Unintended Consequences

The University of Maryland made headlines recently when it decided to hire a full-time “Hate-Bias Response Coordinator” (no joke).  According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the coordinator “will manage a new bias-response team, as well as meet with students affected by hate incidents and help design training and education on diversity and inclusion issues.”

Sounds pretty good in theory, but it looks like the details are revealing a devil or two.

For example, consider Sage Grouse College in Casper, Wyoming.  In early November it hired its first HBR Coordinator.  Just in time, it seemed, because less than two weeks later a flood of vile, hostile graffiti targeting natives of Liechtenstein began appearing throughout the campus (e.g., “Likdenstein is the 4th smallest country in Europe, and it SUCKS.”)  The country’s flag (see above) was found stuffed in a toilet in The Bird’s Nest, Sage Grouse’s main student cafeteria, causing the facility to flood. 

Shockingly, campus police traced the crimes to Quentin Skoof, the school’s HBR Coordinator.  According to a statement released by the college, “Mr. Skoof was deeply concerned that there would too few hate incidents on Sage Grouse’s demographically homogeneous campus to justify his continued employment in the Coordinator position, so he decided to manufacture incidents on his own.  Given that no students from Liechtenstein attend Sage Grouse, Mr. Skoof thought that no one would be harmed by focusing on this group.  As it turns out, the grandparents of the custodian who discovered the flag in the toilet were raised in Liechtenstein.  The custodian is now being treated by a therapist from our Flag Abuse Crisis Team (FACT).”

Mr. Skoof has been formally reprimanded for his actions, and will be required to attend a remedial vocabulary class where the proper spelling of “Liechtenstein” will be addressed. 

On a more positive note, the percentage of Sage Grouse students who correctly identify Liechtenstein as a country in Europe, not a sex position, has increased from 15% to 43% since the graffiti incident.