University Policy: Spy on Students; Bring Us Their Social Security Numbers

A bizarre university policy tells students to report on the speech crimes (!?) of other students and collect all identifying information, including social security numbers.

The University of Colorado-Boulder has taken Homeland Security’s “If you see something, say something” and applied it to political correctness.

According to Robby Soave at the Reason.com Hit & Run blog, the school wants students

to inform on each other when they witness “bias incidents,” by reporting the perpetrators and turning over all relevant information—including names, phone numbers, addresses, and university ID or Social Security Numbers—to the administration.

What counts as a bias incident is, as always, entirely subjective. An official who spoke with The College Fix clarified that “this in no way is meant to curtail free speech.” Nevertheless, the university’s website encourages students to report each other for engaging in a broad range of constitutionally protected speech:

For the purposes of this protocol, a “bias-motivated incident” is any of the following:

  • Discrimination — Occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence, on the basis of one or more of their protected classes. 
  • Harassment — Verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational or living environment.  Examples may include, but are not limited to, epithets, images, slurs, jokes; electronic communication or other verbal, graphic or physical conduct.
  • Acts of Intolerance — Conduct motivated by discriminatory bias or hatred toward other individuals or groups based on perceived or actual characteristics of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy or other attribute.

While it depends on the context, these things are all protected to varying degrees. Acting with intolerance is morally wrong, but it isn’t illegal—and it’s certainly not something a public university should be trying to prevent by turning its students into spies for Big Brother. As Katherine Timpf of National Review writes:

CU Boulder insists that it “values freedom of expression” and “open debate” — although you could see how threats of being documented by Social Security number for saying the wrong thing might discourage people from speaking their minds.

You think?

Remember, Liberals on campus are busy pretending that articulating a viewpoint and arguing for its accuracy counts as violence. People who say things that such students disagree with are treated as aggressors and then need security guards to protect them from what are being justified as reprisals.

We now are a country occupied by tax-fed institutions that expect to train our young adults—institutions that look like they were modeled on George Orwell’s 1984.