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Jan 24, 2017 11:30 AM EST

University Of Miami Urges Students To Watch Out For Microaggressions In Campus

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The University of Miami has urged its students to take an active part in calling out microaggressions in campus. The students are asked to monitor their classmates' speech and let them know if they said anything that may be deemed offensive.

Heatstreet reported that University of Miami's resident assistants are encouraging students to call out fellow students who may have said something offensive. A new display on campus urges students to ask "what makes you say that?" or "did you know that can actually be taken as offensive?"

The new display is part of the RAs "SAY WHAT?!" initiative. It is aimed at educating students on the dangers of insensitive statements and questions, known as microaggressions.

The initiative is a call to political correctness. The display shows that people are prone to receiving many microaggressions in a day, which can ultimately build up.

According to Study International, microaggresions are described as "brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities." This can send hostile, derogatory or negative messages to people of different color, race, religion, ethnicity and disability, among others.

The school reminded all students that it has a diverse community and that everyone should be treated with respect. Psychologist Alvin Poussaint described it as "death by a thousand nicks."

The RAs clarified that students should not goad each other to a verbal war. Instead, students should encourage each other by letting others know that what they are saying is hurtful and teach them better ways to approach those conversations.

Last September, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln has rolled out its new respect policy as part of its efforts to embrace diversity and value acceptance. Newly-installed Chancellor Ronnie Green welcomed students by sharing a list of "non-negotiable" things that they should or should not say.

The new policy comes at a time when accusations of microaggressions or unintentional slights are commonly misinterpreted as racist acts. UNL's commitment to diversity and inclusion requires everyone in the community to be respectful, protect free speech and inspire academic freedom.

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