Clemson Home and the “Community of Inclusion”- Publius

Bias is found in all aspects of life, it is one of the few things that transcend political divisions, religion and race, among many others. Unfortunately, many Clemson students have found that bias is now reaching its overgrown claws into Clemson Housing, and the Resident Assistant role. As an RA myself, I decided to do some digging. Many of my fellow RA’s, who shall remain nameless, feel that Clemson Housing is trying to push a living environment of ideology instead of one that encourages a marketplace of ideas. “Most of the bias shows itself in the semesterly RA training called ‘RALI’ or the ‘Resident Assistant Leadership Institute’” says one RA who just completed the training in mid-August. She states that “By justifying a progressive message, under the idea of “inclusion”, Clemson Home is able to force us RA’s into an ideological training that we are supposed to pass on to our residents.” Others that went through the “RALI” training felt as if their own views were being excluded and even demonized. One RA told the TTO, “We were taught about this “Dominant Narrative”, which taught us to be cautious about what we do and say because of our skin given societal privilege. At one point the instructor attacked Christianity and its ‘social constructs’ that many hold close.” A different RA speaking on the same section of “RALI” told the TTO, “I naturally don’t think of people as dominate and subordinate/alternate” adding that the training “felt like a politically correct attack on white males.”

 

After further investigation, I found that these three RA’s were not the only ones who felt uncomfortable during this mandatory training. Another RA approached me to explain what he calls, “intentional division to push an agenda” within the “RALI” training. He told me, “I was in a Dialogue where there were four posters, with different topics on each one, scattered around the room. One was the “Sikes Sit in” he said “and one was “Safe Spaces”. We were told to write a phrase on a sticky note about how we felt about each topic. We then stuck them on each poster, and walked around to see what was written” he continued. “There were two notes that were just absolutely horrible. They were hard to look at, and even made someone like me feel uncomfortable.” he stated. “They were racist and demeaning. One under the Sikes sit in topic read “Don’t slip on a Banana peel,”” he angrily continued. “It was clear that many in the room felt very uncomfortable. It was then that the [peer dialogue facilitator] announced that in an attempt to play the ‘average white male’ he was the one that put those things up. Division and hate was spread where it didn’t need to be, and it was disgusting.”

 

When confronted, some other RA’s had similar stories about the controversial training. One even said, “Instead of talking about how to take care of our residents and plan events to create community, the days were filled with lectures about white privilege, black and LGBT oppression, and how we needed to coddle the incoming residents.” He continued by stating, “If someone disagreed with the propaganda, they were instantly shut down and labeled as a racist, a homophobe, or a white supremacist.” He also added, “As a conservative going through RALI, for the first time I felt truly scared for the future of our nation.”

 

With so many RA’s so unhappy, it is easy to see how the “Community of Inclusion” isn’t so inclusive after all.