Now the school is trying to wiggle out of it.
As reported by Colorado Springs CBS affiliate KKTV, the newsletter also compares U.S. military culture to that of white supremacist groups.
The newsletter, titled “Social Justice Collective Weekly,” reads:
A four-year, traditional university is supposed to be a place of learning, of understanding, of safety and security. However, there is an element among us who may be frustrating those goals: Veterans.
UCCS is known for its number of veterans who are full and part-time students. But these veterans of much the school prides themselves on may be hurting the university. [sic]
First off, many veterans openly mock the ideas of diversity and safe spaces for vulnerable members of society. This is directly in contradiction to the mission of UCCS. Many veterans utter the mantra that they, “do not see color.”
But the problem lies in their socialization into the military culture that is that of a white supremacist organization. They have been permanently tainted, and are no long fit for a four-year university.
The flyer also claims “students are frightened by the presence of veterans in their classrooms,” particularly members of the “LGBTQQI2SAA” community:
Veterans usually have an overwhelming presence in the classroom, which can distract other students. This is usually true for vulnerable individual such as LGBTQQI2SAA, who have been known to be the butt of insensitive jokes made by veterans.
Then it was back to connecting dots between veterans and “right-wing groups”:
Finally, veterans usually are associated with extremists right-wing groups such as the tea party and the NRA. In order to provide a safe place for all students, extremist right-wing groups must be suppressed on campus. This would include their followers: veterans.
Out of the goodness of the organization's collective heart, veterans should be “allowed” to attend trade schools:
That is not to say that veterans should not be allowed an education. Veterans should be allowed to attend trade schools, or maybe even community college. But, in order to protect our academic institutions we must ban veterans from four-year universities.
After the newsletter made its rounds on social media, school Chancellor Venkat Reddy attempted to distance the university from the newsletter — although the university requires its approval of all flyers posted on campus — in a written statement.
Reddy said the university “vigorously rejects the offensive viewpoints expressed in the flyer,” and defended military veterans as “positive and valued members of our academic and campus community.”
The chancellor also said the university “rejects the notion that we should censor those who denigrate others, as censorship would have silenced many voices over the decades who needed to be heard.”
One wonders if the chancellor and his colleagues extend the same belief to Confederate monuments and white nationalist groups, but we digress.
Blogger Paul J. O'Leary, an Army and law enforcement veteran responded to the newsletter on Friday. In a lengthy post titled “An Open Letter to a UCCS Student,” he wrote, in part:
Isn’t it wonderful that we live in a country where all of us are free to express our opinions in a public forum? Where we are all free to pursue educational excellence? [...]
Why do you feel it is acceptable to minimize the safety and well-being of those who attend trade schools? Are you assuming there are no LGBTQQIP2SAA students going to trade schools?
Do you feel they are somehow less deserving of a safe and flourishing educational environment than their peers in the traditional four-year universities?
Or is the problem that you just feel you and your university student colleagues are simply better than they are? Do you look down from the lofty reaches of your superior school and gaze upon the chattel of humanity with the smugness of uncaring indifference? If so, I suggest you take a long, hard look at yourself and who you want to be. [...]
If black service members make up between 17 and 20 percent of the military, versus 14 percent representation in American society overall, can this truly be described as a white supremacist organization?
With black, female, Hispanic, and Asian service members holding senior leadership positions across a vast spectrum of fields from combat arms to support to administrative, including generals and sergeants major, can this truly be called a white supremacist organization?
This I do know — the veterans you fear and wish to keep from getting the benefits of an education come from many diverse backgrounds. Many of them could not afford college on their own and paid their way through hard work, sweat, and oftentimes blood.
In the parlance of the 21st Century college student, I would ask you to please check your privilege.
Sadly, O'Leary's admonition likely fell on deaf ears.
They won't win.
The university did not endorse or approve the flyer. And the author of the flyer wasn't a student, staff, or faculty member.
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