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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

On Colleges being more responsive to students' complaints (re: Commencement Disinvitations)

In a discussion on I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me (Vox), I was asked for non-anecdotal evidence that college administrations are now more responsive to students' complaints (typically out of liberal/social justice concerns) than in the past.

We can see that Commencement Disinvitation Episodes documented by FIRE have been rising in recent years as students grow more sensitive to offence.

2000: 6 disinvitation attempts
2001: 4
2002: 10
2003: 10
2004: 7
2005: 13
2006: 10
2007: 9
2008: 13
2009: 23
2010: 16
2011: 19
2012: 17
2013: 29
2014: 16

2014 only has 5 months of data so do note that corrected for the full year figures one would assume there were 38 disinvitation attempts in 2014 - truly a record.

So we can conclude that there has indeed been an increase in Commencement Speaker Disinvitation Attempts since 2009.


"According to the Department of Education, the number of racial complaints reported on college campuses has increased from 555 in 2009 to 939 last year."

Of course this could be due to more racism, but why would we think there was an increase in racism?
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