The freshman orientation at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg became quite politicized for students as they learned what type of school they were really about to attend.
As The College Fix reports:
"A viral article at The Federalist written by the mother [Penny Nance] of a Virginia Tech student explained how her son’s orientation featured “extreme and overtly leftist propaganda,” including significant emphasis on pronoun usage. Speakers “introduced themselves with not just their names and titles but also preferred pronouns,” while “all the new students’ badges contained not just their names but also their preferred pronouns because the school had made it part of registration.”
“At one point, after dinner, they [the school] sent parents off to oblivious sleep while they lectured students on not making assumptions about each other’s gender or sexuality,” Nance wrote. “The school constantly defined and showcased identity group politics, but certainly not all identities. It’s apparently way cooler to be a minority trans woman with food allergies than simply to be an American college student.”
Patricia Perillo, vice president of student affairs at the college, wrote and article saying “Virginia Tech has a deep commitment to respect all individuals and to value human diversity.” She goes on to say that stating your gender pronouns is not a requirement but a “personal decision.”
“The use of gender neutral pronouns is becoming increasingly commonplace across society and many students arrive on campus with this awareness,” Perillo wrote. “The concern that is raised is that the dichotomy of “he and she” pronouns does not leave room for other gender identities. Accordingly, gender neutral pronouns have been created and are used in the interest of greater equality, dignity, and inclusion. This is an important aspect of our deep commitment to our students’ mental health and well-being.”
“One may not know what another person’s gender identity is by simple observation,” she continued. “Virginia Tech supports, but does not mandate, the practice of asking for someone’s pronoun as a way to show respect for another person’s gender identity.”
Perillo may state that the school doesn’t force someone to ask for someone’s preferred pronoun but the indoctrination process at the orientation seems to suggest otherwise.
Here’s some of the students' reactions obtained by The College Fix:
Nick Brown, a freshman student, was hesitant to answer questions about Tech’s orientation, but he did tell The Fix: “I enjoyed orientation…I learned a lot about the college.”
“I found the pronouns weird. Has any student introduced themselves with their pronouns?” he asked, adding: “It’s all about diversity, VT is showing how everyone is unique.”
“I thought the orientation was good overall,” said freshman student and business major Peter McNamara.
He said that some of the activities “were very fun, and it was great to meet new people before the school year started.”
When asked about the printing of personal pronouns on his name tag, McNamara said, “It wouldn’t have bothered me either way. I can see why they did it, though.”
“The school did a good job moving us in and getting us settled, and were very helpful, but the meetings after the initial move-in were pointless and were not very productive,” said freshman student Noah Madel.