Save GCC from CRT
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Has Anything Really Changed?2022-09-07 20:29:41
On May 13, 2022, the Grove City College Board of Trustees voted to accept and adopt a select committee report identifying specific instances of Critical Race Theory (CRT) on campus. The report vindicated concerns raised by parents and constituents in their November 10, 2021 petition and in their December 13 response to President McNulty. The report from the select committee was clear: CRT represents a significant threat to the College's historic conservative identity and does not fit within a biblical worldview. Specifically, the report identified six areas where CRT (or, wokeness) was exerting influence on campus:
(1) Classroom instruction—namely, EDUC 290: Cultural Diversity and Advocacy;
(2) Resident Assistant Training and Oversight;
(3) the Advisory Council on Diversity;
(4) the Office of Multicultural Education and Initiatives;
(5) certain chapel programs; and
(6) the 2021 revision to the College’s vision statement
The Board of Trustees charged President McNulty and the GCC administration with taking corrective measures in these six areas. The Board and the President agreed "that it is critically important for College faculty, staff, and administrators to embrace GCC’s vision, mission, and values. To the extent they demonstrate misalignment, the president will take appropriate actions."
While the Board report was encouraging, those of us who signed the initial petition took a "wait and see" posture over the summer. Everyone watching the situation at GCC knows that words alone do not constitute reform. Real change happens at the faculty and administrative levels. After all, personnel is policy.
Sadly, the roster of faculty and administrators for the 2022-2023 school year reveals that very little of consequence has changed. As outlined at The Federalist, the very people responsible for promoting CRT on campus and who publicly maligned the select committee both during its investigation and after still have their jobs! This is mind-boggling.
Consider the reports from two students currently enrolled in classes with Warren Throckmorton. The first student writes: "I have him in class and he was saying that he and a bunch of other professors don't agree with the Board's decision on keeping CRT out of the classrooms, and that their (the Board's) definition of CRT and race are totally wrong. And that since it's his last year here, he doesn't care what he says in class so he warned that we will be addressing some race things." Throckmorton is apparently telling all his classes this, as another student enrolled in a separate course conveyed the same thing. According to the second student, Throckmorton told the class that he and others plan to teach CRT because the board got it wrong.
Throckmorton's hubris here is breathtaking. Parents, GCC trustees, and other constituents of the College are not capable of rendering sound judgments on CRT and race related matters. Only specially trained “experts” like himself are.
Remember, Throckmorton is the same GCC professor who asked for dirt on colleagues opposed to CRT, who attempted to shame the GCC Board Chairman, who oversaw a subversive event on campus (an April 19 LGBTQ panel discussion) that encouraged students to sin, and who maligned GCC's Economics Department with a 20-part tweet thread.
Throckmorton's actions are nothing short of open defiance of GCC's core values and mission. In what possible world should a Christian college which markets itself as a conservative institution retain a faculty member who openly defies—in front of students, no less—the publicly stated values of the institution he represents?
There’s more. We’ve learned that Cedric Lewis—the disbarred attorney who co-taught the woke activist course EDUC 290 and who publicly maligned the select-committee's integrity in hopes of convincing the full Board to reject the committee's report—was promoted from guest lecturer to assistant professor and will be given a full-time faculty position in January. Speaking of the committee, Lewis claimed that he was subject to a sham “interrogation” aimed at getting him to “confess.” He complained of a "personal bias" against him, insisting that the interviews conducted by the committee were compromised and "wouldn’t pass the smell test in a legal setting." At best, they were politicized investigations that had nothing to do with theology or Christian education. Of course, Lewis is free to disagree with the report, but publicly maligning the select committee's integrity is scandalous, especially when a disbarred attorney is criticizing two sitting federal appellate judges. And for this he is not only retained, but promoted?
At the same time, Gina Blackburn, who co-taught EDUC 290 with Lewis, joined him in publicly maligning the committee's integrity. She told Inside Higher Ed that the interviews made her feel "like a criminal" and that all of the questions were centered on her political views. Again, Blackburn, like Lewis, is free to disagree with the report, but how does a conservative Christian college justify retaining faculty hell-bent on maligning Board-appointed committee members who are simply doing their jobs?
Meanwhile, we learn that Don Opitz—the chaplain who oversaw woke chapel content—returned to the College this fall, as did Justin Jose, the multicultural director who intentionally pushed CRT in RA training sessions. In fact, with the exception of one or two people who voluntarily left for employment elsewhere, it appears that nearly every figure who facilitated a CRT push on campus remains firmly ensconced at the college.
We are deeply saddened by all of this. Our confidence in the administration to carry out the Board directives has plummeted. Minus personnel adjustments, the mission drift will continue. We sincerely hope the Trustees will step in and insist that changes be made immediately before GCC's historic conservative Christian identity is irrevocably damaged.
Save GCC from CRT
The Petitioner’s Response to the Board Report on CRT at GCC2022-04-29 16:26:56
As you will recall, on November 11, 2021, we submitted a petition outlining our concerns that Critical Race Theory (CRT) had gained a foothold at Grove City College, along with evidence underlying those concerns. On December 10, we responded to President McNulty and submitted additional evidence, and in February 2022, the College’s Board of Trustees appointed a committee to investigate these concerns. Last week, on April 20th, the Board published its report.
While that report makes many important points, one thing is now abundantly clear: The GCC Board took our concerns seriously and vindicated them. We are profoundly grateful.
Here are six major takeaways:
First, we want to thank committee members for their extraordinary work investigating the evidence presented in our petition and our response to President McNulty. We are grateful for the methodical and rigorous way the investigation proceeded and for the clear affirmation that CRT contradicts biblical truth and thus does not align with a Christian college grounded in that truth. In no uncertain terms, the Board categorically rejected CRT as an affront to the College’s historic identity as a Christian, conservative, and classically liberal institution. Well done.
Second, we are keenly aware that publishing this report took tremendous courage. Throughout the investigative process, selected press stories and social media posts falsely accused individual Board members of various forms of intolerance and closed-mindedness. In the face of withering criticism from bad-faith actors (including, sadly, some within the College), the Board nevertheless followed the evidence.
Third, the investigation fully vindicates the parents, alumni, and other constituents who initiated the petition. The report confirms that CRT was indeed present in chapels, classrooms, resident hall training, and official student life activities. There is now no doubt about it; CRT has unfortunately gained a foothold at a college that rightly prides itself on its commitment to truth, its Christian worldview, and its conservative values. Now we can focus on what needs to be done to fix this.
Sadly, the parents and constituents who spotlighted these problems endured all manner of unfair and unfounded criticism. The most painful criticism came from President McNulty and other College officials who maligned the parents, alumni, and other friends of the College for spreading “hearsay,” “misinformation,” and “rumor.” In op-eds and podcasts, Carl Trueman, Lee Wishing, and Paul Kengor either downplayed the concerns or attacked the petitioners while defending the College’s courses and programming that CRT had infected.* The Board’s report unambiguously contradicts these unfounded accusations and attempts at deflection. And it demonstrates that harmful ideologies were indeed asserting themselves at the College. The parents, alumni, and constituents who signed the petition were right all along. If the administration is truly committed to civil discourse (as it so often claims), President McNulty, Dr. Trueman, Dr. Kengor, and Mr. Wishing should publicly admit that they misjudged the situation and apologize for spreading misinformation about the petitioners and others who expressed concern about these developments on campus.
Fourth, the report calls for the College’s administration to take a number of corrective actions, which we wholeheartedly support:
— The Office of Multicultural Education and Initiatives will be restructured and renamed to fit its original mission of assisting students and will no longer provide co-curricular programming.
— The Diversity Council has been abolished.
— All R.A. training materials will be scrutinized for CRT content. Henceforth, all CRT training is banned from Residence Life training.
— Chapel programming, speakers, and content will be scrutinized.
— New course proposals will be subject to a more rigorous approval process to make sure they align with the College’s historic identity.
— EDUC 290, the pop-CRT activism course, will be discontinued in its current form and be restructured to align with the College’s core values.
— All College personnel must embrace its historic identity, mission, and values and any misalignments will be addressed.
— The Board also recommends that “conservative” be restored to the College’s vision statement.
All this is very good news and represents a clear roadmap for restoring the College’s historic reputation as an academically rigorous and distinctly Christian academic institution.
Fifth, the report identifies areas of concern that must be addressed. Attention to mission drift among personnel is particularly troubling. In multiple cases cited in the report, College supervisors claim they simply did not know that CRT was asserting itself in their departments and thus did little to stop it. Instead, they say they blindly trusted their subordinates. This is deeply troubling and suggests that those leading the College have a management problem as well as a CRT one.
Sixth, the Board has done its job conducting an investigation and submitting a report. Key players within the College administration need to do theirs by implementing the necessary changes. But will they? Herein lies our most vexing concern. The very people tasked with fixing the CRT problem are the ones who created it in the first place. Without key personnel changes, we are skeptical that the Board’s corrective actions will be translated into reality on campus. As the old saying goes, “personnel is policy.” After all, certain faculty members, deans and assistant deans, and other influential officials (including President McNulty) intentionally promoted harmful doctrines that do not align with the College’s historic identity or tried to cover up this problem. How can we trust them to carry out the needed reforms?
For example, in the wake of the report, select faculty members are publicly impugning the integrity and competence of the Board committee (which included two federal appellate judges) and are publicly agitating on social media to instigate a public pressure campaign against the full Board. Warren Throckmorton has been stridently criticizing the parents and even the Board for many weeks. Now social work professor Jennifer Trujillo Hollenberger has joined him, as has Cedric Lewis, the professor and disbarred attorney who taught the problematic activist course EDUC 290.
Then, on April 19, the night before the Board released its report, College Democrats hosted an LGBTQ event on campus that the administration sanctioned. Unsurprisingly, the group’s faculty advisor is Warren Throckmorton, whose views have long diverged from the College’s mission and values. At this event, presenters circulated flyers calling on people to “always ask and never assume what pronouns someone uses” and to “wear your allyship with pride.” This event could not have happened on campus had not the Office of Student Life—in the middle of a Board investigation—approved the room reservation and the event flyers. In what possible world does this officially sponsored “ally” event align with GCC’s historic identity and religious values? And what will the administration do to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen?
Also of concern is President McNulty’s decision—again in the middle of the Board’s investigation—to allow Dr. Collin Messer to serve as this year’s baccalaureate speaker. Not only is this decision a stark departure from the College’s tradition of inviting a minister to give this address, but selecting Dr. Messer is disconcerting given his role in promoting CRT is so many venues on campus, including the chapel. Selecting someone who contributed so materially to the College’s recent straying calls into question whether President McNulty truly sees CRT for the threat that it is, whether he can recognize who allowed this problem to germinate and fester on campus, and thus, whether he can take the steps necessary to bring the College back on course so that parents and alumni can once again have confidence in it.
While parents, alumni, and other petitioners are grateful for the Board’s laudable work in investigating our concerns, its stance toward the administration should be that of former president Ronald Reagan: “Trust, but verify.” We hope the Board exercises increased oversight to ensure that its remedial measures are implemented.
We sincerely thank the Board for its careful investigation of the facts, for reporting them honestly, and for confirming that the parents, alums, and other constituents who initiated the petition were right to do so. We join the Board in hoping the College can recover its historic identity and once again take its place among elite institutions of higher learning and as a leader in Christian higher education. And we pray that the College’s administration will repent of its ways and take all actions necessary to eradicate the problems the Board has so clearly identified.
* Sentence edited from the original for clarity.
Save GCC from CRT
Our Reply to Dr. McNulty2021-12-06 17:17:44
We remain deeply concerned.
Before summarizing our concerns, we want to thank Dr. McNulty for addressing the pronoun issue on the Academic Resource Center (ARC) forms. Dr. McNulty explained that the pronouns are, by default, contained on standardized forms provided by a national agency external to GCC. Upon discovery of those pronouns, GCC asked for and secured their removal. When a parent informed us of this correction, we immediately updated our petition and emailed everyone who signed it. We did this before Dr. McNulty published his reply to our petition. While an ongoing investigation continues regarding pronoun use in the Education Department, we are thankful for the correction to the ARC forms.
First, we would like to share some background regarding our credibility, since it has been called into question. We are parents, alumni, donors, and students of GCC. Some of us are leaders in business, law, education and our local churches and communities. We all write out of an earnest desire to see GCC thrive in the 21st century by unapologetically adhering to its roots in a historic Christian worldview, even as so many other religious institutions wither under the tremendous social pressure to compromise or abandon core tenets of the Christian faith.
Second, in the points below we will ask GCC to provide additional information or evidence regarding our concerns. We believe that as parents, alumni, donors and students who have invested our time and resources in GCC, we deserve GCC’s open and forthright response on these matters. GCC’s administration should not seek to hold information back, but instead should be willing to stand behind and boldly defend the content of its educational and co-curricular programs. It would be far more productive for GCC to alleviate our concerns by producing evidence rather than calling our credibility into question.
Third, we want to make clear at the outset that we are not seeking to shut down the vital educational work of GCC by calling for the burning or banning of books. Far from it. We acknowledge and expect that GCC students will interact with important ideas, many of which are in direct opposition to the Christian faith, in the classroom. However, we do expect that such interaction will take place in the manner that is generally consistent with GCC’s bulletin, which reads in part:
The core of the curriculum, particularly in the humanities, consists of books, thinkers, and ideas proven across the ages to be of value in the quest for knowledge. Intellectual inquiry remains open to the questions religion raises and affirms the answers Christianity offers. The ethical absolutes of the Ten Commandments and Christ’s moral teachings guide the effort to develop intellect and character in the classroom, chapel, and co-curricular activities. And while many points of view are examined, the College unapologetically advocates preservation of America’s religious, political, and economic heritage of individual freedom and responsibility. (Page 6)
In the classroom, this mandate calls for engagement with important texts and ideas but clearly does not allow for any coursework that seeks to indoctrinate or create activists for CRT, critical theory or any other number of viewpoints that run counter to “America’s religious, political, and economic heritage of individual freedom and responsibility.” And one could question whether the CRT-advocating texts truly qualify as “books, thinkers, and ideas proven across the ages to be of value,” given this ideological fad’s recent vintage and divisive core. In co-curricular venues such as chapel and residential life, where character and spiritual formation is the aim and in which students receive behavioral imperatives, we would expect even tighter alignment with GCC’s self-described purpose. GCC’s bulletin captures the essence of how GCC markets itself to its stakeholders. Our concerns arise to the extent that GCC is failing to live up to its core principles, which were the very reason why we chose to join the GCC family. As partners in GCC’s educational project, our expectation is that the college insofar as it affirms these values, will be grateful for our effort to identify areas where these expectations are not met.
Our Remaining Concerns
With that background in place, our remaining concerns are as follows:
1. Process — Dr. McNulty takes issue with our “chosen method” for voicing our concerns, namely, our public petition. True, as a group, we did not send Dr. McNulty the full contents of our petition privately before publishing it. However, several of us wrote Dr. McNulty and/or others at GCC privately about our CRT/diversity concerns dating back to September of 2020. We saved some of those emails. We do not appreciate the clear implication in Dr. McNulty’s response that we made no attempt to resolve these matters privately before resorting to making a petition. Moreover, because the events we document in our petition — R.A. training sessions, chapel presentations, etc. — were public events involving our students, responding publicly to these events is not unfair or unreasonable. Let’s be clear: GCC is not a local church. It’s a privately funded college paid for, in large measure, by parents who specifically chose GCC precisely because they believed it would reinforce a biblical worldview. A petition is a perfectly valid way to make sure parental concerns are heard, especially after private attempts were unsuccessful.
2. Integrity and evidence — Dr. McNulty likens our petition to a social media post driven by hearsay and rumor. This characterization is deeply troubling to us and, quite frankly, astonishing. To be clear, we did not rely on hearsay or rumor; we relied on eyewitness reports. When three eyewitnesses say with certitude that it was a rainbow mask, it’s possible that they were mistaken, but calling their reports hearsay is inaccurate. When a student conveys to her parents that her RA training pushed CRT and that Justin Jose’s wife confessed to being a racist and encouraged others to do the same, that is not rumor or hearsay. That is eyewitness testimony — testimony others have now confirmed. (See below.) If there is credible evidence that the eyewitness reports are wrong, we will publicly amend our claims. But dismissing them as hearsay or rumor is an unfair swipe at those reporting them. We do not think GCC students intentionally make things up, especially when others who signed our petition report similar problems. And we certainly have not fabricated our claims.
3. RA training — Dr. McNulty declined to comment on a major concern, i.e., the pushing of CRT in RA training sessions. This is a troubling ommission. If the reports about the training sessions are true, this is reason enough to warrant a swift and decisive reply from the administration. Dr. McNulty himself should publicly acknowledge the problem and assure parents, students, and alums this will never happen again. Since publishing our petition, we’ve received additional testimony confirming our concerns, both from those who signed our petition and those who did not:
— I did not sign the petition because I hadn’t talked to my two sons who currently attend GCC for firsthand info. But over Thanksgiving we talked about it and one of my sons who is an RA did say that was true about the training. He also talked about the chapel speakers referenced. Our older son who already graduated and was also an RA was familiar with Jose, and expressed similar experiences. This is not why we’re sending our sons to GCC. We’ve already experienced our oldest son’s Christian university stepping further and further into the world and our daughter is at another Christian university, also struggling to stand firm to a Biblical World view. Please GCC, hold the line. We need you to stand firm now more than ever. If nothing else President McNulty should know parents’ concerns and that eyes are on the university to make sure Biblical principles are being upheld. We’ve been so pleased with the university over the years. I’m praying for the leadership.
— My daughter as an RA shared similar concerns to those voices above about the diversity training for RA’s.
— As a former RA at Grove City College I have also experienced racial struggle sessions that operate on the presumption that the campus as a whole is racist. Justin Jose was a leader in this messaging. He is a kind and friendly person who has unfortunately adopted a worldview around race.
— I love GCC and I believe CRT is one of the most misguided and destructive ideologies to grace our continent. Studying ideas is one thing — I’m all for that. But these ideas have been presented as TRAINING for my son who is an RA.
4. Chapels — Dr. McNulty says GCC chapels have not promoted CRT. We disagree. Chapel presentations do not have to formally mention CRT to convey patterns of woke theology or platform those who espouse it. False teaching generally does not go to the trouble of announcing itself as such. For example, we do not expect a chapel speaker to formally cite passages from Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic. Nevertheless, certain ideas associated with CRT have been presented in GCC chapels. Chief among those ideas is white guilt.
— On November 9, 2021, the chapel theme was “Judge Not” and featured a presentation by Pastor Chris White of Gateway Church Slippery Rock. Pastor White highlighted race to illustrate our failure to practice biblical repentance. He began by saying that “maybe there should be a critical theory about race, but that is for another time.” He followed up with a major premise of woke theology — namely, that repenting of our own sins isn’t enough; we should also repent for the sins of our forebears. Given Pastor White’s stated example of race, the inference was clear: A white Christian should not only repent for sins he or she commits, but also for the racism of whites long ago. According to Pastor White, those who ask why they should apologize for something they didn’t do are biblically ignorant and “betray a sense that [they’ve] never really read the Old Testament.” In short, though racist acts occurred long ago, the guilt for them remains. This is CRT and it’s injurious to our students. Where in Scripture is it taught that Christians of any race are guilty for the sins of people who happen to look like them? As stated in our petition, judging by outward appearance (in this case, skin color) is sinful. In fact, thinking that you know someone simply by the color of his or her skin is the major sin of the American past! Contra woke theology, God judges the intentions of the heart. How can Pastor White know what is in the hearts of students he’s never met? Moreover, Scripture rejects the claim that moral guilt of one generation is passed on to another (Ezekiel 18; Jeremiah 31:29-30). True, the consequences of sin are felt by succeeding generations, but the guilt of those sins is not credited to them. In short, racism is a sin, but individuals must commit that sin before they are guilty of it. On this particular point, Pastor White’s presentation was contrary to biblical truth.
— On October 20, 2020 chapel speaker Jemar Tisby spoke on “The Urgency of Now.” He accused students unwilling to join the “mass movement” launched by Black Lives Matter of being “white moderates” — that is, those who are passively promoting racism with their silence. We are living in a modern-day civil rights moment, said Tisby, where police brutality against blacks is only the tip of the iceberg. Tisby further argued that the real problem is intrinsic racism, such that anyone who refuses to see the intrinsic racism in society is guilty of gaslighting. In conjunction with the chapel, Tisby’s book was sold to students at deep discounts and the SL&L and/or chapel staff were hosting numerous small groups to discuss it. We have also learned that Dr. Collin Messer, Chaplain Opitz, and Justin Jose offered student, faculty and staff copies of Tisby’s book in an email announcing his chapel presentation.
— On October 3, 2019 Michael Thornhill spoke in a freshman chapel with the self-described goal of getting freshman to admit that they came from a culture that taught them to see other bodies as less valuable than their own. Thornhill remarked: “Can you acknowledge that you came from a culture that you were taught to see other bodies as less than yours? If you can admit that, say amen. If you can’t admit that, that’s my goal. That’s my goal today.” Later in his talk, he expounded on the idea that white men need to critically examine (and heal from) toxic white masculinity: “I’ve been with white guy friends that have been able to name, because of deep community, how much being a white male, being taught what it means to be white, has taught them, like, things that have hurt them.”
— On October 12, 2021 Chaplain Opitz prominently featured a “Ted Talk” talk by Bryan Stevenson. True, the chapel itself did not mention CRT by name, but Chaplain Opitz promoted Stevenson’s work with no qualifying concerns. Stevenson, while likeable and softer than popular CRT activists, nevertheless highlights structural racism and advocates for standpoint epistemology, a major pillar of CRT. Outside the TED talk, he has elaborated on his understanding of racial privilege, a concept at the heart of CRT:
What do these well-intentioned non-African-American people need to hear? As we’ve [the Equal Justice Initiative] started doing community work, what we've learned is that, if we're not attentive to the power dynamics — who feels privileged and who doesn't — people will act in ways that they genuinely do not see as problematic but that are incredibly problematic. You can't do reconciliation work, you can't do restoration work, you can't do racial justice work, you can't create the outcome that you desire to see until there has been truth-telling. And truth-telling has to happen when people who have been victimized and marginalized and excluded and oppressed are given a platform to speak, and everybody else has to listen. In South Africa, the model was a forum, and it was one survivor after the other giving voice to their experience. In Rwanda, the people who had been targeted and victimized had the opportunity to give voice to that, what it felt like, the pain it created to see people lose their whole families. I think this understanding of truth and reconciliation would mean that some of us would have to reorganize whatever plan we had in mind to create racial justice. Because if we haven't been in that listening space, if we haven't created an opportunity for people who are the victims of this bigotry to give their true story, to tell their truths, then our solutions are not going to be very informed.
It goes without saying that the stories and experiences of oppression need to be heard. We reject, however, standpoint epistemology which says that “truth-telling” entails giving those who feel they are not “privileged” a platform to speak and everybody else has to listen.” Yes, let their voices be heard, as many of us can’t begin to imagine what others have experienced, but silencing others based on skin color is not “truth-telling.” It’s standpoint epistemology.
5. Assigned readings for EDUC 290 — As it turns out, our petition understated the number of CRT texts required for EDUC 290. The required book list (see pictures) from the GCC bookstore indicates four books rather than just one. In addition to Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist, required readings include Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and David W. Swanson’s Rediscipling the White Church.
To be clear, none of these books are academic in tenor (unlike, e.g., the works of Richard Delgado or Derrick Bell). Instead, these are books are written at a popular level to inspire action. Furthermore, the complete absence of any dissenting viewpoint amongst the required texts speaks loudly as well. Last Spring, the class was team-taught and one of the professors is on the Diversity Council. The class was detailed in the February 21, 2021 edition of The Collegian, with some students reportedly asking the Education department to make it a required course for all Ed majors. Among other things, we understand that students in EDUC 290 were tasked with project-based work in lieu of a final exam. As one of the course’s teachers was quoted in The Collegian:
Students are required to create a project, in lieu of a final exam, where they share what they plan to do to impact either their workplace, local community or church to work toward racial reconciliation. Our hope is that they will implement this plan on their own.
We have also become aware of how the EDUC 290 class is being advertised on campus in posters officially approved by GCC’s Office of Student Life & Learning (a copy of which is below):
This poster promises to teach students to “consider how to become actively anti-racist.” In CRT literature, “anti-racist” carries a very specific meaning that is not consistent with GCC’s stated values. On the whole, it appears the summative output of the EDUC 290 class is to create activists, not to expose students to critical, intellectual engagement with CRT from a biblical worldview. In other words, reality is far worse than what was described in our petition.
6. Other Co-Curricular Activity — Additional publicly available evidence indicates that CRT has been present in GCC's programming around diversity and inclusion as early as September 2019. As highlighted in The Collegian, Vol. 105, No. 5, the Office of Multicultural Education and Initiatives sponsored a viewing of the MTV documentary White People, using "provocative" posters to advertise the event across campus. According to Justin Jose, Director of the Office of Multicultural Education and Initiatives, the purpose of screening the documentary was to bring diversity out into the open, stating “[it] is valuable to learn about yourself and your own ethnic identity before learning about others.” The implication is that white students need to understand themselves before they can appropriately engage with people of color, and the documentary presented a very specific perspective on white consciousness that aligns with the core tenets of CRT. In particular, the documentary showcased white people being challenged on their white privilege, commitment to colorblindness, and belief that reverse discrimination exists. This sort of material is designed to promote and encourage personal adoption of a particular ideology, not foster a reasoned discussion of academic concepts from a Christian worldview. The Collegian article’s conclusion leaves little doubt that the messaging of multicultural programming like the White People documentary screening is shaping campus discourse in pro-CRT ways. The article's author indicates that GCC should move past its color blind paradigm but that “barriers such as white guilt, injustice and racism make it a very unnerving conversation … But what does it mean to be culturally aware? And is Grove City headed in the right direction? Or is it unaware of the stereotype it seems to give off?”
7. Discussion / Academic Inquiry — As already discussed above, we do not oppose GCC students examining CRT and analyzing it through the lens of a biblical worldview, consistent with how GCC represents itself in its college bulletin and marketing materials. We agree that a Christian college should encourage academic inquiry in the Socratic quest for truth. However, we oppose discussing CRT as consistent with (or, helpful to) a Christian worldview. Furthermore, CRT is not merely a set of academic ideas; it is (as its academic proponents happily admit) an activist movement. In recent years, CRT has ruined many great institutions with hateful messaging. It divides people based on skin color and offers no hope of redemption, and as such it should be rejected wholesale. The pushback from our critics is that white students at GCC should learn how others see the world so they can engage in fruitful conversations about diversity after graduation (The Collegian, 9-27-19). We are not persuaded by this argument. For example, would anyone with a properly informed worldview suggest platforming a known white supremacist to help minority students better understand white nationalism? Would we promote his books campus-wide at deep discounts so students can form groups and study the material? And would we do so without providing a Christian perspective on the content, as mandated by the college bulletin, or even any alternative view? This thought exercise demonstrates the absurdity of what the GCC administration is allowing to take place on campus.
8. LGBT Acceptance/Promotion — As we noted above at the outset, we are grateful for Dr. McNulty’s clarification regarding the ARC’s use of preferred pronouns, but we have since become of aware of additional incidences within the institution of affirming LGBT behavior. To take one example, we have become aware that the Class Notes section in a recent issue of the GeDUNK (March 2021) featured a celebration of the marriage of a male alum to another man. Of course we harbor no malice or ill will toward these individuals, but we cannot understand how it is appropriate for GCC’s alumni magazine to celebrate a gay marriage. To the contrary, this implicit endorsement of same-sex marriage runs counter to GCC’s stated guidelines on sexual misconduct (which, according to GCC’s Student Handbook, prohibit sexual conduct that violates historic Christian standards). We are troubled by the implications regarding GCC’s staff and administration that there is an environment where this announcement could have been considered acceptable to publish in the GCC alumni magazine. As another example, we also recently became aware of the actions and public statements of Psychology Professor Warren Throckmorton, who according to reporting in 2017 has displayed rainbow stickers on his office window in solidarity with GCC’s LGBT community and has made public statements reflecting ambivalence and skepticism about historic Christian standards of sexual conduct. As far as we are aware, Professor Throckmorton remains employed at GCC and has made no public retraction of such views.
In short, the claim of our petition — that CRT is asserting itself at GCC — was not unfounded hearsay. We have real evidence and stand by our original claim. We therefore conclude by making the following requests:
— That GCC respond to all our concerns raised in our original petition as well as this response and in any case where GCC determines a course correction is justified, publicly provide concrete steps it will take to ensure CRT and other similar philosophies do not continue to spread within the institution.
— That GCC publicize copies of the following:
- All materials (e.g., training manuals, book lists, pamphlets, flyers, audio or video recordings) used in RA or student life trainings touching on the subject of race, gender or LGBT issues.
- The official syllabus for EDUC290 as approved and taught during the Spring 2021 semester and as originally approved for the Spring 2022 semester.
- A complete and accurate list of books used in reading groups sponsored or promulgated by the Council on Diversity, the Office of Multicultural Education & Initiatives, the Office of Student Life & Learning, the Chapel Staff, or any personnel associated with the foregoing.
— That Dr. McNulty and GCC officially apologize to the CRT petitioners for questioning our integrity and for inaccurately implying that we relied on hearsay and rumor instead of eyewitness testimony.
Save GCC from CRT
Dr. McNulty Has Replied to Our Petition2021-11-19 16:37:43
You can read his response here:
We will post our reply to Dr. McNulty after taking time to consider his response. If you have shared our petition on social media or with other individuals, please share the link to Dr. McNulty's response.
Save GCC from CRT
Signing Period Closed2021-11-16 14:54:12
Save GCC from CRT
GCC and Pronouns--The College has Addressed The Issue on the ARC Forms2021-11-13 05:36:16
A parent reported that she talked to a GCC official about the pronouns and they are removed. Her message reads: "He explained the ARC form with the pronoun field comes from an external national agency. GCC sought to remove the pronoun field from the form but they said they could disable the field but not remove it. Since then they have insisted and that field has been removed."
We have updated the letter to convey what the parent told us.
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Update #2 : Petition Dealine Extended a Second Time2021-11-12 20:33:13
Due to several requests that we keep the signing period open, we will not close signatures at 11 PM tonight as previously announced. Stay tuned for updated closing date.
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Petition Deadline Extended until 11/12/2021 at 11pm2021-11-12 03:21:37
Our plan was to close signatures to our letter at 11 PM tonight. Given the heavy volume (we hoped for 50 signatures; we have exceeded 300), we are extending the signing period 24 hours. But it will close at that time. If you want to share this with other alumni or interested party please do it now. Thank you all for your thoughtful and respectful comments.
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