Politics & Policy

University Launches Insult-Reporting System That Records Offenders’ Social Security Numbers

It's for students' 'safety.'

The University of Colorado-Boulder has launched an online system where students can report people who make “hurtful statements” — and it’s so intense that it even asks for offenders’ Social Security numbers.

This “Bias Incident Reporting” system is intended to “address the impact of demeaning and hurtful statements as well as acts of intolerance directed towards protected classes,” according to the school’s website.

Bias reports are evaluated by the school’s “Bias Incident Response Team” which includes representatives from the office of the dean of students, the Office of Victim Assistance, and even the campus police.

The reporting form asks for the meanie-head’s name, gender (better get it right!), e-mail, address, date of birth, phone number and student ID number (if the meanie-head is a student) or a Social Security and/or driver’s license number (if the meanie-head is someone else). It includes a link for “pre-authorized users” to obtain this information if they don’t have it, and the school promises to “track” and “document” all of the reports.

Just imagine how dangerous it would be for all of these adult students to live somewhere where they might get their feelings hurt and not be able to alert the administration from their laptop!

UC – Boulder defines a “bias incident” as “any conduct or expression in which an individual or group is intentionally targeted and that demeans, degrades or harasses an individual or group based on the actual or perceived basis of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy of another individual or group of individuals.”

Students, faculty and staff members who “perceive that they may have” — yes, “perceive” and “may have” — witnessed a “bias-motivated incident” are “urged to report the incident immediately.” Now, that may seem like a bit much, but CU Boulder insists it’s for students’ own “safety.” After all, just imagine how dangerous it would be for all of these adult students to live somewhere where they might get their feelings hurt and not be able to alert the administration from their laptop!

#related#(Interestingly enough, I remember my first grade teacher telling me that this kind of behavior was “tattling,” and that I shouldn’t do it. I guess it’s a real miracle that I made it out alive.)

CU Boulder insists that it “values freedom of expression” and “open debate” — although you could see how threats of being documented by Social Security number for saying the wrong thing might discourage people from speaking their minds.

The system was launched by the student government late last April and advertised through a series of posters around campus. The total cost of the posters was $546, according to an article in The College Fix.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review.

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