Every employer has behavioral rules, but as a worker, have you ever taken a pledge?
Per the webpage:
Each year Heller students, faculty and staff reaffirm this pledge and post a signed copy on their office doors.
The oath contains terms whose meanings have substantially evolved in recent years.
Firstly, the vow states, “I pledge to make Heller a safe and welcoming place for all people.”
“Safety” is certainly open to interpretation:
— The College Fix (@CollegeFix) March 25, 2022
In 2016, the concept was shouted as a shield against Ben Shapiro’s mere words:
To what sort of safety does the pledge refer? Such isn’t made clear. But doubtlessly, the Massachusetts school asserts its teachers are biased. Therefore, confession is requested:
[I pledge] to be aware of my own biases against people who are different from me, and to hold myself accountable for my actions and words, even if it is uncomfortable.
Beyond that, staff are advised to self-suppress all speech that isn’t “sensitive” to opposing views. If “insensitive” implies disagreement, the order appears a bit tall.
[I pledge] to engage in respectful dialogue and language that is responsible and sensitive to the opinions of others and free of rancor and attack, in and outside the classroom.
Next, faculty are asked to sign over their efforts to the battle against different individual outcomes:
[I pledge] to intentionally and consistently act to address societal inequity and injustice in the broader community.
Lastly, instructors are expected to help students live their lives:
Ultimately, I pledge to work for a world in which everyone is free to be who they are and can lead fulfilling lives, without having to overcome discrimination.
Where reworking the world is concerned, Brandeis is really making moves. Last June, RedState’s Jeff Charles covered the college’s “Oppressive Language” list.
Under “Violent Language,” students are encouraged not to use the phrase “killing it” when describing how another person did a good job. Why? Because “if someone is doing well, there are other ways to say so that don’t equate it to murder.” …
In the same category, [the Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC)] suggests using the term “general rule” instead of “rule of thumb,” because “this expression allegedly comes from an old British law allowing men to beat their wives with sticks no wider than their thumb.”
Additionally nixed: “crazy, “lame,” “wild.” According to the institution, “ableist language can contribute to stigmas about and trivializes the experiences of people living mental health conditions.”
Under “Language That Doesn’t Say What We Mean,” PARC pushes students to stop using terms like “victim” or “survivor” because “these labels can make a person feel reduced to an experience. Person-first language is great here, unless the person identifies with either word. If they do, honor them by using that word!”
In 2020, PARC published its “Response to Anti-Blackness.”
“In order to address our own anti-Blackness, we have looked at our practices and have identified specific ways to uplift our Black community through our work,” it said.
Amid points of the plan:
- Commit to challenging oppressive language in ourselves, our programs, and our community.
- Decenter whiteness in our work and our resources by expanding our resource library and training materials to include more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) and LGBTQ voices.
More from Brandeis:
White Woman Who Lectures on Racism Says All White People Should Shut Up
— RedState (@RedState) May 28, 2021
All the above might lend insight to what’s expected of pledging employees.
Regardless, one thing’s for sure: If you’re a professor at Brandeis University, much more is expected of you than mere teaching.
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