Jonathan Dellinger, a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is under scrutiny after emails in which he offered bisexual students extra credit were released by website Campus Reform. The TA’s methods are being questioned because no alternative extra credit opportunity was offered to students who did not identify as bisexual.
Dellinger sent out an email to the communications class notifying students of the exclusive extra credit opportunity. “I’m just writing to inform you of another extra credit opportunity (3 points). To be eligible to participate in this study, you must identify as bisexual, so not everyone will be able to do this one. The details are on D2L,” says an email obtained by Campus Reform.
The extra credit opportunity was offered as an aid for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduates to complete a survey “examining the hurtful communication in close relationship regarding one’s bisexual identity.” The survey was part of a graduate seminar on interpersonal relationships.
“I don’t mind that this opportunity was sent out besides the fact that an equal opportunity should have been attached to ensure the same chance for every student to earn the same amount of extra credit points,” one student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Campus Reform.
Some students are claiming discrimination. The leader of UWM’s Young Americans for Liberty, a group for conservatives, told the site such discriminiation is a common practice of the “left” and called the extra credit assignment “disgusting.”
The chair of the communications department told Campus Reform that officials would be “investigating” the extra credit assignment and assured the site of the university’s nondiscrimination policies.
Campus Reform, which says it “exposes bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses,” is a project of the Leadership Institute, a conservative organization that “strives to produce a new generation of public policy leaders unwavering in their commitment to free enterprise, limited government, strong national defense, and traditional values,” according to the institute’s website.