As University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students prepare to start the fall term, campus leaders are trying to set some controversial guidelines.
A student group has put out a list of words they think people shouldn’t use at the university.
Fox’s Bret Lemoine tells us why some think this is taking political correctness too far.
Incoming freshman Brandon Williford is excited to be out of high school and more independent at UW Milwaukee.
“We’re all adults here,” Williford said.”
But a list of words some deem offensive has this student questioning a relatively new campus guideline.
“I feel like it’s censorship.”
Last year, UWM’s Inclusive Excellence Center debuted its “Just Words” campaign, bringing attention to words and phrases like “retarded” and “crazy” that some might find hurtful.
“We’re not saying you can’t say some of those words — but some of those words can be construed as microaggressions.”
Hill is the Interim Senior Student Affairs Officer at UWM. He says Just Words is merely a suggestion, not censorship.
“We’re not doing that at all. As a matter of fact, we’re trying to improve and have open dialogue,” Hill said.
Also on the list: “ghetto,” “Nazi” and even “politically correct.”
“Someone can say, ‘Oh, you’re being politically correct, PC.’ Well, someone may take offense to that and say, ‘I’m not being PC, I’m just being me,’” Hill said.
We reached out to the Center for Inclusive Excellence — a group funded by student fees — for an interview.
Ironically, a spokeswoman had only two words for Fox6: “No Comment.”
“I don’t personally find any of those words offensive — I think the use of them is all about who you are with.”
While the group claims some might consider “illegal alien” an overt anti-Latino bias or “lame” ridiculing amputees, some students say it’s just society being overly sensitive.
“It seems a lot of people’s feelings are getting hurt right now for anything.”