Conservative America’s attack on DEI programs continues, this time with legislators in North Carolina targeting a college program designed to bring equity, diversity and inclusion education to college sororities and fraternities.
A.P. Dillon of The North State Journal reported that North Carolina State Representative Jon Hardister “has issued a letter of inquiry to UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC System officials following ‘equity, diversity and inclusion’ training students within the Greek System were ‘forced’ to attend.”
In his letter, Hardister wrote: “It was recently brought to my attention that the UNC Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL) held a mandatory ‘equity, diversity and inclusion’ training program that was presented by Christina Parle with an organization Social Responsibility Speaks (SRS). Based on the evidence that has been presented by the Carolina Review, the contents of this training program are divisive and offensive.”
According to the university’s conservative student-run magazine, Carolina Review, some students who attended the event said they felt “uncomfortable” with the discussion and felt that the speaker “was projecting her identity politics” onto the audience.
In an interview with Dillon, Hardister attacked the program again, saying, “what this [training] does is it divides the students. It promotes mistrust and animosity among students. My concern is that this kind of toxic training is prevalent and exists throughout the UNC System.”
Hardister also claimed the DEI session was a form of Critical Race Theory education because it discussed people who were oppressors and who were oppressed.
According to Dillon, “examples Hardister included [discussing] how grocery stores are forms of oppression because some shelves might be too high for some people or how some airline seats are only made for average-sized persons. How right-handed people are privileged while left-handed people are ‘disempowered.’ Other examples included ‘white privilege’ and how ‘whiteness’ pervades society.”
“I think there should be a delineation between the presentation of worldviews and freedom of information on campus, so if there is an academic class that teaches Critical Race Theory and the tenets of Critical Race Theory and maybe juxtaposes that with other world views, I think that’s fine,” Hardister said. “But in this case, it was mandatory. It was presented as ‘this is the way things are and you need to conform to this way of thinking.’”
Hardister claimed he sent his letter to UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, the UNC Board of Governors, the UNC-CH Board of Trustees, and the UNC System President Peter Hans.
In addition to attacking the DEI program that students had participated in, he also demanded to know whether the school thought the educational program was appropriate or not, what other relationships the school has had with the group that provided the session, and how much the program cost.
“The letter also asks if the administration will be addressing concerns related to ‘politically motivated indoctrination,’ both in classes and university-sanctioned organizations,” Dillon reported. “Additionally, Hardister asks what steps will be taken to prevent the current program and future similar programs from taking place.”