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At UMass Amherst, students required to take two ‘social justice’ classes to earn diploma

The largest public university in Massachusetts does not hide that fact that one of its academic missions is to teach students to become so-called social justice warriors.

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s website, in describing the guidelines underpinning the two mandatory diversity classes students must take to earn a diploma, states such classes teach students “to engage with others to create change toward social justice,” among other themes.

“Social justice” is largely a progressive phrase mainly used to tout left-leaning agendas such as environmentalism, socialism, feminism and gay rights.

The university claims use of the term “social justice” has been on its website for years, but a professor there told Fox News last month that the term was added more recently – and it runs afoul of the notion of higher education.

“There is still a distinction between teaching and indoctrination, between exploring a viewpoint and endorsing it without allowing divergent perspectives to be heard,” UMass Amherst professor Daphne Patai told Fox News. “We are supposed to teach our students how to think, not what to think.”

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A campus spokesman did not respond to requests for comment from The College Fix. However, campus spokesman Ed Blaguszewski told Fox News the school is proud of its commitment to teach students to “recognize inequalities and injustices” and that professors do not push a leftist ideology.

Not so, said Alexandra Gearty, president of the UMass Amherst chapter of the College Republicans. Gearty, in an email interview with The College Fix, said many of her professors are openly liberal and hostile to conservative viewpoints.

“On a daily basis we are exposed to curriculum that opposes our beliefs, as we should be as college students, but it is being taught as fact not as an opinion,” she said. “Depending on what subject of class you’re taking, there is a varying degree of bias and introduction of social justice within the lecture hall.”

It’s disappointing, Gearty added, recalling one example when a professor gave her a D on an opinion paper because she espoused a conservative viewpoint in it.

“[P]rofessors owe it to their students to introduce them to as much of the world that is relevant to the subject they are teaching,” she said.

MORE: The truth about diversity courses

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About the Author
William Nardi