Ives says U of I 'segregating' students by background, ignoring merit
The University of Illinois has programs aimed at being inclusive for students, staff and people of all races, cultures and backgrounds, but, state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said being inclusive does not necessarily mean being productive.
“This is the type of thing that you see happening across higher education everywhere,” Ives told the DuPage Policy Journal. “What they are doing is that they are segregating students based on all sorts of (criteria) such as gender, sex, race and religion. (They are saying) ‘everybody should feel good about themselves for who they are and not based on merit.’ That is completely wrong.”
The university, in its goals of inclusivity, has enacted several diversity programs, including holding a “Bystander Intervention/De-Escalation Training” session, taught by a self-described “radical queer feminist activist” and creating an Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR), dedicated to recruiting and retaining underrepresented students while promoting diversify education and civility, and fostering leadership skills for the global world.
Ives said the OIIR contradicts itself via segregation of students, i.e. students are not judged on their merits, but on their background.
“That is not very American,” Ives said. “That is not how we built this country. We built this country on hard work and people of all political stripes, all colors and all nations doing their best and succeeding and giving everybody equal opportunity and not an unequal outcome. So this is the University of Illinois along with other universities in the state just running amok.”
Ives said the office does not encourage hard work, but instead promotes division.
“It’s actually shameful to segregate kids this way,” Ives said. “They should be pushed, to an extent. They should be given opportunities based on their merits. This is actually divisive to do something like this. This is not inclusive.”
OIIR’s stated goal is to support all students across campus. Its website said approximately 20,000 students each year receive services or attend programs through OIIR.
Ives said a student should be measured on his or her accomplishments, not on race or background.
“Their own self worth, how hard they worked, how well they accomplished a task, how much effort they put into their studies,” she said. “To measure them on anything else is really a disservice to them. When they get hired for a company, their employer just wants them to do their job. They’re going to look past all this other nonsense.”
Ives, a West Point graduate who served in the U.S. Army, said the inclusion office is a waste and an affront to those who served in the military.
“We have 18-year-olds -- 17-year-olds even -- around the world serving in a military capacity and protecting us, and for these coddled college kids to think they need a protective environment away from trigger warnings with safe spaces is an affront to anybody who has served in the military, has children serving in the military, or understands that you don’t get safe spaces all the time,” she said. “There are confrontations out there in the world, and you have to fight through them. We need an open public dialogue on all this.”
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