February 22, 21:46 EST
In a ridiculous move, administrators also squelch messages of friendship and support for students
Moms and dads across America can breathe a sigh of relief: At Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, whiteboards are now banned from dormitories beginning next semester.
That wasn’t a typo or an error: Those little whiteboards students have long been hanging on their doors or walls in order to write messages of all kinds will be officially verboten at Michigan State University (MSU) after this semester.
If you’re wondering what would cause the university to enact such a sweeping ban on innocent whiteboards — you would not be alone. A recent article in Inside Higher Ed explained that even university officials were at a loss to explain exactly why they instituted the move.
“There was no one incident that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Kat Cooper, director of university residential services communication, told The Detroit News. Instead, she expressed concern for the usual suspects: Messages of racism, sexism or other types of bullying might be scrawled on the rectangular white spaces — upsetting some students.
Just how widespread is whiteboard bullying, you may ask? According to Cooper, the more than 50,000 students at MSU are subject to a staggering “several incidents a month” — or perhaps as many as one offending note for every 10,000 students at the school.
Perhaps anticipating objections from parents who pay as much as $51,068 in tuition for their children to attend the school, Cooper was quick to note that whiteboards are not “central to student life” anymore.
Once upon a time, whiteboards could be used to help shy students overcome their fear of social interaction, by allowing them to invite the cute guy or girl down the hall to a party or the study group in the common room. But now, MSU seemingly wants us to understand we’ve all moved past such primitive forms of communication.
Therefore, the time had come to protect students from the various forms of abuse they might encounter (before wiping them off with a tissue) if whiteboards were allowed to remain.
To be sure, no one condones the writing of racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, fat-shaming or any other nasty comments on the whiteboard of any student. Students should call out this type of behavior when it occurs. But are parents or university officials really helping students by trying to protect them from every possible unpleasant incident — even to the point of an erasable comment on a dorm whiteboard?
Parents once prepared their children for life by teaching them to stay tough in the face of adversity. Are we preparing the next generation of scholars, executives and leaders if we assume they will go into full meltdown at the slightest insult? It’s a tough world out there — but not every progressive administrator has “gotten the memo” yet.
There is a glimmer of hope for the future: Following the ban, students took to social media, denouncing the move as ridiculous. As one student put it, commenting on the Lansing, Michigan, NAACP website: “If someone writes on the door, will they remove everyone’s door?”
Concern must be running rampant on campus: Will Post-It notes be next?
The Story Was Originally Published Here From LifeZette