A Butler Collegian staff member wrote an opinion column that was posted Nov. 27 on The College Fix, a news and commentary website run by the Student Free Press Association, unaffiliated with the Collegian or the university.
In the piece, the student explains his reasoning for dropping one of Butler’s political science classes.
The class syllabus asks its students to use “inclusive language,” a concept that Butler University President Jim Danko said in a campus-wide email that the university supports.
The syllabus asks students to “do your best to write and speak in a way that does not assume American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status, etc., to be the norm.”
The piece went viral and was picked up by national conservative talk-show commentators. It stirred up a variety of emotions and opinions from various sources, including their audiences.
“Some responses we have received from individuals not associated with Butler University who read the article online have targeted various individuals at Butler in ways that have involved personal (verbal) attacks and hateful language,” Danko wrote in the email.
On campus, the controversy revolved around whether the reporter identified the publication for which he was writing.
Other controversy revolved around a possible misinterpretation of the syllabus’s wording.
In the email, Danko reaffirmed the university’s support of “professors’ desires to promote inclusive and positive classrooms” while also supporting “our students’ rights to express concerns about their educational experiences at Butler.”