The University of Arkansas recently purchased a training program that teaches students to communicate “OUCH! That Stereotype Hurts.”
Campus Reform obtained a copy of the contract signed to purchase the training for members of the campus community to use, which shows that the University paid at least $40,680 to offer the training to students, faculty, and staff. Portions of the contract, such as the one-time licensing fee and any discounts given to the university, were redacted.
The Associate Vice Chancellor of University Relations, Mark Rushing, told Campus Reform “funding for the training software was split by many colleges, schools and units across campus. This was a one-time cost as the licensing is now perpetual.”
The training is provided free to all students, faculty, and staff at the University. The University news site explains that the training is “not required but highly encouraged,” and is intended to teach participants how to identify and respond to stereotypes in today’s society. The university hopes participants will “gain communication skills for promoting inclusion and respect.”
The training consists of five parts and takes students 30 minutes to complete. The five parts include a basic concept review, a video on the impact of stereotypes, methods to shut down hurtful conversation, a practice training with vignettes, and a final assessment.
For example, the training gives the following example for a situation where they think yelling “OUCH!” would resolve the issue at hand.
“So, about the holiday schedule.”
“Let Jenny work the holiday shift. She’s single; she doesn’t have family.”
“What do you mean?”
“I know that you’re trying to help out the other employees, but is that fair to Jenny?”
The training explains that “Ouch communicates a lot with little effort,” introduces the idea of “Ouch and Educate,” which can be used instead if you “have the time and the energy.”
“Trainings such as these help to make our campus a more welcoming and belonging place for all members of our campus community,” the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion said.
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