Ohio University requires students to address ‘white privilege’

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By Carina

A health sciences course at The Ohio State University, part of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, engages students in discussions and assignments on gender and race. 

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Course is supported by ALX grant

This course, known as “Individual Differences in Patient/Client Populations,” is supported by the school’s Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) grant, aimed at promoting courses using open and affordable materials.

Fox News Digital reviewed documents related to this online course, slated for autumn 2023, after they were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Do No Harm, a collective of health professionals and others advocating against what they see as radical and divisive ideologies in healthcare.

Students urged to reflect on their ‘privileges’

The course includes an assignment titled “Unpack the Invisible Knapsack,” based on Peggy McIntosh’s 1989 essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” 

This assignment prompts students to reflect on their privilege through various “activities,” focusing on white, heterosexual, and able-bodied privileges. Students can also explore recent works by other scholars and activists.

Excerpts from McIntosh’s work are featured, emphasizing the concept of white privilege. Students are tasked with reflecting on their understanding of privilege, considering their position and potential actions related to it.

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Students encouraged to learn about racism

Additionally, the course involves watching and discussing a documentary titled “White People,” exploring the concept of whiteness and racial dynamics. 

Another reading, “Ten things everyone should know about race,” is included, highlighting the modern construct of race and the reality of racism.

Course comes under heavy criticism

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of Do No Harm, criticized the course to Fox News Digital, arguing it exemplifies a trend in American universities towards divisive and political ideologies, particularly critical race theory. 

He expressed concern about this approach leading to divisiveness and detracting from the core values of healthcare education.

Ohio University affirms its commitment to ‘academic freedom’

Ben Johnson, a spokesperson for Ohio State University, responded to Fox News Digital, emphasizing the university’s commitment to academic freedom, freedom of expression, and a campus environment open to all viewpoints.

This course at The Ohio State University represents a broader trend in higher education, blending traditional health sciences education with contemporary discussions on social issues like race and gender. 

It raises questions about the balance between academic freedom, the need for inclusive education, and concerns over ideological influence in university curricula.

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