Phi Beta Cons

Students on Strike!

One tried and true method of getting attention is to go on strike. People will pay attention to your grievances, no matter how absurd they may be. You’ll feel as though you’re “taking a stand” and “making a difference.”
IHE today has a story on student strikes at Columbia and Umass-Amherst.
At Columbia, some students are on a hunger strike to protest “institutionalized racism.” Now, you might think this is something out of The Onion, but these kids are serious, proclaiming on their strike website, “The recent acts of hate crime on this campus have lent urgency to a long-existing effort to address this university’s climate of marginalization.” Columbia is about as far-gone in the PC/diversity project as any school in the U.S., but it’s not enough for these students, who insist on “a more systematic response” to hate incidents.
I guess they’re upset over the noose hoax. There isn’t anything more Columbia could do other than to expose it as merely a prank, but as at Duke, any incident is a good excuse to demand still more action by the university to purge every bad thought from campus.
At UMass, they’re striking over money. “Students want to see a reduction in fees after years of increases,” says a spokesman. They might have a good case, actually. Many schools squander student fee money on a lot of stuff that most students couldn’t care less about — much as neighborhood associations tend to spend dues money on things that only a small but vocal minority of residents want.
But at the same time the students are calling for a reduction in the amount they pay to attend, they also demand that the university spend more on “diversity.” In other words, “Charge me less, but make other people give up more money so the university can be more to my liking.” Not a terribly persuasive position.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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