UMN tells students that 'privilege' helps them 'level up'

Kyle Hooten
Minnesota Campus Correspondent

  • The University of Minnesota has posted flyers in the bathrooms of all its residence halls that seek to educate students about "privilege" by using a video game metaphor.
  • According to the flyer, people with "a lot of privileged identities" will be able to "level up" in life more quickly than those who do not.
  • The University of Minnesota Foundation for Success has created a “Leveling Up” guide that uses video game terminology to help students understand the concept of “privilege.”

    This month, the foundation posted fliers in all residence hall bathrooms encouraging students to consider themselves players in a role-playing video game and examine how their privilege has help them “level up” their lives. 

    "To allow this kind of ‘education’ of a false belief in our residence halls reflects on the university’s larger theme of indoctrinating students with liberal narrative."   

    The Foundation for Success, which is overseen by the UMN Department of Housing & Residential Life,  aims to "help students achieve their personal and academic goals and become well-rounded individuals," and pledges that "each student will have an inclusive and engaged community experience" in UMN residence halls.

    [RELATED: ‘White Privilege Checklist' appears in Minnesota dorm]

    “Unfortunately, how society interacts with your identities also impact [sic] the opportunities you’ll have to ‘level up’” in life, the guide states, adding that “if you have a lot of privileged identities (white, straight, able bodied, cis-gender, wealthy, etc.) you'll be given the ability to 'level up' quicker than those who do not." 

    The flyer then instructs students that they “have a responsibility in ensuring equitable consideration for all,” suggesting that those with privilege “share resources and information with others,” for instance by inviting a friend to come along “when you sign up to have your resume reviewed.”

    Those who feel they lack privilege, on the other hand, are encouraged to broaden their social horizons in pursuit of professional advantage.

    “Connect with someone outside your inner circle,” the document says. “Your usual group won’t provide many new opportunities, so befriend someone beyond your crowd to build your networks.”

    The effort is consistent with what has become a broader campaign against “white privilege” on campus, and comes one year after the school’s defense of a “White Privilege” checklist that was distributed in the dorms. 

    More recently, the University of Minnesota’s Women’s Center organized a “white supremacy” event earlier this year in response to a talk by a conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.

    [RELATED:: Event on ‘white supremacy’ organized in response to Shapiro]

    “To allow this kind of ‘education’ of a false belief in our residence halls reflects on the university’s larger theme of indoctrinating students with liberal narrative,” Megan Olson, a student at the university and member of the Minnesota College Republican State Board, told Campus Reform.  

    “The university fosters liberal beliefs by allowing leftist narrative to infiltrate student living spaces as seen in this week’s newsletter post,” she continued. “Telling students that they have privilege based simply on the color of their skin furthers the racial divide that should not exist.”

    Olson also condemned the organization for making the assumption that the “amount of melanin” in a person’s skin determines their success, arguing that “this indoctrination of students at my university plays into the rise of the liberal ideological domination in our younger generations.”

    Campus Reform reached out to UMN for comment, but has not received a response.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KyleHooten2





    Kyle Hooten

    Kyle Hooten

    Minnesota Campus Correspondent

    Kyle M. Hooten is a Minnesota Campus Correspondent, and reports on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He attends St. Olaf College where he studies Political Science and History. Additionally, he serves as Secretary for Minnesota College Republicans and Director of Recruitment for St. Olaf Turning Point.

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