Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campuses Tryingto Improve Civility; Mizzou Acted after Students Dropped Cotton Balls outside Black Culture Center

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campuses Tryingto Improve Civility; Mizzou Acted after Students Dropped Cotton Balls outside Black Culture Center

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, Mo. Jewish students in the University of California system are labeled as terrorists for their support of Israel. Black high school students are pelted by bananas on a Tennessee campus tour. A hostile student in Maryland challenges his professor to a fight after the teacher limited the use of cellphones and laptops during lectures.

In a society where anonymous Internet commenters freely lob insults, and politicians spew partisan barbs, the decline of basic civility isnt limited to academia. But the push for more polite discourse often as an extension of more entrenched diversity efforts is firmly taking root on campus.

From the University of Missouri to Penn State and Vanderbilt, colleges across the country are treating the erosion of common decency as a public health epidemic on par with measles outbreaks and sexually transmitted diseases.

What were trying to do is remind people of what they already know, to get back in touch with things they probably learned growing up, said Noel English, who heads a new Missouri civility campaign called Show Me Respect, a nod to the states nickname. …

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