UCLA student drops 'indoctrinating' class after prof's instruction to advocate for illegal immigrants
- A UCLA student says he dropped a course because of how "indoctrinating" it turned out to be.
- Josiah Badie, a UCLA student, shared video of an online lecture with Campus Reform.
- In the video,Kent Wong instructs students to "advanc[e] the campaign for sanctuary for undocumented students..."
It's been just over three weeks since most California Colleges announced the suspension of in-person courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this time, many students, professors, and faculty members have begun the transition to online lectures. But the transition has not dissuaded some faculty members from pushing their own political beliefs on their students.
In a video obtained by Campus Reform of a prerecorded online lecture obtained by Campus Reform, UCLA instructor Kent Wong can be seen explaining the class to his students with the stated purpose of “advancing the campaign for sanctuary for undocumented students and staff here at the UCLA campus."
"It wasn't an assignment," UCLA student Josiah Badie, who enrolled in the class, told Campus Reform. "It was a theme of the class."
"If it was just an assignment, I could write a paper and take one die grade but this was a whole class goal, objective...this was basically the syllabus," Badie added.
This project was assigned to students in a course titled Non-Violence and Social Movements. In the video lecture, Wong is heard explaining the importance of the assignment by stating, "This is a critical campaign. This is a critical issue, especially now, when immigrant students and immigrant communities are under fierce attack by the current administration," the current administration being that of the Trump Administration.
Badie expressed his concerns to Campus Reform about the course and its objectives, “I’ve taken a lot of G.E. classes so I’ve kinda gotten used to the left bias and everything." But he added, "this one made me feel blatantly disrespected."
Badie stated that the course had originally been offered and marketed as an African American Studies class and stated, “I’m sitting here as a half black, half white, mixed male at UCLA and I want to learn about my black heritage at a higher level of education. And I want to learn about non-violence and social movements but, we are sitting here having to report on illegal and undocumented aliens."
Badie has since decided to drop the class and reasoned, “It wasn’t an open discourse where I felt people could freely speak. It felt like an agenda for students to openly advocate for things they don’t believe in. It was very indoctrinating.”
The assignment itself is consistent with the rest of Wong’s work, who also serves as the Director of the UCLA Labor Center.
This center is responsible for such programs as the Dream Resource Center, a program dedicated to advocating for and providing resources to illegal immigrant students as well as to, according to its website, “protect and defend undocumented communities from mass detention and deportation."
When addressing how the global pandemic impacts the nature of the project, Wong only solidified his support by stating, “especially in light of the recent COVID-19 crisis, immigrant communities, workers, communities of color are feeling the brunt of the economic hardship that we are experiencing currently."
The California Federation of College Republicans Chair Matt Ronnau expressed concern over this professor’s assignment, stating, “At a time when Americans across the country are facing the hardships associated with the Wuhan Coronavirus, some are taking it upon themselves to go above and beyond in their attempts to put the needs of everyday Americans last. Instead of focusing on 'protecting' individuals who willfully broke our laws to come here, this professor should direct his attention towards helping citizens across the country as they struggle to take care of loved ones, pay rent, and make ends meet."
Both Wong and UCLA were contacted for comment but did not respond to Campus Reform before the publication of this article.