UA cuts 'Social Justice Advocates' program after backlash

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • The University of Arizona faced intense backlash in May after launching a program that would pay students $10 per hour to "report any bias incidents."
  • Some commentators accused the school of turning students into "snitches," and now Campus Reform has learned that the program has been ended indefinitely.
  • The University of Arizona has indefinitely cancelled its plan to pay students $10 per hour to become Social Justice Advocates. 

    In May, Campus Reform reported that the university had solicited students to become “Social Justice Advocates,” who would be trained to “report any bias incidents” that occurred in dorms while hosting educational events on “social justice issues” for residents.

    "Social Justice Advocates" were trained to "report any bias incidents."   

    [RELATED: Princeton pilots new social-justice based orientation program]

    But following intense backlash from political commentators, one of whom worried that the school would effectively be paying students to become “snitches,” administrators announced just a week after its inception that they would revise the title and responsibilities of the program.

    Instead, the school has now decided to axe the program entirely, according to Chris Sigurdson, a media relations official, who told Campus Reform Thursday that the university ultimately cancelled the program, and will not offer it again, though he declined to comment on precisely why the program was cut.

    Also in May, Campus Reform reported on a similar program at the University of California, Los Angeles, which similarly offered to pay student “Social Justice Advocates” to promote social justice on campus. Since Campus Reform’s report, the program has gone dark, and it is unclear whether it is still active.

    [RELATED: Texas State seeks math profs with ‘social justice’ commitment]

    Meanwhile, Washington State University is the only school that still appears to pay students to fulfill a similar function, and while the school did face backlash after Campus Reform reported on its version of the program, it remains active, according to the school’s website.

    Campus Reform reached out to UCLA and WSU for additional clarification, but did not receive any responses.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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