The Instigator
renegade_rightie
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
t3hbrian
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Affirmative action programs in colleges and universities should account for diversity in opinions.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2007 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,134 times Debate No: 805
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

renegade_rightie

Pro

I am a sophomore at a liberal arts college that is planning on instating affirmative action hiring programs for faculty members. This is in response to recent events on campus in which minority students called for more representation of racial minorities and homosexuals on the faculty.

What is interesting to me is that while all students are calling for more African American faculty members, nobody is addressing a major issue that has had a large impact on my education so far--the lack of diverse opinions amongst the faculty members. Almost every single professor at my college falls on one end of the political spectrum. And while many are respectful and tolerant of diverse political opinions, many aren't. I've had to actually drop classes because I feared for my grades in the face of a strongly politicized atmosphere in the classroom which is intolerant of opinions which are different from those of the professor.

Many of my fellow students have voiced concerns about an air of political indoctrination that is present in the classroom. Even if professors do not penalize students grade-wise for having different opinions, many professors do have a clear political agenda to push, which they do through assigning readings and texts and carefully planning the syllabus around particular analytic methods. Many present only one side of an issue.

It is amazing to me that in our institutions of higher learning, we insist upon diverse faculty and student bodies, but diversity is absent where it really counts and where it has a REAL impact on the quality of education we recieve--diversity of opinion, which fosters open debate, deliberation and freedom of thought, the cornerstones of liberal pluralist democracy. Institutions should make a point of hiring faculty on all facets of the political spectrum--liberal, conservative, traditionalist, progressive, capitalist, communist, etc., and not just consider race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. in their hiring practices. This is essential for an atmosphere which promotes these values.
t3hbrian

Con

*First of all, I would like to state that I am in favor of affirmative action. I am practicing countering things that I ever support. Vote on my arguments- not many stance, please.*

Affirmative action was created mainly as a solution to the issue of civil rights. However, it prevents those who actually deserve jobs or positions from receiving them.

Let's say, for example, that a well-qualified liberal professor was trying for the same position as a conservative professor without as much education. If the college was liberal, and supported affirmative action, they would most likely chose the conservative professor. But choosing this person as your professor would prevent students from receiving the education that they deserve.

Affirmative action is also problematic, in that bringing a minority into a majority group can cause for disagreements. These could even lead to violence, especially when they relate to religious matters (such as gay marriage).
Debate Round No. 1
renegade_rightie

Pro

You make the statement that "affirmative action is also problematic, in that bringing a minority into a majority group can cause for disagreements."

Aren't debate, disagreement, and deliberation the cornerstones of intellectual progress? How are we supposed to get an education if we are exposed to only one narrow viewpoint throughout the entire course of our college careers? This is a cop-out argument, to me. If we have affirmative action to bring blacks into a white majority, and if we have affirmative action to bring Muslims into a Protestant majority at a particular institution, please explain to me how it would be harmful to bring a conservative minority into a liberal majority in order to provide a more well-rounded education for students.

Affirmative action is an abomination in my sight. It is absolutely incredible that after going through a civil rights movement, we can go back to judging people on the basis of the color of their skin, their religious affiliation, their sexual orientation, etc., rather than on their MERIT.

However, the basis of my argument is this: affirmative action is inevitable at a college such as mine. So if every group which feels marginalized or underrepresented gets to have a say in the college's hiring practices, then I want one too. The African American students get to request more blacks on the faculty? The GLBT students get to request more GLBT professors? Fine! But if that's the case, then I don't think it's out of line for me to want to see conservative faculty members who share my viewpoints. And while we're at it, I also want a Lutheran professor on the political science faculty, and a professor of Hungarian descent, and maybe even a professor who shares my musical interests. A little reductio ad absurdum, I know, but all I'm saying is that if every underrepresented group is getting a say in who the college hires, then I want my say too. And, going back to my original argument, I don't think that my requesting of politically diverse faculty members is out of line. In fact, I think it is essential to the quality of education that I and my fellow students receive.
t3hbrian

Con

t3hbrian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
renegade_rightie

Pro

Affirmative action should NEVER be used in colleges and universities. Ever. It is a practice which utterly destroys the concept of merit and emphasizes arbitrary differences like race above all other qualifications for a position.

However, affirmative action will probably never be rid of. As long as there are majorities and minorities, the minority will always claim to be marginalized and underrepresented, and colleges and universities will try to remedy it by affirmative action, despite its moral and ethical problems. Thus, I argue that if colleges want to have a truly representative, diverse, and equal faculty, they must consider ideological diversity in their hiring practices.

Ideological differences are probably most likely to influence the education that students receive at a particular institution. Diverse opinions are essential for debate, deliberation and all things that contribute to an effective education. However, by only hiring professors who subscribe to a particular political ideology, colleges and universities in America are suppressing free speech and free opinions, and in many cases are punishing students who do not adhere to the predominant "acceptable" ideology. Thus, if affirmative action is to be used, it cannot possibly be considered all-inclusive if diversity of opinion is not taken into account.
t3hbrian

Con

t3hbrian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
renegade_rightiet3hbrianTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by magpie 9 years ago
magpie
renegade_rightiet3hbrianTied
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Vote Placed by Statesman 9 years ago
Statesman
renegade_rightiet3hbrianTied
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Vote Placed by Chob 9 years ago
Chob
renegade_rightiet3hbrianTied
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