Professors’ and the President’s Thoughts on ‘PC Culture’ at Pace University
More recently than ever there has been a major objection to political correctness in America, but more specifically on college campuses. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has ran his campaign on among other things, stopping “PC Culture.” With gender neutral bathrooms and plenty of multicultural clubs that may be deemed liberal, some people would call Pace University too politically correct. No one is better to discuss this topic than the President of Pace himself, Stephen J. Friedman.
“I think the University is a place for ideas, we should strive to discuss all issues. Civility and emotional intelligence and trying to understand others is what’s truly important,” President Friedman said. “Just discuss the issues and why students may perceive something as being offensive.” President Friedman mentioned his Jewish heritage and how he would not be comfortable being a part of a school where antisemitism was being called free speech, rather than hate speech. He ended by saying, “It takes a discussion. I’m in favor of a conversation on this campus as long everyone speaks open minded.”
History professor Durahn Taylor simply posed this question: “Who is raising issues about political correctness and who is not? Who is being offended and who isn’t? That is an important question you need to ask.” Professor Timothy Waligore of the political science department went a bit more in depth on the issue.
“I grew up on a campus [Dartmouth University] where the Dartmouth review was the alternative paper, the conservative paper. They did things like publish the names of the people in the gay student alliance, though it was supposed to remain anonymous. They really enjoyed being politically correct,” Waligore said. He went on to say “calling something politically correct sort of says ‘you know what, you can’t possibly think there is a reason for someone to object to it besides that they’re too easily offended.”
Just last year, Pace dealt with a very controversial issue where then football captain Tyler Owens was shown on social media giving a nazi salute while wearing a confederate flag outfit. Things like that is what Waligore thinks should not be tolerated. “Some things are not up to debate, you can’t say for example blacks are inferior. There’s no conversation to have there,” he said. “So instead of calling it Politically correct, it should just be more listening and seeing why people might be offended. It’s not necessarily catering and giving a right to not be offended, but a right to be respected and heard.” When it came to the controversial topic of gender neutral bathrooms on both Pace campuses, Waligore called it a “absolutely good thing no question, not only should it be permissible, but demanded.”