Suggestions for faculty who criticize student activists

February 14, 2017

“Recent years have seen students energized by grassroots movements mobilizing for change on campuses across the country,” writes Dean Spade for the Chronicle of Higher Education, but many faculty members have come to criticize student activists. Spade lays out the common lines of argument that faculty level against student protest, then offers four suggestions for how faculty can better support students who become engaged in this way. The first is to appreciate students’ willingness to take risks; the second is to reconsider the claim that faculty or administrators have become the “victims” of entitled students; the third is to realize that wanting students to “ask nicely” for change is not seen as a viable option by activists who feel ignored; and the fourth is to consider the possible benefits of student activism. Chronicle