The University of Arizona is hiring students to be “social-justice activists,” and the job description demands that they “report any bias incidents or claims to appropriate Residence Life staff.”
In other words: These kids are being paid to tattle on other kids for anything they might consider to be a microaggression, and any students who gets these jobs should probably identify themselves so that other students will know to never invite them to their parties.
In addition to reporting the potentially offensive behavior of their peers, other parts of the job include planning social-justice programs for the residence halls, increasing “awareness and knowledge of diverse identities and how they influence interactions,” and promoting “inclusive communities through positive interactions.” And all of that is fine. I’m all for being a nice, sensitive person, but encouraging outside sources to report “bias incidents” whenever they feel that other students have been wronged is a terrible idea. It’s one thing to give students a place to report any problems that they’ve experienced themselves, but shouldn’t it be up to the person who was involved to decide whether or not there even was a problem in the first place? After all, we’re living in a world where many schools consider “you guys” to be a sexist phrase, and chances are that there will be reports of incidents committed against “victims” who never even felt that they were victims to begin with.
It’s a very likely scenario, especially when you think about what kind of person would apply for a job as a “social-justice advocate.” No doubt, the people who are hired will be the kind of buzzword-salad-spewing sycophants who do think that “you guys” is problematic, or else they wouldn’t be interested in having that sort of job in the first place. No one would want a job policing microaggressions unless he or she is the type of person who loves policing microaggressions, and we all know that those sorts of people are growing more and more ridiculous by the day. Students should feel comfortable at school, absolutely, but it’s also important to remember that these students are adults — which means that we should trust them to decide how to handle their own social problems the way that they themselves see fit.
— Katherine Timpf is a National Review Online reporter.