UMN Student Loses Job for Not Effectively Promoting “Social Justice Agenda”

Student alleges her conservative beliefs caused her to be let go

Minneapolis, MN – A student hired as a community advisor for a residence hall at the University of Minnesota alleges her political ideology caused her to be let go, despite receiving outstanding reviews from the residents she serves. 

Originally reported by the Minnesota Republic, student and writer for the Republic Justine Schwarz says she was shocked to find out that she would not be rehired as a community advisor for Frontier Hall, saying her bosses took issue with her conservative ideology.

Schwarz says she saw signs of her conservative beliefs being unwelcome when she began her job training, saying CA’s were given significantly more training on promoting social justice platforms than they were on the mental and physical health of their students. “We spent about four hours on that and then we probably spent three full days of ten-hour-long workshops just learning about diversity and social justice from a liberal perspective” said Schwarz.

Schwarz was recently given a performance review and excelled in nearly every category, aside from scores and comments stating she was failing at effectively promoting social justice and diversity.  After her review she was informed she would not be rehired without explanation. Schwarz says her residents were as shocked as she was to receive this news, saying that not only did she receive some of the highest reviews in the building by her residents, but that she never allowed bigotry, racism, or hostility to occur.

Schwarz explains, “It just wasn’t true and when I’d ask them ‘why is this? Why did you think this?’ They couldn’t come up with any specific reasons other than, ‘we kind of just assumed something about you’ and they actually ended up saying that.”

A representative for the University says that they do not comment on personnel-related matters, but did dispute Schwarz’s claims on disproportionate training, saying in an emailed statement, “Multiple sessions over multiple days of training are focused on student mental and physical health. In addition to those topics, time is spent on connecting with and supporting residents, being a resource for residents, responding to emergency situations, supporting student wellbeing, partnering with other areas of the University, working with facilities, and more. Our team also engages in conversations and training related to how to care about, support, and be inclusive of all students living on campus.”

Schwarz says not only was the training far more heavily focused on social justice and diversity training, but that instructors frequently made fun of and mocked Republicans.

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Julia Erynn