U of Arizona to Change Title of ‘Social Justice Advocates’ After Backlash Against Student Snitch Job

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 12:55 pm, May 15, 2017

The University of Arizona is revising its plan to hire “social justice advocates” following a backlash in the press. Last week, Heat Street reported on the university’s controversial decision to pay student activists to police the behavior of others on campus for microaggressions and “bias incidents.”

As we previously reported, the school planned to hire students for $10 an hour to perform myriad duties involving social justice activism. In addition to ratting out other students, social justice advocates would be expected to host educational programs about “the mosaic of diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusivity” and “confront diversely insensitive behavior.”

They were also expect to maintain a “social justice bulletin board” in the campus residential hall to which they were assigned.

The university has since removed the job listing from its website, replacing it with a notice that reads: “This position is currently closed. We are in the process of reviewing the title and responsibilities.”

School officials now tell the Phoenix New Times that they are changing the job title from “social justice advocate” to something else because the term “social justice” is too loaded.

“It’s best to use a title that isn’t politically charged,” said university spokesperson Pam Scott. “It just set off alarms.”

The Phoenix New Times notes that despite announcing plans to change the name, the position and its responsibilities will likely remain the same. So it’s unclear what problem the university thinks it’s solving simply by changing the job title.

The students previously known as social justice activists will still be responsible for reporting fellow students for “bias”, and these students will be contacted by university administrators to discuss their behavior.

Four students have already been hired for the position, according to the Phoenix New Times. The hiring process is closed.

Given Arizona’s status as a conservative-majority state, the university’s plan to promote leftist ideology no doubt rubbed a few members of the state’s legislature the wrong way.

The University of Arizona may be changing the job title from “social justice advocate” to something less incendiary, but it appears that the program will still go ahead in some form or another. The school could teach a class on “missing the point.”

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.