Like many higher-education institutions across the U.S., LSU strives for a culture of acceptance on its campus. With such a goal in mind, the University often requires electives for many students that involve broadening understanding of minority groups using the basis of race, gender and other classifications.
In other words, the University seeks to imprint on its students a degree of political correctness. While the concept of political correctness can be debated, it is a nearly universally accepted principle that people should treat each other nicely. Though the University is noble in wanting to craft decent people, it is forgetting the equally important lesson of learning how to deal with those who refuse to comply with such politeness.
As a student of the Manship School of Mass Communication, I distinctly remember the dreadful days of multiculturalism, in which I, a Catholic conservative male, was expected to validate opinions and identities that opposed my religion and my core beliefs. For the sake of the class I validated those identities.
Furthermore, I had to grit my teeth when the issue of toxic masculinity was discussed. Many of my traditionally masculine role models were labeled toxic, and, although I was frustrated, I took the situation on the chin for the sake of the class.
I found it interesting that the only identities not absolutely validated in the class were those of the traditionally masculine male and the traditional housewife. While this flawed representation is an issue of the liberal ideology across the U.S., it also highlights the issue that the University creates false expectations for those who identify with one or more marginalized identities.
The University Code of Conduct does not extend past the LSU campus, and just as it is important for the University to teach students how to respect the marginalized, the University should emphasize adversity training as well.
The world outside of campus can be cruel. There are still people in the U.S. who hold deep prejudices based on race, sexuality, religion and gender. Furthermore, these prejudices can range from disrespectful comments to workplace complications and even violence.
The University needs to do more than just lecture people into being "woke." With many new forms of identity becoming popular, classes need to instruct people on how to handle the adversity that comes with those who do not respect one’s identity. Everyone in the world has a bully regardless of race, gender or religion.
Furthermore, not everyone will be willing to allow for the validation of identities that contradict deeply held beliefs. Rather than create the illusion that, with time, the entire world will be a “PC paradise,” it would serve the University and the world better if students were taught how to stand up for themselves.
Brett Landry is a 21-year-old political communication senior from Bayou Petit Caillou, Louisiana.