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Students asked to determine their level of ‘white privilege’ for extra credit

Students at San Diego State University were given extra credit for their level of 'white privilege'. Source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Students at San Diego State University found recently they had an unconventional and bizarre way to gain extra credit in their Sociology class – calculating their own level of “white privilege”.

Professor Dae Elliott told The College Fix the aim of the survey was to “approximate an objective understanding of our society” and highlight the injustices still present in culture.

“Only through processes that allow us to share inter-subjectively, weigh all of our perspectives according to amount of shareable empirical evidence can we approximate an objective understanding of our society,” Elliott said.

“It may never be perfect, in fact, I am sure we will always be improving but it is a better response if we are truly seekers of what is truth, what is reality. In a society that values fairness, our injustices that are institutionalized are often made invisible.”

Students were faced with a list of 20 statements that represent ways “white individuals have privilege because they are white”. They were asked to tick off any that apply to them.

Examples of the statements include:

I can choose blemish cover or bandages in flesh colour and have them more or less match my skin.

I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.

I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odour will be taken as a reflection on my race.

I can enrol in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race.

Students were instructed by Professor Elliott to add up their scores, with a higher score meaning they had a high level of privilege and a lower score meaning they had a lower level of privilege.

While the questionnaire was met with understanding of its merit by most, not everyone agreed with the sentiment.


Brandon Jones, President of San Diego State University College Republicans, told The College Fix it was divisive.

“This is another attempt by the Left, and Professor Elliot, to divide America,” said Jones, who is not in the class.

“The Left’s political goal is to ensure that minorities in America perpetuate that their primary problem is white racism. This only furthers the portrayal of minorities in America as victims and does nothing to help contribute to their advancement in society,” Jones said

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