Should campus groups be able to limit membership only to those who share a set of beliefs? Put it that way and the matter seems pretty innocuous. Ah, but if you state that in a pejorative way -- should they be allowed to discriminate against those who don't share that set of beliefs? -- then alarm bells go off in the academic world because "discrimination" is contrary to the cherished notion that all groups must be "diverse." And if it's a Christian group doing the discriminating, add flashing lights and sirens to the alarm bells. In today's Pope Center piece, I comment on the recently argued case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Even if five members of the Court have swallowed the diversity kool-aid and eventually decide against CLS and its First Amendment arguments, that doesn't mean that universities have to go along with the diversity uber alles approach of Hastings Law School. College officials can and should recognize that there is nothing harmful in letting campus groups set their standards for membership.
In a previous post, I noted how military bloggers are writing the "first pages of history." Likewise, student bloggers are offering a place to speak out against the abuses on their campuses: from official racial segregation (in the name of Diversity) to expulsion for being pro-life and much more. During the 1990s, many upscale universities had students who said "Enough!" and established newspapers to advocate for academic freedom, mock the Mickey Mouse courses taught on campus, and generally play the role of watchdog. Needless to say, those newspapers were not welcomed by administrators or the PC thugs who "police" what happens on campus. Blessed by administrators who looked the other way, the thugs stole newspapers en masse and otherwise bullied these reporters in a style worthy of the Ku Klux Klan. Flash forward ten years: the Internet offers students, alumni and faculty the opportunity to watch and report on the crazy shenanigans of those in power and those who feel empowered to act as foot soldiers in the "long march through the institutions" that has done so much damage to academic rigor and freedom. (Disclosure: I have my own blog, FreeU, focusing primarily on Illinois issues). Here I'd like to profile one excellent student blog: ClaremontConservative.com Issues of interest to NAS readers include the following:
*Thought reform *Expulsion for the "wrong" views *Racial segregation promoted by the administration.
The military bloggers have a central directory; perhaps it is time to gather a EDUblogging directory? Meanwhile, search and you will find someone blogging about your campus, whether the pooh-bahs approve or not. Postscript: Alumni need to get into the act. They have nothing to fear--and administrators sometimes listen to them. Using the web, I got alumni at my alma mater to pressure the administration and get rid of a mandatory "white guilt" seminar for freshmen.
Alana Goodman, a student at the University of Massachusetts, has published an excellent article, "Institutionalized Racism in Student Government," in the Collegian, the schoool's student newspaper. Here's an excerpt:
As we prepare to swear in our elected representatives to the SGA Senate next week, UMass students should be aware that 13 percent of our SGA Senators will not have even competed in Tuesday’s elections. Instead, they will be appointed to their positions before the election results even come in, solely on the basis of skin color. This portion of the Senate is appointed by a registered student organization (RSO) called the African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American (ALANA) Caucus (no relation to this columnist). Only minority students who fit one of those four racial categories– or other students who the Caucus approves as “minority allies”– are considered eligible for these Senate seats. [...] This practice has been going on for years, and in addition to its sleaziness it’s also illegal.
Previous postings in this series have examined the ideological and pedagogical pathologies of Res Life programs at U Delaware and U Mass-Amherst. More programs at other institutions will be uncovered and discussed in future postings. Before we proceed any further with that, however, it is a good idea to step back briefly and place these programs in perspective. These rogue programs need to be seen within the larger context of Residential Life programs at residential colleges generally.
Our posting of 11 December (below), "Psychotherapeutic Interventions, Transformative Learning, and the Dorms of U Delaware," was the second in a series that will attempt to assess whether and to what extent U Delaware's ResLife diversity training program might be typical of programs at other universities.
The ResLife program at the University of Delaware has received a great deal of well-deserved ridicule and opprobrium in recent weeks, but virtually all of the attention has been directed at the details of the radical views on race it promulgated. Little or no attention has been given to placing these details within the larger context of the concept of "education" that inspired and drove the program. This is unfortunate, because understanding the wider context of the ResLife program at Delaware is as important as the details.