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Salisbury University became the center of national media attention after an article on Campus Reform, which critiqued the use of a “White Supremacy Pyramid” in an education course that received circulation by various conservative outlets.
The original article, written by Campus Reform correspondent Kassy Dillon, detailed information about an elementary education course required by SU for that specific major.
Via their website, Campus Reform seeks to expose “bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.” It is a project of the Leadership Institute, which was founded in 1979 and notes that they “[teach] conservatives of all ages how to succeed in politics, government, and the media.”
ELED 397, or Diversity and the Self, was taught this past semester by Dr. Erin Stutelberg among other professors. According to the SU website, the course ‘reviews theories and aspects of cultural competence most relevant to teaching in diverse classrooms.’
The main focus of Dillon’s article was to analyze the “White Supremacy Pyramid” that was said to have been used in Dr. Stutelberg class. Dillon quoted an anonymous source in her article that claimed to have been a student in this ELED class with Stutelberg.
“This class was extremely difficult to get through if you did not think like a liberal. Instead of teaching diversity, this class taught us that being white was a bad thing,” the student said. “We were told that we were only privileged because we are white and basically we did not actually work for what we have.”
Initially there had been no response from Stutelberg after Campus Reform had attempted to contact her for a comment, but since then, the article made its way to Fox News, SU has since released a statement.
Director of Public Relations Richard Culver made a comment on behalf of the school confirming that the pyramid was one of the tools used by Stutelberg in her class as a way to think about race along with gender and social class.
“Per University academic freedom policies faculty are free to disseminate to their students information even when controversial, so long as it is educationally relevant,” Culver said. “[Dr. Stutelberg] said she never received complaints from students about the pyramid when teaching the course.”
On the news broadcast Fox welcomed SU graduate Shekinah Hollingsworth who discussed the pyramid and what she saw as a “disappointing” but “not something that is new.”
Hollingsworth discussed her opinion as an African-American woman of this method of teaching, however admitting that she never took this specific class during her time at Salisbury.
An SU alumni of 2017, Hollingsworth is also a correspondent for Campus Reform, the organization that first reported the use of the pyramid.
She went on in the interview to explain how she felt more ‘ostracized’ at SU for being a conservative as opposed to her race or gender.
By CHASE GORSKI
Featured photo: Campus Reform image.