Author Topic: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin  (Read 32176 times)

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #435 on: March 16, 2022, 06:16:46 PM »
Dr. Benke,

Way back when you were a student, did they have a separate student union for the students of Germanic background and another for students of Norwegian or Swedish or Danish heritage, a student union for students from the Midwest and another for those from the coasts, one for males and another for females?  Or was it just one for all students?

Dave Benke

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #436 on: March 16, 2022, 06:41:34 PM »
And if a student union were to have publicly specified that it catered especially to people of a certain color, you would have considered that being in thrall to the pre-Civil Rights era culture, no?

I think it did cater especially to people of a certain color.  Because the entire student body and staff at that time were Caucasian.  There was no one else to cater to. 

Statistics tell us now that in the Student Union called the Missouri Synod, only nineteen out of twenty people would be Caucasian.  That one person, from my experience, might want to find some space to be in conversation with the four others out of a hundred, so the five of them could share experience. 

In the ancient days, there was a three day event prior to the national youth gathering called the Cross-Cultural gathering.  And the 1000 out of the 30000 attendees at the "big gathering" would get together in advance to share what life in our sphere - usually an urban context, Chicago or NYC or St. Louis or SoCal - was like in the Lutheran church. And then we'd head off to the "big gathering" and interact with the 29000 others.  Both were valuable Lutheran experiences, and from our perspective both were necessary.  I don't think it's wise to outlaw the gatherings of kids or adults from one group or another as long as the overall experience is with the entire group. 

Dave Benke
There is a big difference between a union that serves one race because all the students are of that race and a union that caters to one race when others are present. Obviously. To pretend you don't see the distinction lowers the level of discourse.

That the handful of black students might want to get together is not a problem at all; they can do that in the regular union, at a restaurant, in their room, walking around campus, etc. But if there is an official union for that purpose, it means the school agrees that black people are different and need a separate space. They expect them to want a place separate from white people. It encourages and cements racial division rather than helping it dissipate. It is yet another one of those things that has a perfectly innocent sounding rationale-- why wouldn't they want a place to share an experience with the others who have the same experience?-- that has a much different and deeper actual meaning and purpose.

You have to impute really, really bad motives to anyone who would voice objections to a race-based student union if you think what they're objecting to is black people having a place to share their experiences. Who could object to that? Nobody. And nobody does. They object to the neo-Marxist identity-politics movement and they are fully aware, as are you, that a black student union is a flag declaring it an official, Concordia-approved movement.

You've addressed this to me, Peter.  I commented on something I heard in Schulz's Issues Etc. podcast, which is my last contact with the CUW situation.  What he said was "a certain student union."  And that is the end of my knowledge of that topic.  Whatever you're talking about is not something I knew or still know about "a certain student union." 

The "as are you" portion of your response is all wet, and ends my desire to interact on the topic with you.

Dave Benke
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #437 on: March 16, 2022, 07:06:56 PM »
https://www.cuw.edu/life/involvement-and-activities/clubs-and-organizations/black-student-union.html

Please. Several of the links in this thread have, rightly or wrongly, mentioned the Black Student Union at CUWAA as an example of the school’s wokeness, and you have been an active participant all along. Nobody has mentioned the old regular union as an example of anything. So in the interview, when Schulz referenced “a certain student union” it would have been a complete non sequitur for him to be referring to anything but the Black Student Union.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2022, 08:44:42 PM by peter_speckhard »

peter_speckhard

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #438 on: March 16, 2022, 09:00:09 PM »
I’ve been assured via PM that Dave was indeed unaware that there was a Black Student Union at CUWAA. I have apologized for my assumption that he did, which made my posts seem to accuse him of being disingenuous.

Harry Edmon

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #439 on: March 17, 2022, 05:30:59 AM »
Harry Edmon, Ph.D., LCMS Layman

peter_speckhard

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #440 on: March 21, 2022, 10:49:42 AM »
https://unherd.com/2022/03/american-educations-new-dark-age/

This is a longer article, and the pertinent section is the second half, but it is a very helpful analysis of the topic in this thread more broadly applied.

John_Hannah

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #441 on: March 21, 2022, 11:22:00 AM »
I'm waiting to learn of the connection between Concordia and "Wokeism." None revealed so far.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Michael Slusser

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #442 on: March 21, 2022, 11:26:48 AM »
https://unherd.com/2022/03/american-educations-new-dark-age/

This is a longer article, and the pertinent section is the second half, but it is a very helpful analysis of the topic in this thread more broadly applied.
No mention of Concordia University Wisconsin or its current predicament.

But there is a lot on the inability of American college students to make a case for their positions.

Peace,
Michael.
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

peter_speckhard

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #443 on: March 21, 2022, 12:29:53 PM »
I'm waiting to learn of the connection between Concordia and "Wokeism." None revealed so far.

Peace, JOHN
If you don’t see any connection between officers of diversity, equity, and inclusion and wokeism, you might be a tad behind the curve. Or having a black student union. Or seeking transformational, disruptive leadership. I agree with you that the jury is still out as to how that relationship plays out at Concordia, but to say no evidence has been presented is simply decide the case beforehand and refuse to listen to one side of the argument.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #444 on: March 21, 2022, 01:00:48 PM »
For those who have actually read the unherd article linked upstream, it makes the point that wokeism, that is, identitarianism as evolved from feminism, is now the lone framework for understanding the world on campus. The author makes the point that there used to many such frameworks in competition with one another, which forced advocates to delve into source material and to develop the ability to defend their position in intellectual engagement. That doesn't happen today. Critics of identitarianism are simply shouted down or dismissed as immoral (racist, transphobic, etc.).

Officers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion only exist where identitarianism has at least some foothold, and often unchallenged authority. Other frameworks for understanding the world do not need such officers. So in a university where competing worldviews come together, one would expect some demanding such officers and others objecting to them. Only where identitarianism cannot brook any contradiction does criticism of such officers become taboo. Ironically, Concordia could have proven Schulz wrong by ignoring him or even by hosting a public debate on the value of identitarian goals and methods, which would potentially have entailed inviting some controversial speakers. That would have demonstrated that while wokeism certainly exists on campus, ithe campus certainly isn't captive to it. Instead, they moved to shut him up, which is exactly what wokeists do to anyone who challenges them. So they argued against themselves and for Prof. Schuls by refusing to engage him and instead simply trying to silence or marginalize him.

The Yak

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #445 on: March 21, 2022, 02:39:44 PM »
I'm waiting to learn of the connection between Concordia and "Wokeism." None revealed so far.

Peace, JOHN
If you don’t see any connection between officers of diversity, equity, and inclusion and wokeism, you might be a tad behind the curve.

Doesn't exist at CUWAA.

Or having a black student union.

We have very few black students at CUWAA -- proportionately more at CUAA than CUW, I'm pretty sure.  We are a historically tribal university (German LCMS Lutheran), and many times this can make black students feel uncomfortable as, frankly, we have a very weird sub-culture.  A Black Student Union can help with this.

Here are its purposes:

Build a sense of belonging among our students. We do this by providing a safety net to ensure a culturally responsive atmosphere.

Strengthen the academic and behavioral success of our students by supporting them and connecting them.

Attract students of color for enrollment and retention.

Help build a pipeline to inform K-12 students about Concordia.


Here's its mission statement and a description of how it's accomplished:

Concordia University Black Student Union (BSU) exists to help all students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the World. We do this by intentionally setting up a support system allowing students space to learn, teach, vent, give back to the community, be challenged, and get their cultural needs met.

Not sure what's wrong with having such a student group on campus, especially given the historically tribal cultural makeup of the Concordias.

Or seeking transformational, disruptive leadership.

You have already been corrected on the word "disruptive" which cannot be found in any official document that I can find.  It's not there.  I don't know why you keep using it.

I've also spoken earlier about the need to transform what's currently being done in higher education to new models.  I don't know how much you know about how higher ed works and what challenges are facing us, but they are many, and the way we've always done things is unlikely to be sustainable in the future.  For example, we're approaching the so-called "demographic cliff" where the number of traditional college students will drop suddenly and severely.  That alone requires rethinking how we should be positioned.

Again, my experience at CUWAA argues strongly against any significant degree of "wokism" (I'm not even sure how you'd measure such a thing) even as we do try to find ways to appropriately engage our increasingly ethnically diverse student body.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 03:00:05 PM by The Yak »
Rev. Dr. Scott Yak imow
Professor of Theology
Concordia University - Ann Arbor

peter_speckhard

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #446 on: March 21, 2022, 03:31:14 PM »
I'm waiting to learn of the connection between Concordia and "Wokeism." None revealed so far.

Peace, JOHN
If you don’t see any connection between officers of diversity, equity, and inclusion and wokeism, you might be a tad behind the curve.

Doesn't exist at CUWAA.

Or having a black student union.

We have very few black students at CUWAA -- proportionately more at CUAA than CUW, I'm pretty sure.  We are a historically tribal university (German LCMS Lutheran), and many times this can make black students feel uncomfortable as, frankly, we have a very weird sub-culture.  A Black Student Union can help with this.

Here are its purposes:

Build a sense of belonging among our students. We do this by providing a safety net to ensure a culturally responsive atmosphere.

Strengthen the academic and behavioral success of our students by supporting them and connecting them.

Attract students of color for enrollment and retention.

Help build a pipeline to inform K-12 students about Concordia.


Here's its mission statement:

Concordia University Black Student Union (BSU) exists to help all students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the World. We do this by intentionally setting up a support system allowing students space to learn, teach, vent, give back to the community, be challenged, and get their cultural needs met.

Not sure what's wrong with having such a student group on campus, especially given the historically tribal cultural makeup of the Concordias.

Or seeking transformational, disruptive leadership.

You have already been corrected on the word "disruptive" which cannot be found in any official document that I can find.  It's not there.  I don't know why you keep using it.

I've also spoken earlier about the need to transform what's currently being done in higher education to new models.  I don't know how much you know about how higher ed works and what challenges are facing us, but they are many, and the way we've always done things is unlikely to be sustainable in the future.  For example, we're approaching the so-called "demographic cliff" where the number of traditional college students will drop suddenly and severely.  That alone requires rethinking how we should be positioned.

Again, my experience at CUWAA argues strongly against any significant degree of "wokism" (I'm not even sure how you'd measure such a thing) even as we do try to find ways to appropriately engage our increasingly ethnically diverse student body.
I used the word "disruptive" because it is part of the allegation that started all this. Prof. Schulz says that is what they said they were looking for. His word is at least something to consider. It might not win the day or be the most persuasive evidence, but it argues for the "connection" that John Hannah cannot see. I was responding to his claim that there is no connection of the topic of wokeism to Concordia. There is, depending on whom you believe. Same with a black student union-- it is significant to one side of this argument and perfectly understandable to another side of this argument. I did look through the website back when all this started, and am glad for the different nomenclature than the standard DEI buzzwords on the CUWAA website (though Austin seems far more comfortable with the standard jargon). That is a positive sign that argues against Prof. Schulz's main point about CUWAA, though of course the broader discussion involves all the Concordias and goes beyond this or that specific allegation.

The problem with John Hannah's response is that assumes one side of this argument is ludicrously off base, tilting at windmills, and not even worth engaging on their own terms. That is no way to seek understanding or find the heart of the disagreement.

I think the unherd article is well worth the read and does indeed apply conceptually to this dispute at CUWAA. Sure, the author isn't talking about the specifics or exceptionalities at CUWAA, but his analysis of the larger argument going on at (or at least about) universities generally is something I think anyone who genuinely cares about what is going on at CUWAA would benefit from reading it. 

Yes, it is a very hard time for universities. Yes, I'm well aware of the stronger demographic headwinds coming, too. And religious universities have always had to juggle and balance the demands of their specific mission with the expectations of academia and the need to survive financially. Whether or not wokeness is a problem at CUWAA (and I've said upstream I would tend to say it isn't, at least from what I've seen) I think it is important to consider the accusation seriously and that we all agree that wokeness would be problem if it were there, and not for institutional reasons but for doctrinal, mission-related reasons.       

Dave Benke

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #447 on: March 21, 2022, 03:32:19 PM »
Thank you, Scott, for your response, which is both welcome and necessary.

To your final point on "disruption."  Disruption in the Missouri Synod comes invariably from the right.  A process that allows for a board of regents to request a reset in one of their most important duties, which is leadership succession, was disrupted in a purposeful way by the publication of three articles making accusations against the school, its leadership/faculty, and its board. 

Why were these articles written?  Were they shared prior to publication with executive, department or internal leadership at the institution?  When were these articles written?  Were others involved in their preparation?  Was advice sought and gained from others as to how to proceed with publication?  If so, who were those people? 

The publication of the articles, which are to be generous all over the place, was embraced immediately by a highly organized and orchestrated effort directed not only against the school's placing the professor on suspension with pay, but on the accusation spread wide from students through faculty to administration of rampant "wokeism."

Do you think any of these questions and thoughts are going to be major agenda items for the team of three who will come on campus later this week?  They should be.  The entire subculture that has spurred this disruption should be unearthed, so that a Godly conversation could be undertaken as a new list of finalists is developed for the CUWAA President. 

Right now, Scott, you seem to me to be a voice crying in the wilderness.

Dave Benke

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peter_speckhard

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #448 on: March 21, 2022, 04:01:33 PM »
Thank you, Scott, for your response, which is both welcome and necessary.

To your final point on "disruption."  Disruption in the Missouri Synod comes invariably from the right.  A process that allows for a board of regents to request a reset in one of their most important duties, which is leadership succession, was disrupted in a purposeful way by the publication of three articles making accusations against the school, its leadership/faculty, and its board. 

Why were these articles written?  Were they shared prior to publication with executive, department or internal leadership at the institution?  When were these articles written?  Were others involved in their preparation?  Was advice sought and gained from others as to how to proceed with publication?  If so, who were those people? 

The publication of the articles, which are to be generous all over the place, was embraced immediately by a highly organized and orchestrated effort directed not only against the school's placing the professor on suspension with pay, but on the accusation spread wide from students through faculty to administration of rampant "wokeism."

Do you think any of these questions and thoughts are going to be major agenda items for the team of three who will come on campus later this week?  They should be.  The entire subculture that has spurred this disruption should be unearthed, so that a Godly conversation could be undertaken as a new list of finalists is developed for the CUWAA President. 

Right now, Scott, you seem to me to be a voice crying in the wilderness.

Dave Benke

Why were these articles written?  Were they shared prior to publication with executive, department or internal leadership at the institution?  When were these articles written?  Were others involved in their preparation?  Was advice sought and gained from others as to how to proceed with publication?  If so, who were those people? 

The publication of the articles, which are to be generous all over the place, was embraced immediately by a highly organized and orchestrated effort directed not only against the school's placing the professor on suspension with pay, but on the accusation spread wide from students through faculty to administration of rampant "wokeism."


Here is an example of what I think is the exact wrong response. By demanding answers about who would make such an accusation rather than simply refuting the accusation, we would be validating the suspicions. This response would be exactly what the unherd article identifies as the problem. What CUWAA should do is refute the allegations, acknowledge that wokeism is a problem in academia (i.e. that we aren't oblivious to or, worse, on board with wokeism in academia), but show how our mission makes us refute the tenets of identitarianism even as we seek to serve everybody without distinction.

The series of questions posed above are what wokesters do-- organize a search and destroy mission wherever wokeness is challenged. 

Dave Benke

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Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« Reply #449 on: March 21, 2022, 04:30:42 PM »
My interest in those questions has zero to do with being a "wokester."  My interest on those matters is as I stated in the phrase "that a Godly conversation might be undertaken."

My interest in those questions has to do with the organized and orchestrated effort taking place and unearthing, to use that word again, what this means for our denomination and its institutions. I've seen it take place in various areas of Synodical life - from one of our Synodical VPs speeches at the Ft. Wayne Symposium on worship style and COVID realities to this campaign to disrupt our colleges and universities in leadership succession as well as campus life. 

Scott remains a voice of reason and the voice of a confessional Lutheran professor of theology at CUWAA.  His concerns are also valid.

Dave Benke
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