by James C. Sherlock
The University of Virginia has not lost all sense of perspective. They know exactly what they have been doing.
For this they had to try to thread a needle. They missed.
From the University of Virginia Division of Student Affairs:
“Our Division’s focus remains on supporting and caring for our students and their well-being.
Our Division provides direct OUTREACH AND SUPPORT OF STUDENT LEADERS in the Jewish and Palestinian community, including the Jewish Leadership Council, Chabad at UVA, and Muslim Students Association.”
“The Division owns places and spaces across Grounds for students to meet in community:
• REFLECTION ROOMS AND WELLNESS SUITE: two spaces in Student Health and Wellness are open for students to drop-in and relax, meditate, pray, do yoga, and/or reflect.
• THE INTERFAITH STUDENT CENTER: maintained by Multicultural Student Services is available for daily prayers, and as a place for community connection.”
The effort is built on quicksand and hosted in an empty room.
Note no mention of the DEI Division as an honest broker. Good decision.
UVa Division of Student Affairs and the Multicultural Student Center. The Division of Student Affairs is a strange choice to lead an outreach to the Jewish and Palestinian Community.
We note that Division did not offer its Multicultural Student Center (MSC) for this particular effort.
The University defines the MSC as follows:
“The MSC serves as a hub for inter-cultural engagement, diversity education, community building, and student success initiatives. We aim to facilitate a student-centered, collaborative space that supports historically marginalized communities, while cultivating the holistic empowerment of all students.
- Our programs aim to:
- Build understanding through dialogue
- Equip students to become citizen leaders
- Enhance personal development”
When we look at the MSC Programs & Signature Events page, we see that is (what word should we choose?) nonsense.
It is an unabashedly left-wing progressive race-and-intersectionality indoctrination center. Mirroring the predominant modern trend at the University of Virginia.
We note that as early as the Spring of 2018, its Multicultural Consciousness Series (I recommend review the whole multi-year program)
“featured Intersectionality Dialogues: Real life people, real life experiences, with professors and students from intersectional themes of feminism, sexuality, race, class, and Islam.”
Generously funded by the UVA Parents Fund.
Judaism did not make the cut. It never made the cut in the MSC. We are pretty sure UVA Parents did not know what they were buying.
But that is a yet another good decision by the Division of Student Affairs in the current crisis. The M.D. who is serving as the Interim Vice President for Student Affairs shows much better judgment than his recently resigned predecessor.
Its lavishly funded MSC would not have been the most comfortable site for Jewish students.
The empty room that is the Interfaith Student Center is more appropriate.
UVa Muslim Students Association. The “outreach” of the University included the Muslim Students’ Association. From the SJP Instagram site.The UVa Muslim Students Association co-signed that letter. On October 8th.
And they co-signed a follow-on letter calling out on October 13th the “Ongoing Zionist settler project.”
So, there is much work to do there in the “outreach” thing.
UVa Religion, Race and Democracy Lab. I thought perhaps the UVa Democracy Initiative’s Religion, Race and Democracy Lab could pitch in to calm passions.
So, I checked on their work with Muslims and Jews. The Art of Soviet Jewry Activism is about the epic efforts of Soviet Jewry to escape oppression under communism. Most escaped to Israel.
It is a story unknown by, because it is largely untaught to, American students.
Its Acting in Faith project is about Muslims in America.
One interviewee spoke of “the undeniable and looming realities of inequality, discrimination, and exclusion in the United States.”
Another related “the intersectionality on “police brutality, climate change, criminal justice reform, social issues.”
The two projects come from completely different worlds, and worldviews, that are unreconcilable.
Bottom line. The University of Virginia, transfixed by race, oppressors and oppressed, has as an institution included Muslims in the ranks of the oppressed. It counts Jews among the ranks of white oppressors.
The Division of Student Affairs has funded that view and cheered it on.
Small diversions from that orthodoxy like The Art of Soviet Jewry Activism only serve to confirm the institutional bias. There was no follow-on project of the success of those Soviet Jews in Israel.
No one would dare.
The University of Virginia has reaped what it has so prolifically sown. Its Jewish students reap the whirlwind.