“White privilege” quiz criticized by students

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“White privilege” quiz criticized by students

Professor Dae Elliott in her office located in NH-212.

Professor Dae Elliott in her office located in NH-212.

Talia Raoufpur

Professor Dae Elliott in her office located in NH-212.

Talia Raoufpur

Talia Raoufpur

Professor Dae Elliott in her office located in NH-212.

by Rebeca Reyes, Staff Writer

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One San Diego State sociology professor’s extra credit quiz is drawing national attention.

A “white privilege” quiz offered by Professor Dae Elliott was the subject of a story in The College Fix, a conservative national college news site, Sept. 19. Since then, it has been featured on Fox News and a number of local news outlets.

The story was written by Drew Van Voorhis, who according to the site is a business freshman at SDSU.

Voorhis said he received the quiz via email from Brandon Jones, president of SDSU College Republicans.

“This is another attempt by the left, and Professor Elliot, to divide America,” Jones told The College Fix.

Voorhis said he decided to write about the quiz because he thinks it was out of place in a classroom setting.

“Professor Elliott claimed that she was trying to create an inclusive environment,” he said. “But instead of that I think that she was segregating the students between whites and non-white by giving out a white privilege quiz.”

Elliott told The Daily Aztec she has given the quiz in her Introductory Sociology class for over two decades.

“23 years, 46 times, first time anyone said anything,” she said. “There’s always been a good discussion among the students about it. It’s a wonderful prompt for discussion.”

Elliott said she thinks the timing of the buzz around the article could be due to the Milo Yiannopoulos’ planned visit.

She said she wants her students to approach her with any problems they have about the quiz.

“If it was just about an issue with me, the first thing you (should) do is come talk to me,” Elliott said.

“My response is ‘you’re not guilty for having a privilege.’ That is not what this is about. It’s about bringing awareness. You’re responsible for what you do with it.”

Elliott called Jones’ quote in The College Fix story “completely misinformed, and she also said news reports about her quiz lacked context  about the purpose of giving the quiz and confirmation of the issue.

“I thought it was unprofessionally handled” she said “There’s good journalism and then there’s just  ‘let me just do shock and awe I’m trying to get attention’ journalism.”

A member of the College Republicans who is in Elliott’s class brought the quiz to his intention, Jones said.

The student didn’t want to complete it and felt worried that her grade could be affected, he said.

“Elliott thinks it may promote unity, but it divides Americans,” Jones said. “It creates an ‘us vs them’ mentality.”

Jones said the quiz is an example of an obsession with race and an agenda that is being promoted at SDSU and across the country.

“It’s not an attack (on) Professor Elliott,” he said. “It’s much bigger than this.”

Elliott said the attention has not changed her intention of bringing up serious and sensitive issues with her students.

“The idea that you could go through an entire sociology course and never question that you already knew everything (…) in my mind, means I failed you,” she said.

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