Until scrutiny prompted a policy change just a few days ago, Washington State University had banned its students from “treating individuals differently” or engaging in “uninvited correspondence and communication.”
Taken literally, this would mean that you would have to treat every single person exactly the same — that is, you couldn’t act differently toward your best friend or even significant other than you do toward a total stranger — or else you’d be guilty of harassment.
It would also mean that you’d have to ask permission before texting someone. Wait, no — because asking permission would technically be communication without asking for permission. So I guess you just wouldn’t be able to talk ever!
Director of WSU’s Office of Equal Opportunity told the Daily Caller that although the previous online description “did not sufficiently convey” the university’s “policy standard,” “treating individuals differently” or “uninvited correspondence and communication” could still be harassment if they created a “hostile environment.”
#share#The updated policy still lists “unwanted, offensive, and/or uninvited comments about another’s physical appearance” as an example of discrimination. So, if you go to WSU, you had better damn well be sure to ask someone if you can tell her you like her sweater before telling her that you like her sweater.
“Comments of a sexual nature” are also forbidden.
By the way, WSU is the same school where a professor tried to ban students from using the words “male” or “female” in their assignments.
Sounds like a pretty fun and chill place. Too bad I’ve already graduated — or else I’d no doubt apply immediately.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.