Authored By Kara Zupkus
July 16, 2019
Freshmen student orientation leaders at the University of Georgia were informed that any potential religious or personal objections or discomfort to the usage of gender-neutral pronouns do not matter in their leadership roles, according to documents obtained exclusively by Young America’s Foundation.
“Your discomfort is irrelevant- the first few times you do this it may seem uncomfortable but imagine the discomfort that students who are mis-gendered or have their identities invalidated or unrecognized must feel. Remember we are working towards building a gender-inclusive world where people are allowed to construct their own gender identities for themselves.”
If you’re not familiar with these gender-neutral pronouns, take a look at an excerpt from the guide below:
The program guide for orientation leaders includes this supplement on pronoun usage, claiming gender-neutral pronouns “show respect for each other’s gender identity and their gender expression.”
“Common” pronouns are listed, including “ze/zie, hir, and hirs,” while noting that “this is by no means an extensive list.” It also encourages leaders to start off with “they,” a gender- neutral pronoun which will avoid someone feeling “unwelcomed, alienated, invalidated, or dismissed” if addressed with the wrong pronoun.
Incoming freshmen at the University of Georgia are subjected to an orientation camp where they learn about safe spaces, gender-neutral pronouns, and diversity, according to the facilitation guide obtained by YAF through our Censorship Exposed project.
Titled “Dawg Camp,” the orientation is offered to 250 incoming freshmen students, intended to provide a transition to the college community. While one might think this would include studying tips, academic resources, and financial budgeting skills to navigate campus, instead students are indoctrinated with liberal talking points about gender identity and inclusivity.
Leaders also take freshmen students on an “identity walk” where students responded to prompts about their comfort and pain with certain identities they hold, whether it be gender, race, ability, or sexual orientation. The facilitation guide provides a script for the leaders:
“This activity is challenge by choice. This means that your participation is voluntary and at any point if you feel overly uncomfortable feel free to step out. While we want you to challenge yourself we also want to make sure you feel supported.”
The guide lists community building tips for the leaders, including “creating inclusive & welcoming environment, creating safe/brave/grace spaces, and using inclusive language.”
Leaders who participated in a Dawg Camp Staff Retreat prior to the students’ arrival were given a list of intended outcomes, ranging from “define a personal definition for social justice terminology such as power, privilege, marginalization, and oppression” to “identify strategies and ways to engage through allyship and agency.”
At the end of each day of Dawg Camp, students and leaders sung a “Unity Chant,”- ironically named, given the obsessive focus on divisive rhetoric spread throughout the orientation guide in the name of diversity.
“Dawg Camp, Dawg Camp the place to be!
You Georgia Dawgs will all agree.
Dawg Camp, Dawg Camp, just wait- you’ll see, we’re one big Bulldog family.
Hey campers: Dawg Camp, Dawg Camp is the place to be.
Yo staff: Dawg Camp, we’re one big Bulldog family.”
Unfortunately, indoctrination like this is happening at campuses all across the country. As students graduate from high school and look ahead to the fall, they should be aware of these practices, including misleading rhetoric about unity and diversity, and be prepared to stand up for conservative values like religious freedom and individual freedom- the antithesis of what programs like these are promoting.