EXCLUSIVE: GW diversity module advises students not to say 'lame' or 'insane,' suggests not being illegal is a 'privilege'

George Washington University suggests students not use the words “lame” or “insane,” find “allies” to help educate white students hosting sombrero parties, and more.

The school makes these recommendations and more in an online “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” training through EVERFI, a module to which Campus Reform gained access.

One prompt labeled “Ally Power” describes a white man, Tanner, who is planning a “Salsa and Sombreros” birthday party for himself.

“When Luca hears about [the party], they get angry because they recognize the event as cultural appropriation that makes fun of their Mexican heritage,” the prompt reads. “They tell Tanner he should change the theme because it’s offensive. Tanner says, ‘I’m open to hearing why you find it insensitive, but you need to use a less angry tone if we’re going to talk about it.’”

The correct answer to the multiple choice question regarding what Luca should do reads “Check in with themself about how they’re feeling, and be open to finding an ally who can work with Tanner so he understands the concerns.”

“Making a choice to avoid using a word like ‘gay,’ ‘lame,’ or ‘insane’ as shorthand to mean something is bad or difficult isn’t about being silenced or ‘politically correct’ — it’s being informed and respectful,” reads a section entitled “Inclusion Strategies.” “Even though we might not mean it this way, using words related to identities like sexual orientation and disability as if they are negative increases stigma against marginalized groups.”

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One section of the module includes a stereotypical joke involving women and math attributed to a hypothetical student. The section asks if the student’s remark is “problematic.” GW labels an answer reading “no, because he’s clearly joking” as incorrect and marks the correct answer as “yes, because he’s applying a stereotype and making assumptions about gender, gender identity, and intelligence/math skills.”

A section labeled “Know It All” describes the following situation:

“Taylor, who is white, notices his Navajo friend, Kai, wearing a turquoise and silver necklace. ‘That’s pretty, but I hope you didn’t get it at Urban Mercantile. They’ve been selling lots of Native American-type jewelry, but I’m sure you’d want to support Native artists, not chain stores. Nobody should shop there.’”

Module participants are asked if Taylor is giving information that is helpful. The correct answer is “no, Taylor is being condescending and could lose his friend’s trust” and a caption at the bottom of the page reads “whitesplaining is a form of racism.”

One panel displayed in the module’s “Isms and Phobias” section describes an example of “acephobia,” or the fear or dislike or people who are asexual.

“Bran’s friend tells him, ‘My girlfriend thinks she’s asexual. I’m going to text her some pictures to show her exactly what she’s missing.’”

Another prompt for “sexism and heteronormativity” features the statement “congratulations on your engagement! Who’s the lucky guy? Are you planning to have a big family? Cause you’ll be a great mom (once it’s time)!”

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One prompt suggests that offering to “lose weight together” with someone who is overweight perpetuates “sizeism.”

In another activity, the module suggests that not being told one is in the wrong bathroom, having one’s family attend graduation, not worrying about family or friends being deported, having a name people can pronounce, worrying that one cannot fit in classroom seats, and not missing class “because scented products make me sick” constitute privilege.

“Sometimes the difference between lawful and unlawful immigration is about financial resources — having the financial ability to hire attorneys to navigate through challenging rules and paperwork,” the caption under the deportation prompt reads.

The caption under a privilege prompt reading, “I always have a safe place to pray” talks exclusively about Muslims.

Another privilege prompt asks students to agree or disagree with the assertion that police officers make them feel safe. 

“Many people know police as reliable protectors,” that caption reads. “However, reports or experiences of mistreatment based on characteristics including race, citizenship status, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation can result in members of marginalized groups fearing violence or unfair treatment from police.”

GW freshman John Stafford told Campus Reform that he was required to finish the EVERFI training in order to register for his fall semester classes.

According to its website, EVERFIi, Inc. services more than 1,500 colleges and universities in order to “solve the most troubling issues faced on college campuses across the country.”

Stafford stated the training took around two hours to finish and included many mandatory videos that students could not skip.

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The training material “assumes people are victims based off of the appearance of their skin color or style,” he told Campus Reform. “It is clearly the identity politics that the left loves.”

George Washington University did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. 

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