among the Review’s campaign efforts was the circulation of a petition that received hundreds of student signatures, forcing students to cast a vote on the issue during this year’s election.
Notably, the petition received over 370 signatures yet only 342 students actually cast a favorable vote.
Western Civilization courses have been absent from Stanford’s curriculum since the 1980’s when Rev. Jesse Jackson marched with students on campus demanding the courses be removed because of their allegedly racist and sexist undertones.
Protesters complained that Western Civilization courses perpetuated “European-Western and male bias” and “sexist and racist stereotypes.”
The Review, however, argued that Western Civilization courses are essential to understanding the current campus culture at places such as the University of Missouri and Yale University, which have recently seen protests against racial oppression.
“The West’s history of colonization and racial oppression is also essential to understanding why the events at Yale and Mizzou arose in the first place,” writers of the petition said. “Although Western history has stories of repression, so do the histories of every global civilization. And Western values of free speech, rationalism, and individual liberty fueled the intellectual destruction of colonialism in Western and other societies.”
The Review’s campaign was not easy, though, as several students were openly harassed on campus. According to an article in The Review, staffers were called “everything from ‘dusty’ to ‘racist’ to ‘bitch’ to ‘pendejos’ to ‘disgusting.’”
Facebook was not particularly easy on The Review staffers, either, who claimed their opponents “used the most vulgar language known to English and Spanish” to shout down their views.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski