Cronkite journalism school forces students to learn about ‘microaggressions’ and ‘cisgender privilege’ to graduate

Arizona State's journalism school is requiring some students to take a DEI course that teaches students about ‘microaggressions’ and promotes the idea of men being allowed to use women’s restrooms.

‘More than 400 students were required to take this class in fall 2023 alone,’ according to the Goldwater Institute.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is part of Arizona State University and boasts that it “is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism and mass communications programs,” has a requirement that some students take a “Diversity and Civility” course before graduating.

The Goldwater Institute, “a free-market public policy research and litigation organization,” has performed a “prolonged public records request process with Arizona State University” to uncover information about a “Diversity and Civility” class that is “a required course for at least three of the undergraduate degree programs at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.” The Institute released this information on March 18.

The course “[e]mphasizes the importance of diversity, inclusion, equity and civility to ensure all Cronkite students feel represented, valued and supported” and “[o]ffers training and awareness on cultural sensitivities, civil discourse, bias awareness and diversity initiatives at the Cronkite School and ASU,” the school declares on its website.

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The Goldwater Institute found that the course requires students to learn about concepts such as “microaggressions,” “cisgender privilege,” and using “preferred pronouns.”

Examples of “microaggressions” from the course material include making statements such as “I believe the most qualified person should get the job,” “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough,” “America is a melting pot,” and “There is only one race, the human race.”

The course also teaches students that “spaces reserved for women, such as single-sex locker rooms and bathrooms—and even women’s prisons—should be open to biological men who identify as women. To object to a man using a women’s bathroom is an example of discrimination against transgender individuals,” according to the Goldwater Institute.

A certain course exercise also tells students to develop a public relations strategy for a hypothetical client who is “nonbinary” and uses “they/them pronouns,” according to the institute.

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The think tank also emphasized what it called the identity-politics focus of the course, with the course’s units consisting of categories such as “Race & Ethnicity,” “Language & Citizenship,” “Sexuality and Gender Identity,” “(Dis)ability,” and “Differences and Conflict.”

The Goldwater Institute notes that “[m]ore than 400 students were required to take this class in fall 2023 alone, with more than 2,000 hours of students’ time spent on the course in just one semester.”

Campus Reform has contacted Arizona State University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.