Authored By Kara Zupkus
September 18, 2020
The Bias Awareness and Resource Committee (BARC) committee at Gettysburg College has recommended that the school institute racial quotas for students, administrators, and faculty in order to “expand and retain” the diversity of the school, ensuring that students, faculty, and administrators are “racially composed of at least 20% Black, Indigenous, and people of color by 2025.”
Other suggestions in the BARC report include that the school investigate its First Year Walk, a tradition for freshman students to learn the history of Gettysburg, and to also “consider the coded language embedded in the ‘uniting’ Gettysburg Address” – delivered by President Lincoln after his Union Army won the decisive battle to defeat the Confederacy.
The committee also pushes for the school to review the “Bullets” mascot and either “present a justification for keeping” it or “provide a strategic plan for replacing the mascot and name by 2023.” Also on the laundry list of recommendations? Instituting a course requirement surrounding “themes of injustices faced by marginalized communities within their field of study,” as well as “incentivizing” student organizations who “promote inclusion” by providing additional funding and resources.
It is unclear if the university will implement these recommendations.
Andrew Breschard, chairman of Young Americans for Freedom at Gettysburg, noted his disgust with the BARC report and president’s response. “If the recommendations in the BARC report are implemented, they will foster a culture of anti- First Amendment intimidation,” Breschard said. “This committee was established in order to bring more inclusion and diversity to campus, however, in practice, the recommendations of the committee are at best a means of suppressing diverse thinking by limiting speech. At worst, they are flat out racist by establishing racial quotas for admissions and hiring of faculty.”
These attempts by Gettysburg College to become more “inclusive” and justice-oriented will have just the opposite effect. Instituting racial quotas is blatantly racist–it puts higher value on an individual’s skin color, rather than their achievements and character as a human being. As colleges across the country continue to cave to ridiculous student demands for fear of being “cancelled,” the integrity of academic freedom and higher education is on the line.
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