Manhattan Institute

The First-Year Indoctrination

John Tierney joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the First-Year Experience (FYE), a widely adopted program that indoctrinates incoming college freshmen in radicalism, identity politics, and victimology.

Beginning as a response to the campus unrest of the 1960s and 1970s, the FYE originally sought to teach students to “love their university,” with a semester-long course for freshmen. Today’s FYE programs, however—largely designed by left-wing college administrators, not professors—sermonize about subjects like social justice, environmental sustainability, gender pronouns, and microaggressions.

College freshmen could undoubtedly benefit from an introductory course to learn basic skills; why do they so often get a mix of trivia and social activism instead of something academically useful? Tierney traveled to the FYE annual conference in San Antonio earlier this year to find out.

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