Board tells students to check 'cis,' 'Christian' privilege
A Resident Advisor at The George Washington University (GWU) has some choice words for the more than 1,000 residents of Thurston Hall, the largest freshman dormitory on campus.
A bulletin board on the first floor of the dorm was decorated with the theme “Check Your Privilege." A statement included on the bottom of the board states “Becoming aware of privilege should not be viewed as a burden or source of guilt, but rather an opportunity to learn and be responsible so that we may work toward a more just and inclusive world.”
"Do you expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays? If so, you have Christian privilege."
The display lists six examples of “privileges.” The first describes a “class privilege," stating that if one grew up expecting to attend college instead of only dreaming about it, they have class privilege.
The second example states that if one feels comfortable walking alone at night, they have “male privilege."
The board then describes “Christian privilege," saying “[d]o you expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays? If so, you have Christian privilege.”
GWU actually offers accommodations for faculty and students of all religious backgrounds, allowing them to observe their religious holidays without penalty for missing school or work.
Next, the board asserts that if one feels confident that the police will protect them, they have “white privilege." The display then accuses students of having “cis privilege” if they can use public bathrooms without stares, fear, or anxiety.
The final image states students have “hetero privilege” if they can walk comfortably down the street while holding their partner’s hand.
Freshman and Thurston resident Diego Rebollar was shocked by the display’s message.
“The role of an RA is to advise and help students with university life, not to try to indoctrinate students with radical far left rhetoric,” Rebollar said. “It is unfortunate that instead of dedicating that board space to important issues like sexual assault prevention, the RAs chose to use the board space to further their misguided ideology.”
Approval is not needed from GW or the Center for Student Engagement for RAs to post displays for their residents. According to an RA familiar with the process, RAs have total autonomy over what passive programming they implement.
Requests for comment from the Housing department, Center for Student Engagement, and the university were not returned in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kara_kirsten