UA Policy To Resolve Tensions In Classrooms Ridiculed

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 3:52pm
Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 4:28pm

A college classroom is supposed to be a safe place to talk about your views on issues like race and politics without the conversation devolving into yelling.

But have we gone too far in protecting one another’s feelings?

One policy at the University of Arizona has come under fire from some conservative news outlets recently. It’s called the “Ouch/Oops” policy, and even though it might sound like something you’re more likely to hear in a kindergarten classroom than a college one, the idea is pretty simple: if a student feels hurt or offended by another student’s comments, they can say “ouch.” And then the other student can say “oops.”

The idea is to help faculty resolve tensions in class and facilitate more productive discussions about these contentious issues, so students can better understand each other’s points of view.

But, not everyone sees it that way. The policy has been ridiculed and accused of being a waste of money by the university. So, I spoke with the man who implemented it at UA.

Jesus Trevino was hired last year as the vice provost for Inclusive Excellence and senior diversity officer at UA, and he recently released a “Diversity and Inclusiveness Guide” for faculty and staff that includes this policy, among many other suggestions.

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