A Rutgers University residence hall is encouraging students to only use language that is “helpful” and “necessary” to avoid committing microaggressions.
The display which was placed in the building by a resident assistant is part of the university’s “Language Matters” campaign, and it contains definitions of the three types of “microaggressions,” as well as a flyer listing potentially-offensive words and phrases.
The “Language Matters” campaign was launched by the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities some time during the 2015 fall semester.
The bulletin board instructs students to ask themselves whether their choice of words is “true,” “helpful,” “inspiring,” “necessary,” and “kind” before speaking out, since “victims of microaggressions are more at risk for illness & decreased immune system.”
The board also includes a list of potentially-offensive terms, such as “retarded” and “illegal aliens.”
The board warns students that failing to follow these guidelines could lead them to commit a microaggression, which include “microassaults,” “microinsults,” and “microinvalidations.”
According to Campus Reform, “The flyer, which was adapted from the University of Maryland’s “Inclusive Language Campaign,” lists various terms that some people might find offensive, presenting scenarios such as saying “he looks like a terrorist” to someone who is “a United States veteran;” using the phrase “that’s so ghetto” around someone who “grew up in poverty;” and commenting that an “exam just raped me” in the presence of “a survivor of sexual assault.””
Rutgers also has created a “Bias Prevention Education Team” that handles reports of microaggressions and other “bias incidents.”
Above: Picture of the bulletin board, provided by Campus Reform.
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