Undergraduate Council rails against holiday placemats for social justice

‘We reject the premise that there is a right way to answer the questions posed’

The UC has come out firmly against the social justice holiday placemats and said the College is not responsible for “telling [us] what to think and what to say”.

A letter sent last night said: “That this poster was distributed by an office of the College gives the impression that the points it articulates are positions endorsed by the College and, more disturbingly, positions that the College thinks students should hold.

“We reject the premise that there is a ‘right’ way to answer the questions posed. We do not think the offices of the university should be in the business of disseminating ‘approved’ positions on complex and divisive political issues.

“Prescribing party-line talking points stands in stark contrast to the College’s mission of fostering intellectual, social, and personal growth.”

The holiday placemat for social justice

They added: “Some of us agree wholeheartedly with the points made in the poster; some of us do not.

“But regardless of our own views, we believe that the College and the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion should engage in the task of helping students to think and speak for themselves, not telling them what to think and what to say.”

The new holiday placemats issued in the dining halls have caused quite a debate on campus.

While ostensibly a guide on how to talk about social justice issues over break, critics have labeled it “political indoctrination and anti-diversity (at least in the intellectual sphere),” as freshman Conor Healy put it.

The UC’s condemnation of these mats is a response to outrage over the university’s touting of a political agenda.

Released this week, the holiday placemat for social justice offered condescending advice on how to talk to your families about student activism and Syrian refugees.

It imagined heated conversations with family members and gave important tips like “listen mindfully before formulating a thoughtful response” and “breathe”.