A professor at the University of Dallas was forced to revise his syllabus because of a term he used to refer to COVID-19.
Dr. William Atto’s syllabus for his American Civilization class included references to the coronavirus by using “China virus.”
Images of of the syllabus were shared on social media, including by the campus’ Asian Student Association.
The group said in an Instagram post that the term’s use “promotes discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans since it condemns them as the cause of the virus.”
The group pointed to the spike in violence against Asians in the U.S. and around the world in the wake of a xenophobic atmosphere influenced, in part, by such terms.
Atto emailed students a revised syllabus and included the following message:
“It has come to my attention that the syllabus I handed out yesterday had language regarding Covid that was inconsistent with University of Dallas policy, so I have attached a revised syllabus to bring into accord with that policy,” The College Post reported.
University of Dallas president Jonathan Sanford offered the following statement to the school newspaper: “Dr. Atto has for 20 years been providing excellent formation of our students at the University of Dallas, and when he was informed that some offense had been taken at his use of a term that is now rarely used he readily altered the policy section of his syllabus to refer to the university’s protocols regarding COVID using the term the university uses to describe those protocols.”