Cornell Student Orientation Leaders Were Given Packets About Privilege And Oppression

Neetu Chandak | Contributor

Cornell University student leaders were given packets about privilege and oppression, from race to sexual orientation to English-speaking abilities, prior to orientation week for freshman students.

Those who were “slender; perceived as attractive; handsome; beautiful; etc.,” were considered as privileged while those “of size; particularly tall or short; perceived as unattractive; etc.” were “marginalized or oppressed in U.S. context,” according to the document obtained by Campus Reform from a concerned student.

“Over the course of three weeks, Campus Reform gave Cornell University multiple opportunities to confirm or deny the packet was distributed,” Campus Reform reported Wednesday. “University spokesman John Carberry eventually responded to Campus Reform on Wednesday but did not deny the student’s accounts, saying that Cornell ‘will not be participating’ or commenting on the issue.”

The packet is split into three sections. The leftmost part of the document is a list of 15 categories, including age, ethnicity, religion or spirituality and marital or parental status. The middle section was labeled as “Groups That Experience Privilege In The U.S. Context” and the rightmost section was labeled as “Groups That Are Marginalized Or Oppressed In The U.S. Context.”

Those who were white, men, in their 30s to 50s or spoke “proper” English were all considered as privileged. Oppressed groups included women, LGBTQ, “accented English,” and those who were single, according to the document.

Cornell’s orientation period was between Aug. 17 and 22 for new students to get accustomed to the New York campus through mandatory and optional events. It is unclear who gave the students the packet.

The topic of oppression is not the first time to come up at the university. Cornell student Letitia Chai presented her honors thesis in her bra and underwear to resist oppressive dress codes in her “Acting in Public” class in May, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported. (RELATED: Cornell Student Delivers Thesis In Bra And Underwear To Combat ‘Oppressive Beliefs’)

The class, led by professor Rebekah Maggor, did not have specific dress codes other than for students to dress for “the persona they will represent,” according to the course syllabus.

Carberry and Cornell’s New Student Program did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

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