So It’s the Millennials That Are Entitled?
A 59-year-old woman is working on her bachelor’s degree at a Wisconsin university. She took an Advanced Creative Writing Poetry course but didn’t agree with the assigned reading, so she sued her professor, demanding an A in the course (she got an F) and that the professor be fired or suspended for a year without pay.
Nowhere in the linked article is the answer to the question “why not just drop the course? or take one focused on old male writers?” The student wanted to read Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe. The professor apparently included more diverse works, since the student complained about content that included “lesbians, illicit sexual relationships, incest, and frequent swearing”.
In her lawsuit, the student claimed the professor “has chosen to totally discount the importance and the validity of the mainstream student population”. Ah, what a telling word. How people complain when finally being forced to deal with art or media not aimed at them.
The case, thankfully, was dismissed in May because there is no “legal authority or other basis … upon which this court could require [the professor] to teach the work of certain poets in a college course … or to provide any particular student with the grade that student believes she deserves.”
The provost at the school, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, sums it up nicely: “We’re interested in teaching you the skills necessary to think and form your own judgments. Part of that is encountering ideas that you may not be comfortable with and you may not agree with and being able to encounter those ideas, empathize with them enough to take them seriously and then form your own judgment.”
The student, on the other hand, thinks professors should “incorporate … what students would consider as wanting to learn”. This is the problem with considering students “customers” of the university. An academic setting doesn’t think the customer is always right. Quite often, regardless of their age, they’re uncomfortable being exposed to new viewpoints and opinions, but that’s one of the most valuable parts of the college experience.
It’s a shame that student Donna Kikkert wasted so much of the university’s time and money defending this idea.