A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee teaching assistant decided he would offer students an extra credit assignment. The catch was that they had to identify themselves as “bi-sexual.”
In an email Jonathan Dellinger sent to students who were enrolled in his public speaking class, he wrote, “I’m just writing to inform you of another extra credit opportunity (3 points). To be eligible to participate in this study, you must identify as bisexual, so not everyone will be able to do this one.”
So what was this extra credit assignment, and were there no alternatives given to those who would not identify as “bi-sexual”? First, no alternatives were given to the other students. Second, here’s a screenshot of the assignment.
Apparently there are 3 University students, Kristy Jagiello, Megan Lambertz, and Ben Baker, who need bisexual students to help them with a survey they are conducting as “part of graduate seminar on close, interpersonal relationships. This particular survey would be “examining hurtful communication in close relationship regarding one’s bisexual identity.”
It would also require a 20 minute interview in person or via Skype.
Though this assignment was voluntary, students would be allowed to remove themselves from it at any time and still get the extra credit.
Campus Reform reported:
“The practice is to offer an alternative equally weighted extra credit opportunity for students who do not meet the specific needs of a particular study’s target population if participation carries extra credit,” Olson said.
Matt Sama, a UWM student not enrolled in the class, told Campus Reform that he saw the email and thought the assignment was “off-topic” for a communication class.
“In addition, the fact that the survey is clearly discriminatory in nature to favor students of one sexual orientation over another is frankly everything that the left tries to fight against, yet they so blatantly act in this manner,” Sama, UWM’s Young Americans for Liberty president, said. “It’s disgusting. You can’t get more hypocritical than this.”
“The gay rights movement is not about special rights to privileges for the gay community but equal protection under the law,” Devin Gatton, head of Wisconsin’s Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights advocacy organization, told Campus Reform. “Offering extra credit to a student based off of their sexual orientation is against everything that should be taught in our universities today. This professor is bringing back to pre-1960s when separate but equal was an acceptable practice.”
Devin Gatton is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. The sodomite movement in America is all about special rights, as evidenced in their seeking to redefine marriage to demonstrate that and the push to force Christians out of business due to their own consciences. I agree that extra credit shouldn’t be provided per one’s sexual behavior, but then again, let’s be realistic here. “Sexual orientation” shouldn’t even be a part of university education.
I also agree with Matt Sama, this seems way off topic for a communication class. Frankly, in today’s environment, it would not surprise me to discover something insidious going on beneath the surface of this assignment.
So what will happen now?
Rodney Swain, dean of UWM’s College of Letters and Science, said in a statement to Campus Reform, “UWM and the College of Letters and Science take any claims of discrimination or other inappropriate behavior seriously. Until being contacted by Campus Reform, we had no knowledge of any allegations of improper conduct by any teaching assistant in the communication department either through the College or the University’s Office of Equity/Diversity Services (EDS).”
“While we will investigate the situation based on the information shared by Campus Reform, I encourage students to take advantage of my open door policy and/or that of EDS so that we can conduct a thorough investigation of any such allegations with all available information directly from the individuals involved in the situation,” Swain said. “I am proud of UWM’s national recognition as a welcoming campus to all individuals, and any employee behavior that is found to discriminate against any group or individual is unacceptable and will be handled accordingly.”
If it’s found to discriminate? One would think from just the information we have, namely the email from Dellinger that discrimination was taking place. We’ll see what the University does.