Phi Beta Cons

Re: Silly USA Today Editorial

Roger is right — the position USA Today takes is silly.

I find this line especially bothersome: “What any university desires is a mosaic in which students learn as much from one another as they do in class.” Nonsense. That’s what university officials usually say, but it’s just cover for a policy of ensuring that they won’t run into trouble with politically powerful minority groups.
By the age of 18, young Americans are aware that there are people different from themselves. They’re aware that even people “like themselves” can be very different. They have probably encountered many different people, not only with regard to race, but a host of other dimensions as well.
The notion that college is as much about learning from other students as it is learning from the professors is absurd. Once they have assembled the student body, administrators usually take no further steps to ensure that students mingle and learn from each other. On the contrary, they’re often willing to countenance segregated dorms and academic programs geared toward particular identities. And at least some ideas may not be expressed on campus because they might “harass” someone.
Besides, it’s usually true that the “minority” students who are admitted differ from the rest only by virtue of skin pigmentation. Black and Hispanic students admitted at schools like Princeton are not exotic species. They’re young Americans who are interested in pretty much the same things as the white and Asian kids. It’s just a leftist article of faith that the “Kumbaya” approach to college admissions does anything to “bring people together.”

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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