Freshman Orientation: Not What It Used to Be
August 15 2019
by Charlotte Hays
Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, was proud to send her youngest son to Virginia Tech, a college known for its Corps of Cadets and a proud tradition dating back to 1872 when the college was established.
Ms. Nance was pleased to note pylons on the military parade ground bearing the principles on which Virginia Tech was founded: honor, duty, brotherhood. One pylon bore the words “ut prosim,” that I may serve. Since her son was joining ROTC and studying engineering, this bode especially well,
With such a history, Virginia Tech seemed a great choice.
But then freshman initiation began—according to Nance, a brew of lefty propaganda and indoctrination (paid for by taxpayers—this is a public institution).
The program began with acknowledgement of two Native American tribes on whose land Virginia Tech was built.
The implication was that the land was stolen. If Virginia Tech feels so bad about this, why not just give the land back and move?
No? I thought not. That’s like asking eco-royals Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex to leave the private jet in the hangar when they jet to Ibiza for a spot of sun.
But orientation continued:
What followed went from slightly bothersome to downright alarming. The college filled the next two hours with speaker after speaker who introduced themselves with not just their names and titles but also preferred pronouns — as in, “Hi my name is Penny Nance, and I identify as she and her.” At first, parents were slightly surprised; by the end, they were mad.
Every person on the stage looked exactly as you would expect them to identify. At that point, I noticed all the new students’ badges contained not just their names but also their preferred pronouns because the school had made it part of registration. The heavy-handed diversity lecture that followed seemed rather tame in comparison. Parents left the venue in shock.
. . .
At one point, after dinner, they sent parents off to oblivious sleep while they lectured students on not making assumptions about each other’s gender or sexuality. Were they suggesting students ought to be fluidly “exploring” their gender and sexuality, as if it were some expected adventure? In the era of “Me Too,” that seems off message.
Nance didn’t like the idea of name badges with gender identity information:
Why should a public university force a young man or woman struggling with identity issues, for example, to disclose those personal details and prominently display them on a name badge? Gender dysphoria is real, and the small number of students struggling deserve to be treated with dignity and kindness.
Students and parents enjoyed separate orientation programs. The parents’ orientation featured a rather alarming warning:
“Parents, don’t be shocked if your kid comes home changed,” they intoned in the other room — this to the hundreds of parents, including myself, who had saved and sacrificed to send our children to this “top educational institution.” The attitude they conveyed was one of how “privileged” we should feel that they selected our children to attend such a fine and prestigious university. Lucky us.
And lucky taxpayers.