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HARRISONBURG, VA – James Madison University (JMU) his instituted a controversial new policy for their freshmen orientation training for student leaders where they are addressing issues of social justice, identity, power and privilege, and within that context the institution is labeling anyone who is “White, male, straight or Christian” as “oppressors.”
The orientation training, which is said to be comprised of a PowerPoint presentation and video – which includes a detailed chart of various categories of “oppressors” and those who are allegedly oppressed by them – is angering some members of the University’s student body, who call the training “racist” and “divisive.”
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Juliana McGrath, a junior at JMU, said in an interview with Fox News that the training “actually brings people farther apart and it doesn’t actually accomplish any of the goals of what I feel like they were trying to do.”
According to the chart in question, students who are deemed “oppressors” fall into the following categories – White, male, straight, athletic/thin build, middle/upper class, able-bodied, cis-gender, heterosexual, heteroromantic, and Christian. Meanwhile, the “oppressed” classes listed on the chart are essentially anyone who does not correspond to any of the aforementioned “oppressor” classes.
State Senator Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, responded to the controversy after having received “hundreds” of angry calls about the training from constituents, alumni and parents of students.
“This is woke nonsense,” Obenshain said. “For a university that many believe is a flagship in our state college and university system to be embracing it in this fashion is deeply disappointing and undermines the confidence in exactly what JMU is teaching in terms of the culture here. I think that people are deeply disappointed and offended by this, and something needs to be done.”
Since word has gotten out – sparking national outrage – JMU has removed the training video from their YouTube channel, and has announced that the program is now under review until next fall.