A professor at The University of Arizona has written guidelines for faculty to instruct their students to say, “Ouch,” when they are offended by something that was said in the classroom. The correct follow-up response by the offender? “Oops.”
Jesus Trevino, the university’s vice provost for Inclusive Excellence, recently wrote a 20-page handbook for faculty called “Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Classroom,” which lays out suggestions for how to handle difficult topics. He is paid an annual salary of $214,000 for his position in the Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, the university confirmed.
“This document is intended to be a resource for addressing difficult or challenging topics in the classroom,” the handbook says. It also explains that it is meant to “maximize free speech in the classroom,” according to The College Fix.
In the section called “Personal and Group Affirmation,” Trevino aims to create a safe space for students who wish to debate challenging topics.
“If a student feels hurt or offended by another student’s comment, the hurt student can say ‘ouch.’ In acknowledgement, the student who made the hurtful comment says ‘oops.’ If necessary, there can be further dialogue about this exchange,” the handbook reads.
The handbook also explains how to handle microaggressions in the classroom and provides several examples.
“It is important to note here that students also commit microaggressions against other students, and faculty must also be vigilant about those incidents,” it says. “Both students and faculty play a role in and are responsible for creating safe and inclusive classroom environments.”
The handbook also dedicates two pages to “Validating Students of Color,” discussing dimensions of validation and listing what faculty can do to practice validation.
“When addressing groups of students of color, recognize their academic success, their presence on campus, and their contributions to the UA community,” the handbook suggests.
The university joins several others who have already adopted “ouch/oops” policies, including Texas A&M University, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Illinois State University.