Students at Evergreen State College are planning to host their controversial “Day of Absence” event again this year.
The “Day of Absence” event, which New York Times columnist Bari Weiss called “a day of racial segregation,” will take place again this year at Evergreen State College. Last year, the “Day of Absence” event involved requesting that white community members voluntarily remove themselves from campus for a day.
Last year, the event sparked a campus debacle that caught the attention of the national news media. Former Evergreen State College Biology Professor Bret Weinstein was chased off campus by student protesters after he refused to participate in the “Day of Absence,” suggesting that the practice was illiberal.
“There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under-appreciated roles . . . and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away,” Weinstein wrote at the time. “On a college campus, one’s right to speak—or to be—must never be based on skin color.”
The backlash against Weinstein was so wild that footage of the protest efforts went instantly went viral online. At one point, student protesters essentially took Evergreen administrators hostage. Evergreen State College President George Bridges was denied the opportunity to go the bathroom alone without the supervision of a student chaperone.
— benjaminǝɔʎoq (@BenjaminABoyce) April 26, 2018
Now, Evergreen students will host the same event in May. This time, they will host it without the backing of the Evergreen administration. Like in previous iterations of the event, only minority students will be invited to attend the three-day event, which uses the slogan “a day for us, by us.” Many of the events are indicated to be for “POC Only” using the acronym for “People of Color,” a popular term on campuses today.
Weinstein called the student’s decision to host the event again, “fascinating.”
“This is fascinating on many levels,” he tweeted. “The college canceled Day of Absence, so the students are going to do it. Note the structure of their pyramid.”
This is fascinating on many levels. The college canceled Day of Absence, so the students are going to do it. Note the structure of their pyramid. https://t.co/AslwtFl8Un
— Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) April 26, 2018