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Students, professors push 'progressive stacking' policy that would see 'white,' 'male,' 'privileged' students called on last during classroom discussions

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Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

A Binghamton University professor is demanding the school institute a "progressive stacking" policy that would require classrooms to kowtow to the less privileged students in class before calling on those with privilege — including white students and male students, the College Fix reported on Friday.

What's a brief history here?

Binghamton University sociology professor Ana Maria Candela recently issued a policy change in her classroom syllabus that prioritized calling on "minorities, women, and shy people."

In a February update, Candela said that if students are "white, male, or someone privileged by the racial and gender structures of our society to have your voice easily voiced and heard, we will often ask you to hold off on your questions or comments to give others priority, and will come back to you a bit later or at another time."

However, as a result of outcry — and at least one Title IX complaint — Candela was forced to remove the controversial policy from the syllabus.

This prompted her supporters — including students and other faculty members — to rally and protest that she ought to be able to include the addendum for classroom discussion.

At the time, a spokesperson for the university told Fox News that the school's Faculty Staff Handbook outlines its principles on effective teaching in the classroom.

“The Faculty Staff Handbook outlines principles of effective teaching, which include valuing and encouraging student feedback, encouraging appropriate faculty-student interaction, and respecting the diverse talents and learning styles of students," the statement said. "The syllabus statement you have brought to our attention clearly violates those principles. The faculty member has updated their syllabus, removing the section in question, and is now in compliance with the Faculty Staff Handbook."

What's happening now?

According to a report from WSKGF-FM, more than 100 people gathered at an early March rally to support Candela and her classroom reform, many of them demanding the school "kick racism out of Bing."

One of Candela's former students told the station that the "progressive stacking" practice only enhanced class for students of color.

"When I saw the progressive stacking, I was like, why is this the first time that I'm seeing this?" former student Winnie You asked. "It literally makes so much sense. I feel like a lot of us have trouble speaking up in class."

Candela's fellow professor, Tina Chronopolos, agreed.

Chronopolos said during the rally, “[Faculty] are worried that you know, whenever they bring up, quote unquote, ‘these difficult topics [such as critical race theory]’ that they’ll get blowback from people who feel like they’re being discriminated against.”

Candela, too, attended the rally and issued remarks of her own, noting that the rally itself "tells you something about what students are experiencing on this campus."

"That you have to write a statement to help them to feel safe coming into the classroom space, to speak their voices, to have their voices heard,” she added.

Neither Candela nor a spokesperson for Binghamton University issued a statement in response to the College Fix's request for comment.

Fellow professor of sociology William Martin also lended his support to Candela and created a Change.org petition to move the university to accept Candela's "inclusive" policy."

A portion of the petition reads, “Dr. Candela recognizes as we do that our classroom discussions are often dominated by a minority of persons reflecting societal class, racial and gender inequalities. ... Many of our students all too often feel marginalized, and discussions are constrained and limited as a result. We should not pretend otherwise.”

At the time of this reporting, the petition has received more than 972 signatures.

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