It's news that some college students and parents did not expect to hear at all. Freshmen at San Jose State University (SJSU) now have to pay out of their own pockets for mandatory "diversity training" -- something that will be included in their freshman orientation experience.
In other words -- what begins with a registration fee of $250 could snowball into a lot more, depending on the number of family members who attend orientation, not to mention the number who need overnight room accommodations during orientation.
"The Parent/Family Orientation fee does not cover overnight accommodations," the university's FAQ page explains. "Affordable overnight housing is available on campus for frosh students, parents, and families in our Campus Village B apartments. Double and single occupancy bedrooms are available for $54.00 per person per night and $71.00 per person per night, respectively. Please follow this link to learn more about these accommodations and to reserve and pay for your Frosh, Parent, & Family Orientation Overnight Housing. Double occupancy bedrooms are limited, and all accommodations will be reserved on a first come, first served basis ..."
As a corollary to all of this, "diversity training" on campus is clearly big business -- and a preemptive strike of sorts. As reported by Campus Reform on Thursday morning, "records show that America's flagship universities are doling out an average of $175,088 per year for administrators tasked with leading their diversity efforts."
On top of that, "spokespersons for several universities defended the salaries, saying they are commensurate to the job responsibilities, but some outside observers say the money could be better spent on assistance for low-income students," as Campus Reform also noted.
"The San Jose State case looks to be a textbook case of leftist administrators twisting the freshman orientation experience into a platform for liberal indoctrination -- rather than working to create an environment of higher education," Spencer Brown of Young America's Foundation (YAF), a conservative youth organization in Reston, Virginia, told LifeZette. "Students ought to be preparing for vibrant discussion and defense of their ideas at college. They shouldn't be coddled or infantilized by administrators."
Tom Knighton of PJ Media also thinks this is nothing but an indoctrination program.
"It's designed to take impressionable 18-year-olds and mold them into people far more pliable to the machinations of campus social justice warriors," Knighton noted in a related article.
While the announcement at SJSU has been covered by many news outlets -- and understandably so -- Brown told LifeZette that this sort of thing has been taking place at colleges and universities all across the country.
"Often these orientation programs are a way for administrators to incorporate leftist propaganda into official university activities which, like this one, are mandatory. Selecting preferred gender pronouns, acknowledging white/male/cisgender/etc. privilege, and taking sensitivity training are unbelievably a part of many students' first experiences on campus."
Brown said that any young people and groups concerned about this should continue exposing "these ridiculous programs" -- and call out the insanity of what higher education has become on so many liberal campuses.
"Conservatives need to be strong in their beliefs, bold in their activism, and unafraid to advance freedom's principles," the YAF spokesman explained. "Find other like-minded students and form a club, such as a Young Americans for Freedom chapter at your school, then work together to bring conservative speakers, hold activism events, and be the voice of freedom."
Originally from Minnesota, Spencer first became involved in government while in high school, where he worked for a number of conservative causes. He spent his senior year interning in the district office of former Rep. Michelle Bachmann (who served in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2015).
Regardless, the notion of diversity training at SJSU has been a long time in coming. Following allegations that an African-American student was bullied by white students, a panel was appointed on campus. In 2014, the Special Task Force On Racial Discrimination recommended the training in a series of ideas to the university president.
The white students were suspended. They reportedly told police the abuse was just a prank, according to 2014 article from The Mercury News.
Chris Woodward is a reporter for American Family News and OneNewsNow.com. Based in Mississippi, he is also a contributor to OneMillionDads.com and EngageMagazine.net, and is a regular contributor to LifeZette.