The student government of Clemson University is proposing mandatory LGBTQ “ally training” for faculty and staff—and it’s rustled more than a few feathers at the college.
Per Campus Reform, newly elected student body president Killian McDonald and VP Jaren Stewart ran on a campaign promising to raise the campus’ “Campus Pride Index” rating, which currently sits at a meager 1.5 out of a possible 5.0. The two student politicians intend to raise the score by creating initiatives to make the school more inclusive for students who identify as LGBTQ.
They propose offering admission fairs targeting queer prospective students, and allowing existing students to more easily alter their name and gender identities on university records.
Their most egregious effort towards promoting diversity involves “mandatory ally training for faculty and upper level staff on gender identity and sexual orientation issues.”
The Clemson website explains that “Ally Training aims to increase awareness and understanding of LGBTQ issues and to train allies to stand with, and advocate for, LGBTQ people.”
Faculty and staff who undergo training are expected to learn the differences among sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and a host of other abstract terms. They’re also expected to learn about the different pride flags and movement, which include “Lipstick Lesbian Pride” and “Bear Brotherhood.”
Another page includes brief explanations of the differences among “non-gendered,” “gender neutral,” “gender queer” and “gender fluid.”
Not everyone is happy about the proposal. Some faculty members and students have expressed their dismay at the plans to make the training mandatory.
“Faculty and staff have enough on their plates. We do not have time for more mandatory indoctrination,” an anonymous faculty member told Campus Reform. “If the University can identify an existing, voluntary training program, please let us know about it and we’ll determine if we deem it necessary.”
Another student, Jack Timmerman, told the publication that he found the mandatory lessons to be immoral.
It’s uncertain how possessing the knowledge to tell the difference between abstract concepts like “gender queer” and “gender fluid” is going to help students develop any necessary skills to survive and thrive in the real world.