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Evergreen State cracks down on email forums that president denounced as ‘toxic’

Please move over to our new discussion forum (covered by FOIA)

Last month we reported on alleged discussions at Evergreen State College to moderate its increasingly rancorous email forums in the wake of l’affaire Weinstein and the anti-white “Day of Absence.”

Now the Washington public college also known for roving packs of bat- and baton-wielding vigilantes is actually going through with the crackdown, at least temporarily.

John Hurley, vice president for finance and administration, and Academic Dean David McAvity told the faculty and staff listserv Friday that the three “distribution lists” (faculty/staff, faculty, staff) “will be limited to announcements only” starting Oct. 2, according to an email obtained by The College Fix:

The ability to post to these three DLs directly will be limited to a group of employees in each division who routinely make college wide-announcements. (Please contact your supervisor or VP to learn who in your division can send directly.)

MORE: Evergreen State considers moderating ‘toxic’ email discussions

Other employees wishing to post announcements to one of the DLs may do so in a new way. If you send something, you will receive an auto-reply message indicating that the announcement will be reviewed before posting (with a delay that we hope to limit to less than 24 hours during the work week).

The DLs are now limited to “emergency or emerging” situations, stuff related to “normal college operations” like campus closures, “recurring” events like a farmer’s market, special events like “upcoming fire drills,” retirements and deaths, and “computing services” announcements.

No more everyone-gets-them responses, either: If you hit reply-all, only the original sender will get it. If you send a message “inviting a discussion or expressing general concerns,” it will get forwarded to higher-ups and you will get a response suggesting you use a different forum.

Related to that, the school is also setting up a discussion forum for faculty and staff called Discourse, similar to its Greener Commons community discussion forum, to continue their “toxic expressions of personal opinion,” as President George Bridges (seen in video below) described the email exchanges. It will also be moderated in line with policies about “appropriate use of state resources.”

MOREEvergreen official asks student vigilantes to put down their weapons

And for anyone who doesn’t want their conversations to be seen by The Fix: “REMINDER: All communication on Discourse is subject to public disclosure laws.”

These aren’t intended to be permanent changes: Hurley and McAvity disclosed that Bridges set up a working group earlier this summer to review what they called Evergreen’s “highly unusual” use of “campus-wide” DLs where anyone can opine and reply on any subject.

The review will “likely” continue through winter, and staff and faculty will get to participate via a survey this month, they said.

Professor quits: ‘Some faculty are cheered for deplorable behavior’

In another email from the faculty and staff listserv obtained by The Fix, which was apparently sent right before the crackdown early Monday, a computer science professor who remains listed as scheduled to teach two classes in 2019 says he has “officially quit.”

Evergreen State is “clearly in the hands of a cabal” that includes President Bridges, Provost Jennifer Drake, the deans and “a corrupt union,” Adam King wrote:

I am not new to academia and in my 20+ years of experience, nothing comes close to the hypocrisy, incoherence, incompetence, and mean spirited nature I have seem exhibited by this administration. Communicating with “adminispeak,” they never give straight answers. The Trump administration comes strongly to mind. This cabal even blames the “mainstream media” for causing their problems.

He described the new listserv moderation system as “emergency crackdowns on the primary system that Evergreen uses to communicate with itself.” Like the $500,000 settlement with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, who objected to Evergreen’s worship of identity politics before academics, the listserv change was “announced on a Friday,” King said.

MOREEvergreen settles claim with embattled professors for $500,000

He seems to side with the since-departed married biology professors:

Evergreen is now a place of … faculty witch hunting in the name of equity … and faculty and staff working in fear that whatever they say will earn them a job ending grievance. It is a place where some faculty are cheered for deplorable behavior and others are berated for showing up and caring. Evergreen is now a place that operates under the “assumption of the bad” in others and rules with fear. It has become a place that is toxic for mind, body, and spirit.

King encouraged Bridges, who was escorted to the restroom by racial grievance protesters who mobbed his office this spring, to resign and return two years of salary:

You blame everyone but yourself for the great Evergreen debacle. There can be no healing with you in charge. You have nothing to offer the college and have done immeasurable damage. You are the dreaded “white male” president making $350k+ a year who with a straight face presumes to be our champion fighting for equity and the underserved.

He concludes:

I can no longer recommend that my friends work or teach here. I also cannot recommend Evergreen as a place of study. I am so disappointed in this school and the promise it held.

MORE: Emails to Evergreen State president denounce him as foolish coward

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