EXCLUSIVE: Students to Receive Excused Absence from Class to Attend Privilege Simulation

ashley.rae | January 24, 2017
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Students at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls can receive an excused absence if they miss class to attend a “simulation experience” about “Power, Privilege, & Oppression.”

According to the UWRF website, the Center of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging is hosting “P2O: Power, Privilege, & Oppression” as an “interactive, engaging, eye-opening" experience that "reveals how systematic levels of privilege impact personal experiences and social identities.”

In advertisements for “P2O: Power, Privilege & Oppression,” the Center of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging claims the event will explain why it’s “not possible” for people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and why it is apparently just “not that easy” for some people to find jobs:

(Image source: Facebook)

(Image source: Facebook)

Even though the entire event is premised on the notion that some people aren’t able to succeed due to a lack of privilege, Nathan Elness, the Gender & Sexuality Outreach Coordinator and the point of contact for the event, asks in his staff bio, “Who knows what our students are capable of? Why would we want to limit their potential?”

On the UWRF event page and the Facebook event page, the Center of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging informs students they can receive an excused absence if they choose to miss class to learn all about oppression and privilege.

The pages read, “Students that would like to participate in the program can request a letter from our offices be sent to your professors to explain your absence" and provide an email address to contact the inclusion office.

The event is also not just for students. The event description states, “Faculty and staff are encouraged to register as a participant as well as spread the word to students, faculty, and staff who may be interested.”

Faculty is also encouraged to volunteer to run the program, facilitate group discussions, and even bring their classes to the event.

The event, which is capped at 65 attendees, will be hosted on Feb. 3. The event page notes the event is free.

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