FIRE's Guide to First-Year Orientation on Campus

Jordan Lorence and Harvey A. Silverglate | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT
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(Editor's Note: The following is one of five guides written by FIRE in order to help protect the rights of college students.)

At a growing number of colleges and universities, students are directed or even required to attend orientation sessions whose outward purpose is to introduce incoming students to life in college. All too often, these orientation sessions are forums for intrusive sensitivity training and politically correct thought reform. FIRE's Guide to First-Year Orientation and to Thought Reform on Campus contrasts the legitimate purposes and intentions of campus orientation sessions with current practices and effects, revealing how these sessions have evolved in Orwellian fashion in the hands of college administrators. This Guide explains the immoral implications of these orientation sessions for liberty and dignity on college and university campuses and provides students with a basis for effective and respected conscientious objection. Readers will find answers to the following questions:

What are the most effective methods of resisting inclusion in orientation sessions, without risking administrative sanction?

How might I wage a campaign against intrusive and coercive university orientation sessions, especially when the official intent of such programs is largely seen as benign?

How might I object to the claim that universities have an obligation, by law, to ensure that students are not offended by other students, and that sensitivity training is essential to satisfying that duty?

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