An Inclusive Litany

12/5/01

When Colgate University professor Barry Shain was asked to appear as a guest on a student-run television program that would address the question "Are Students At Colgate Too Sensitive About Race?" he replied in e-mail that he would like to address the seemingly more relevant question of whether some minority and female students were being "invited to offer opinions about their 'feelings' rather than advance reasoned opinions derived from careful examination of the written materials encountered in class." Shain also expressed his concern "that too many students of color are seduced into taking exotic courses that make few demands on them rather than those courses that force them to grow emotionally and intellectually." These comments were interpreted as "racially insensitive" and led 70 students to occupy the school's admission office for over seven hours.

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