A few days ago, while trying to open the interwebs thingy to allow me to start entering my grades, I was prevented from doing so by a pop-up menu that referenced LSU's Policy Statement 67. The text included unsubstantiated and highly dubious claims such as that most workplace problems are the result of drugs and alcohol abuse by workers. And this was only a few weeks after all of the chairs at LSU had to provide verification that every single faculty member had read a hysterical message from our staff and administrative overlords that justified expanding the extension of pee-tested employees at LSU to now include faculty. The wretched communiqué justified pee-testing faculty because of new evidence showing that marijuana is harmful to 13 year olds.*
Anyhow, when I scrolled to the bottom of the popup, I had to click a button saying not only that I read the document but also that I "agreed" with it.
I honestly don't get this. Are my beliefs a condition of employment at LSU? There was no button that said I read it but didn't agree with it.
I did click that I "agreed" after talking with a colleague in the English department who said that I should interpet the bit about "agreeing"just as saying that I wasn't going to use illegal drugs myself and that I'd follow LSU procedure as far as dealing with students and faculty with substance abuse problems. In this manner I could click it without actually lying and implicating that I agreed with the movie Reefer Madness. So I clicked and went back to grading.
But I couldn't help thinking of someone informing Winston Smith that in some modular arithmetics 2 plus 2 is equal to 5. I mean, what are the chances that the Party really meant anything approaching those modular arithmetics when they got him to debase himself by stating that he agreed with the party that 2 plus 2 equals 5? How is this any different?** And we all know what happened to Winston Smith in the end.
*I'm not exaggerating. Protevi had to read the dreadful thing. He can back me up. There was also a surreal discussion of the fact that two states have legalized marijuana.
**I'm not being faceitious. Can someone who has put in the due diligence by reading Foucault about biopower, the body, regimes of power etc. please follow the above links and explain to me what could possibly be going on here? The LSU system spends several millions of dollars trying to promote the school to other academics in various ways in part because over 22% of the US News and World Report school is based on reputational ranking. And then the system allows staff and administrators to do bone-headed things like this. I don't get it.