UAlaska CANCELS class for 'Power and Privilege Symposium'

The University of Alaska Southeast announced “Classes Cancelled” for its “Power and Privilege Symposium”

The symposium will feature sessions about masculinity, privilege, and more.

The University of Alaska Southeast lists "classes canceled” Tuesday in order for students to attend an annual Power and Privilege Symposium.

The Power and Privilege Symposium is set to take place November 12, and according to the university calendar, classes are canceled for that day. During the event, participants can go to events like “Lived Experiences of Alaskan Transgender and Gender Non Binary Individuals,” “Unpacking Privilege in the Zero Waste Movement,” “Working with Men: Healing and Accountability,” and more.

For example, the “Working with Men” panel discusses how people can work with men about “dismantling patriarchal ways of thinking,” and issues like “colonial influences, intersectionality, unhealthy and limiting ideas on masculinity and maleness” will also be discussed.

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Another breakout session titled “Unpacking Privilege in the Zero Waste Movement” is aimed at explaining how being “zero-waste” requires “different levels of income, time, and inherent privilege.” The session host is even bringing her own environmentally-friendly products and explaining “the levels of privilege that were required to purchase these products.”

At a session titled “Gender, Sexuality, & Inclusion” a Planned Parenthood "outreach educator" will be leading the discussion, explaining how to “be more inclusive and respectful toward the LGBTQ2+ people in your life.”

The “Speaking Truth to Privilege, Our Life Stories” session gives participants the chance to “explore their privilege and the privilege (or lack thereof) of others through a small group discussion based activity." 

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“By sharing the context of our privilege or challenges instead of accepting our classifications as rote, participants will gain a better understanding of how privilege touches our lives,” the session description says.

Ken Campbell, the public information officer for the University of Alaska Southeast, said that “most classes” do not meet during the symposium, and said that “not all classes are cancelled," despite the suggestion by the academic calendar, published on the university's website.

“I think it is a choice for faculty, depending on their curriculum,” Campbell said on whether classes are cancelled or not. “For example, we offer outdoor studies classes, with condensed length, where a student may have a one week class with weekends on each side for practical experience, and that type of class would not be canceled.  Similarly, we offer many online classes and classes which meet in the evening, which probably would not be canceled either.”

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The university also canceled classes for the symposium in 2018.

Nathan Block, president of the school’s Campus Conservatives organization told Campus Reform that it wasn’t necessary to cancel classes for the event. 

“Forcing an entire school to cease educational advancements for political/social indoctrination is unbecoming,” Block said. “If that’s the logic, Iʼd like to see schools completely shut done for Math Symposiums, and Philosophy Symposiums, and Genetics Symposiums, Toxic Femininity Symposiums.”

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