It’s been a rather raucous week at Evergreen State College.
After it was revealed that Professor Bret Weinstein had objected to a college once-per-year racial apartheid event, students went berserk, screaming at him “This is not about you! We are not speaking on terms—on terms of white privilege!” … and that he should resign.
Weinstein ended up having to hold class off-campus because police said they couldn’t guarantee his safety.
The professor appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Friday evening, with the host describing what had happened to Weinstein as something seen in “Phnom Penh in 1975.”
It should come as little surprise that Evergreen President George Bridges — whom Weinstein told Carlson had effectively allowed “the mob to control the campus” — cowered before them.
The introduction of Bridge’s address, made at the campus Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, sets the tone: “I’m George Bridges, I use he/him pronouns.”
Highlights of the president’s statement, via The Cooper Point Journal:
[Response to demands to disarm campus police:]
Annual training for police officers will be expanded because of the responsibility they hold and the critical services they provide to the college. The training will include techniques for safe and non-threatening engagement with students, addressing anti-black racism, de-escalation, minimizing use of force, serving trans and queer students, sexual assault response and responding to the access and special needs of students with disabilities. Private funding will be sought to support training.
We intend to retain a campus police force that understands and is responsive to the unique needs of our college campus.
[Response to demands for “mandatory sensitivity and cultural competency training” for all employees:]
Required training for all staff currently includes a review of the college’s non-discrimination policy. We commit to providing cultural competency, sensitivity, and anti-bias training in the training required of all staff. By requiring this training for all staff, we will also ensure that all search committee members are trained. We’re launching staff training in the fall and offering it throughout the year.
[Response to the demand for an “equity center”:]
Today we commit to establishing a new and expanded equity and multicultural center with design plans finalized for student review by the beginning of fall quarter this year. You will have the space that you seek and deserve.
The design of the center will be informed by students. Over the summer, we seek to hire students to design and plan for a new equity and multicultural center in collaboration with staff. They will be compensated for their time. A final plan for implementation will be developed following the work completed this summer.
Bridges also agreed to 1) a full-time coordinator of the Trans & Queer Center, 2) a position that “will support undocumented students” (if the legislature agrees to funding), 3) a new position to “to oversee student enrollment and retention at the College,” and 4) an increase to the budget of the First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services.
A couple of “bright spots” in his remarks include refusing the demand to fire Professor Weinstein, and a commitment that “every faculty member, every student, every staff member must have the freedom to speak openly about their views.”
However, with regards to Weinstein (and two other campus employees), Bridges notes “We do take complaints seriously. We have a college non-discrimination policy which applies to all members of our community. Following any complaint of discrimination, we will conduct a full investigation. If it is found that discrimination occurred, action is taken.”