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The politics of guilt are infused in every nook and cranny on any given college campus.

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Guilt Trip 101: The New College Prerequisite

The politics of guilt are infused in every nook and cranny on any given college campus.

Reading, writing and arithmetic aren’t the only subjects going to be covered in schools this fall. Former studies done by Young America’s Foundation have proven that a myriad of bizarre classes exist across the country, but a new theme on campus is becoming apparent: guilt.

A Young America’s Foundation alumnus contacted us recently about a class he registered for. “Business and its Environment,” sounds innocent enough—but of course, it wasn’t. Like many other college classes, there is a hidden agenda. “Business and its Environment,” is a class about how to ensure businesses do not hamper “sustainability.”

That first assignment was, “Calculate your ecological footprint at footprintnetwork.com. … What do you need to change?”

See that clever slight-of-hand there? Guilt is implied in the assignment. This class, like many others, is not exactly a free exchange of ideas—the syllabus includes loaded terms such as “social implications”—terms that, again, imply guilt.

Are the students that registered for “Business and its Environment,” learning about business or entrepreneurship or even the free-enterprise system? No, they’re learning about how to be socially responsible via reading books like The Story of Stuff. It’s not a business class at all—it’s a class designed to make students feel guilty for being students. (The Story of Stuff accuses producers and consumers of “planet exploitation.”)

That is what the liberal indoctrination machine looks like in the 21st Century— the politics of guilt are infused in every nook and cranny on any given college campus. Of course we know that, “Taking Marx Seriously,” or “American Dreams/American Realities,” will be a hit job on American values, but “Business and its Environment?” Who knew?

Classes aren’t the only activities present on college campuses insisting students feel “guilty.” George Washington University, for example, has a “Green Book Club,” and once forced incoming freshmen to read Hot, Flat and Crowded, which is in part a global-warming alarmism book that bemoans the overuse of natural resources. They even brought the author to campus, just in case students didn’t entirely get the message.

Harvard University employs 16 people in their “office of sustainability.” What are the purposes of an “office of sustainability,” you ask? One activity they undertake is a “trash audit,” where they look at students’ trash and determine whether it is recyclable or not. (Your tuition dollars hard at work, Harvard.) The conclusion of the last audit was that 23% of trash thrown away at Harvard was recyclable. Feeling guilty yet?

A Young America’s Foundation alumna from the University of Virginia was forced to sit through “Diversity Day,” a day aimed at enlightening white students about how privileged they are and how guilty they should feel about it. This theme on college campuses has been labeled, “white guilt”—the emotion white students are expected to feel.

Students are being programmed to feel guilty starting on day one. This is the new college prerequisite: Guilt Trip 101. The course load is heavy, and attendance is mandatory. Leave any premonitions you had about your exuberant lifestyles at the door.

Written By

Evan Gassman is program officer at Young America's Foundation.

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