Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple
◆ If bad actions on campus did not reverberate, they would not be worth much attention.
Unfortunately, they do ripple through the wider society.
Real police eventually called to arrest the trespassers. (Campus Reform)
Here’s a wild and crazy prediction: UVa will do nothing to punish the invaders.
After all, they are Warriors for Social Justice. That’s exactly what they say in defending their actions.
Here’s the report from Campus Reform:
LAST NIGHT, a group of about twenty or so students shut down a ‘cops and robbers’ themed date function at the Hall, a fraternity on campus,” the post begins, explaining that “the members of the frat wore orange jumpsuits, with bandanas tied around their heads, chains, and tattoos drawn on their arms.”
“These ‘costumes’ make a joke of mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex, systems that disproportionately brutalize people of color,” Students United complains. “The predominantly white members of this fraternity got to take their costumes off at the end of the night, people trapped in the prison system do not.” –quoted in Campus Reform
When the fraternity apologized, the disrupters explained that the fraternity was contemptible:
The protesters were not mollified by the fraternity members’ claims that they had no intention of “offending or hurting anyone,” arguing that the theme of the party contributes to white supremacy.
“It’s this kind of willful ignorance that allows white supremacy to continue,” the post states unequivocally. –Campus Reform
Comment: As we morally-superior people know, this party was almost as noxious as the Nuremberg Rally (not that the protesters would have a clue what that means).
Why was this party so terrible? Let me count the ways
- It was held at a fraternity, which is (by definition) an abomination. These kinds of private social organizations should be stamped out if we don’t like them, just as Harvard’s President Faust tried to do.
- Students were actually having fun. That is bad enough. But it is even worse because, all over the world, people are suffering. How dare these students have fun!
- Students at fraternity are the poster children for capitalism, inequality, imperialism, Zionism, and heteronormativity. They should go to the guillotine. Promptly.
- The party mocked criminals. It should have mocked the so-called justice system. As our signs repeatedly say, “No one is illegal. Everyone is a human.”
◆ Oh, the Horror: Teaching about the great achievements of ancient Greece is “Eurocentric”
More campus lunacy: Students “against racism” disrupt Reed College’s signature Humanities course because it is “Eurocentric” (Inside Higher Ed)
The required course, a staple at Reed, grounds students in the history and intellectual traditions of Europe and its progeny around the world.
Three times a week, at 9 a.m., all of Reed’s 300-plus freshmen shuffle into a lecture hall for what’s known on campus as Hum 110. Starting with the Epic of Gilgamesh and ending with the Bible and Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, the required literary and historical survey of the ancient world is supposed to lay the foundation for students’ future studies in the humanities.
Among activists’ sticking points, especially for a group of students called Reedies Against Racism, was Hum 110. The course, which faces a curricular and pedagogical review every 10 years but has maintained a fundamentally Western orientation, is simply too white, too male and too Eurocentric, critics charged, especially for a course required of all students. Moreover, the student activists said, Hum 110 largely ignores how these works may have been used over time to perpetuate violence against people of color. –Inside Higher Ed
Comment: The students have one thing right, two things wrong.
First, it is absolutely right to inquire into malign elements of the Western tradition, from slavery to the Holocaust. Omitting the negative was a major gap in the old Western Civ. courses. So was the omission of economic progress, including related issues about property rights. In short, these courses not only teach students to be critical, they should be subject to thoughtful criticism themselves.
Second, disrupting classes rather than advancing persuasive arguments is itself malign. It undermines the basic values of a university. Those disruptive students should be suspended for one semester. Don’t hold your breath. US universities hire senior administrators would don’t stir up trouble and do raise money. Very few have real backbone. We’ll see what Reed does, but I’m not optimistic.
Third, just as there is no reason to exclude authors based on their race, ethnicity, or religion, there is no reason to include them, either, unless their subject matter and brilliance add more to the course than the authors they would replace. That question should be revisited regularly. Reed already does that.
◆ Finally, yet another case of university administrators harming students in a Title IX investigation
Court Order: Former University of California, Santa Barbara Administrator Hid Exculpatory Evidence in Title IX Investigation
The student was suspended from UCSB after the hearing. The court ruling–one of a long string against College Title IX hearings–said the student needed access to the evidence to defend himself.
The administrator, Sandra Vasquez, was promoted. She is now Dean of Students at Pitzer College.
Despite the judge’s harsh ruling against Vasquez and UCSB, Ms. Vasquez and Pitzer are saying the reports are completely false.
Hat Tip to Tom Elia and Fred Lawson for stories