University of Delaware Revamps Its Controversial Student Orientation Program

Last November, the University of Delaware discontinued its residence life education program after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) called the program “systematic thought reform.” Under the program, resident assistants held group and individual discussions on issues of diversity and sexuality in each dormitory on campus. FIRE and some University of Delaware students complained that the curriculum pushed a particular liberal agenda on issues of race, abortion, and sexual orientation.

Now the university is implementing a new program to promote “citizenship” among its students. The voluntary program will involve trained professionals, faculty, and university administrators rather than have resident assistants lead discussion groups in dormitories. Rather than tackle controversial social issues, the new program will emphasize personal development, student safety, environmental awareness, and the university’s cultural resources.

Blacks make up 6 percent of the 17,000 undergraduate students at the University of Delaware.