The University of Oregon application requires that students respond to one of two essay questions. The first posits that the student is either a victim or an oppressor:
Describe an experience with discrimination, whether it was fighting against discrimination or recognizing your contribution to discriminating against a person or group. What did you learn from the experience? In what ways will you bring those lessons to the University of Oregon? (Emphasis mine.)
Please note that the second option in the above essay prompt — “recognizing your contribution to discriminating against a person or group” — implicitly includes a Maoist type of confession and re-education. I don’t know about you, but I find that prompt extremely disturbing insofar as it reveals that the University’s admission committee has lumped all of its applicants into two categories: oppressor and oppressed.
I urged my Little Bookworm to write an essay explaining that he is neither oppressor nor oppressed and pushing back against the assumptions inherent in that prompt. My Little Bookworm chose not to go renegade, however. Instead, he opted to answer the second essay prompt, that tries to tease out any possible diversity to add to the University’s quota:
The University of Oregon values difference, and we take pride in our diverse community. Please explain how you will share your experiences, values and interests with our community. In what ways can you imagine offering your support to others?
Students have the choice of providing the University with their myriad gender identities.
The post-American campus: once the preserver of our civilization, now the principal agent of its destruction.