University of Michigan Offers Free Room and Board to Progressive Student Activists

The University of Michigan has announced that 20 students will be offered free room and board in exchange for their progressive activism on campus.

According to the University of Michigan website, administrators select 20 students at the end of October to take on the role of “Diversity Peer Educators.” These students are given free room and board in exchange for their commitment to several progressive activism efforts on campus.

“Diversity Peer Educators (DPEs) are student staff members who assist in the development of a community that is safe and welcoming for residents of all identities. DPEs work to strengthen the living‐learning environment in their community by conducting educational, cultural, social, and personal enrichment programs and by advising their community’s multicultural council,” the site reads. “They also promote awareness and inclusivity as social justice educators. DPEs serve as a support system for students who are targeted because of their social identities and assist in responding to bias incidents and behaviors that negatively affect the community and campus climate.”

Selected students will also be asked to promote the university’s inclusive language campaign, which seeks to end the usage of “harmful” language on campus. According to literature from the program, words like “insane,” “illegal immigrant,” and “I want to die,” are considered harmful.

“ILC aims to encourage the campus community to consider the impact of their word choices on others,” the program’s website reads. “The ILC raises awareness about the power of words, why certain language can be hurtful to others, and how to be more inclusive in how we speak and act as members of the Michigan campus community. The ILC is part of the campus-wide Expect Respect Campaign.”

Students will also promote the school’s bystander intervention program and must enroll in a class on “creative inclusive communities. According to Campus Reform, applications for Spring 2018 positions closed last week. Students will be called for interviews in the middle of November before final decisions are made.

 


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