Are bros and endangered species? Can we get federal dollars to save them?
I came to the exactly same conclusion as the author of this New Republic. This was way less about possible political correctness and more about the actions of the faculty member. It’s hard not to talk about your students, but it’s doubly important in how you criticize them in public.
There have been layers to this debate, but this is the major point from this piece.
The problem comes from the fact that Abbate was a student at his university. Professors should never even risk sparking viral outrage against students. What’s especially troubling is that he insulted not just Abbate’s ideas, or her behavior in some general sense, but her academic performance. If he were for whatever reason privy to her transcript, would we defend his free-speech right to blog about its contents?
Policy wise there’s not much, I believe we can do about this, unless there are threats of violence. The issue is really complex. Students have a right to speak their minds, but shouldn’t a faculty member have the right to feel safe in their classroom. The more I think about it I find myself thinking about how online communication de-humanizes discussion. In a face to face talk, you have to acknowledge the other person humanity and conform to social norms of good behavior. Online this a different story. This is doubly true for anonymous communication. There are no social norms or repercussions. There’s an initial reaction to attempt to legislate behavior, but I find that a distasteful solution. I’d rather see new social conventions with social repercussions that attempt to solve this problem. Essentially, collectively we have to start denigrate this kind of activity in a way that makes people feel bad for doing it. I’d recommend being active in class at saying that this is not acceptable behavior. I think it’d be best explain that nothing is truly anonymous even online, and your words can haunt you.
Great article discussing how small businesses, particularly ones that focus on provide “intangibles”, like flavor, customer service, and curation can compete with businesses that have scale and mass produce things. Now if states would realized that small business are a good thing.
It’s not often that news terrifies me as an archivist, but this has definitely caused me to pause and reflect on my job as a University Archivist. I firmly believe in open access to information, but I plan on watching the case closely. My thoughts are with the archivist who have been suspended.