Clemson RAs freed from mandated 'commitment to social justice'

Clemson University RAs no longer have to “demonstrate a commitment to social justice” to be eligible for the position.

Last year, the Resident Assistant (RA) job description at Clemson specified that applicants “must demonstrate a commitment to social justice through interactions with residents” to qualify for the job, as Campus Reform originally reported.

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At the time, RAs had reached out to Campus Reform to express their frustration at the university’s social justice mandate. Students also reported they were being trained on how to combat “microaggressions” and “triggers” on campus.

Now, the 2018 RA job description contains no mention of social justice, though it does encourage RAs to demonstrate an “ability to speak to others across areas of social identity through their interactions with residents.”

The document also encourages RAs to “utilize Communities of Inclusion (COI) resources to build inclusive residential communities and global citizens.”

University policy limits student employees to no more than 28 hours per week of work, for which RAs receive a $4,020 stipend for the year, a free meal plan, and a private room at a discounted rate.

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While the specific wording has changed, Clemson does include an “Inclusion Statement” on the RA application website that encourages prominent social justice themes of diversity and inclusion.

“We proudly commit to preparing our students and staff to thrive in a global community,” the inclusion statement reads. “We seek to understand and affirm all identities, engage in residential community dialogue, and promote an inclusive and supportive residential community environment.”

A Clemson University media representative declined to provide comment or clarification on the reason for the changes when contacted by Campus Reform.

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