Carol makes a good point in her post below that the very nature of the Duke Lacrosse party, fueled by alcohol and festooned with strippers, was problematic. But perhaps we should not be so quick to call for the return of universities acting in loco parentis.
To begin, the Duke incident did not involve fraternity members at an on-campus fraternity house. Rather, the party was attended by varsity athletes at a private, off-campus house. As adults, the lacrosse players were well within their rights to hire adult entertainment, even if we find that entertainment morally repulsive. (Although you might argue that, as members of the lacrosse team, they ought to have been bound by the discipline of their coach.)
But, generally speaking, giving today’s universities more coercive power over the moral development and behavior of students is probably not something that most conservatives should support, given the prevailing leftist political climate of most campuses. As FIRE has pointed out:
Far from merely being concerned with the education of young men and women, university administrators today intrude into virtually every realm of campus existence
Guy Benson asks good questions below regarding the indictment of the two Duke University lacrosse players. But my question is: Why are undergraduates in fraternities allowed to hire strippers and drink themselves sick in campus fraternity houses? And where do they get the money? Now we have to witness the rehearsal of all the white/black, male/female, rich/poor antagonisms that are always ready to be exploited in our time. Whether it happened or not–and, of course, if it did, the victim deserves redress and the young men deserve punishment–but whether it happened or not, all this trouble is so unnecessary. Our grandmothers could have told us that allowing young men to drink and be entertained by strippers is inviting trouble. I know it’s unlikely to happen, but I am for the return of in loco parentis, and preferably the old-fashioned kind of parens. It’s only four years and you can actually live without strippers for that time.
ABC News has the story of an interesting–and potentially powerful–alibi that has been released in defense of one of the Duke Lacrosse players arrested this week. According to the report, the alibi includes “electronic records, photographs and witness statements. If that material is authentic, it could prove that it was practically impossible for him to rape, kidnap or assault the alleged victim.”
Like I said, interesting–but not dispositive. There are still only a handful of people who really know what happened that night, and the rest of us should restrain ourselves from taking sides in the dispute until all the facts have come out.
Georgia Tech is facing a lawsuit over its unconstitutional speech code. The Los Angeles Timeseditorialized on the suit, alluding to the rise of campus speech codes in recent decades–and the manner in which courts ruled against them. As FIRE
Without once mentioning Yale’s Taliban student by name (He is called Hashemi, but for the purposes of public relations he seems not to exist at all), Yale President Richard Levin has released this statement to the community. In it, he commissions a review of the admissions critera of the “special student” program in which the former Taliban pitchman is currently enrolled.
He fails, however, to address the more important questions of why Hashemi was admitted in the first place, whether stricter admissions standards might in the future preclude the admission of pro-terror propagandists, and, most pressingly, what will happen to Hashemi’s application to become a regular undergraduate in Yale College’s arts and sciences program.
How the University of California implements compensation policies and its failure to publicly disclose, in a timely or clear fashion, administrators’ total pay have been found “wholly unacceptable,” a review committee said in a scorching report issued on April 13. One of the committee’s leaders demanded a major overhaul of the university system’s compensation policies.
All governing trustees, and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
On April 11 military recruiters were forced by Students Against War to flee UC Santa Cruz for fear of violence. This is a repeat of an April protest at UCSC, when SAW members mobbed the table where military personnel sat, tires were slashed, and one employee of the career center was injured.
Good for the Mountain States Legal Foundation, which says the Solomon Amendment should be invoked so as to deny UCSC millions of dollars in federal funding.
Northern Kentucky University president James Votruba has repudiated the censorious behavior of English professor Sally Jacobsen and, as Kathryn notes below, has issued a resounding statement about the value of free speech. But NKU has a speech code–a fact that suggests Votruba has some work to do if he wants his rhetoric to be taken seriously.
A Purdue University teaching assistant has been arrested and charged with threatening to kill President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, and (while he’s at it) “all Republicans.”
Vikram Buddhi allegedly posted the violent screed on an online message board, and investigators were able to trace the comments back to his computer. Buddhi reportedly told authorities he does not suffer from any mental illness and would not have acted upon his threats.
This case is the perfect opportunity for a shrewd defense attorney to claim that his client suffers from a condition known as angry leftism–a persistent mental state affecting millions of “progressive” Americans. The disorder renders its victims incapable of rational thought and makes them susceptible to violent outbursts.
Just what needs to be investigated? The awful problem that men outnumber women on math and science faculties at most colleges and universities! The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights is on the case. Read about it