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The 10 Craziest Things That Offended College Students in 2016

The year 2016, colleges deemed everything from America-themed parties to Santa Claus decorations problematic, proving that the perpetually aggrieved will never rest.

Funny and crazy man using a computer

If you thought college students would run out of things to be offended by, think again. This year, colleges deemed everything from America-themed parties to Santa Claus decorations problematic, proving that the perpetually aggrieved will never rest.

In anticipation of the new year, which is sure to bring new offenses, Campus Reform has compiled a list of the 10 most ridiculous things college students and administrators were offended by in 2016.

1. Crucifix, “All Lives Matter” reported as ‘hate incidents’ at UW-L

A report from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse’s “Hate Response Team” revealed that students had filed formal complaints about everything from images of the crucifix to a blog post about life on campus as a white student.

One student reported feeling unsafe upon seeing a Campus Crusade for Christ poster on campus, claiming that the cross represents “oppression and hate of the LGBT+ community.”

In spite of the very active Hate Response Team, UW-L contends they care about free speech on campus.


2. UNC claims Christmas vacations, golf outings are microaggressions

To help their staff avoid microaggressions, the University of North Carolina posted a guide on their website urging faculty members to avoid phrases like “husband/boyfriend,” which is heteronormative, and “Christmas vacation,” which “minimizes non-Christian spiritual rituals.”

Further, staff should not invite other staff members on golf outings, because it assumes that everyone has the “financial resources/exposure to a fairly expensive and inaccessible sport.”

UNC eventually removed the guide following Campus Reform’s reporting of the list, claiming that it was being misinterpreted as official university policy.

This is stressful. We’re going to need to play a round of golf this Christmas vacation.

3. Rutgers: ‘avoiding someone’ is a microaggression

Students staying in the College Avenue Apartments at Rutgers University were treated to a bulletin board guiding them on how to avoid dangerous microaggressions, such as the phrases “that’s so ghetto” and “illegal aliens.”

Flyers on the bulletin board linked to the school’s “Language Matters” campaign, which claims that “avoiding someone” could even be deemed a microassault.

Would Rutgers be offended if we avoided their campus?

4. Pro-life flyers ‘racist,’ ‘vile’

Pro-life students at Purdue University were accused of being racist for anti-abortion flyers drawing attention to the disproportionate abortion rate for black children versus white children.

“Hands up don’t abort,” the Students for Life flyer read, co-opting the language of the Black Lives Matter movement. “Black children are an endangered species.”

Angry Purdue students and professors swarmed the pro-life group’s Facebook page, calling them “hypocritical delusional ignorant cunts” and suggesting they “drink bleach.” Staff member Jamie Newman even joined in on the action, referring to the students as “vile, racist idiots” before threatening to rape pro-life women (which he defended as a “joke”).

Students for Life got the last laugh, however, as Newman resigned shortly after the incident.

5. America-themed BBQ ‘considered offensive’ at Ramapo

Students at Ramapo College were forced to change the theme of a BBQ because an “American” theme was considered too offensive by the administration.

According to emails obtained by Campus Reform, the College Republicans and College Democrats intended to cosponsor a residence hall BBQ to help register students to vote, but just two days before the event, the chief organizer was informed that the event could be “considered offensive” because of the “militaristic” depiction of Uncle Sam in posters promoting the BBQ.

Nonetheless, the university denied it had forced anyone to change the theme.

6. FSU display: Harambe costumes are cultural appropriation

In the second bulletin board featured on this list, a Florida State University residence hall asked students to avoid offensive costumes on Halloween, notably including Harambe, the late Gorilla shot to death at the Cincinnati Zoo and later memorialized as a popular meme.

According to the display, Harambe, geishas, and “latinx alien” costumes are all examples of cultural appropriation and should be replaced by more sensitive costumes like “any animal” or “Steve Jobs.”

And speaking of “latinx aliens”…

7. Prof bans the term ‘illegal immigrants’ on final exams

A professor at the University of Southern California asked her students to avoid using the term “illegal immigrant” on the course final exam, claiming that such language is dehumanizing.

“Instead please use ‘undocumented immigrant’ or ‘unauthorized entry’ to describe folks’ status or how they may have arrived in the US,” read an email from a teaching assistant.

Not only do students have to study for the final exam, but they also have to learn new language guidelines. Surely this bodes well for their grades.

8. ‘Holiday,’ ‘evergreen trees’ too religious for TWU

Even the word “holiday” is no longer a safe alternative for “Christmas” at Texas Women’s University, which claimed that the term “connotes religious traditions” and therefore is not inclusive enough for end-of-year office parties.

TWU said employees should also avoid overtly Christmas-y decorations such as Santa Claus, evergreen trees, and red-nosed reindeer.

Welcome to the university that stole Christmas.

9. Emory student gov. pledges ‘emergency funds’ to help those ‘in pain’ over Trump chalking

Students across the country suffered from anti-Trump hysteria throughout 2016, with perhaps one of the most prominent and ridiculous incidents occurring at Emory University.

When chalk messages reading “Trump 2016” and “Build the Wall” appeared on campus sidewalks, the Emory student government released a statement lamenting that Emory students had voiced “genuine concern and pain” at having seen the “bigoted” messages.

Students urged the administration to punish the chalk-bearers and pledged to provide “emergency funds” to help those who were fearful of the chalkings.

Fox Sports Commentator Clay Travis said of the incident, “Is this real life?”


10. UVA student: ‘American’ identity ‘the most blatant microaggression’

Ramapo wasn’t the only college to claim America is offensive—UVA joined in with an event on microaggressions, where one student claimed that the “identity of American…[is] the most blatant microaggression in the context of this country.”

Other microaggressions included criticizing someone’s taste in food and saying to someone,“please don’t tell me you wear those together.”

…How else are we supposed to prevent fashion crimes?

[By Campus Reform]

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