A huge fraud scandal surfaced today about how the rich and famous are cheating to get their kids into prestigious universities. The heart of the matter is a “consulting” operation out of Newport Beach, CA. To me the story is proof that money and fame do not keep you from being foolish. But there is a bigger question – why go to all that effort, expense and skullduggery to begin with?
Simply put, Abrams told an important truth. And he’s been punished for it. As our Madeleine Kearns reported last November, his office door was vandalized, students called for him to be punished, anonymous individuals falsely accused him of sexual misconduct, and when Abrams urged the college president, Cristle Judd, to take a strong stand in favor of academic freedom, he said that she “asked whether he thought it was appropriate to write op-eds without her permission and further suggested that his article had been hostile toward his colleagues.”
It turns out that Abrams’s ordeal isn’t over. Yesterday, a group of students calling themselves the “Diaspora Coalition” began a sit-in and issued an extraordinary set of demands, including demands aimed directly at Abrams.
How does this qualify as an education in any fashion? The bias is real, and concerning, but the bottom line problem here is that it appears the students are running the university.
Here’s the thing about school – the professors and administrators are supposed to be smarter than the students, that’s the idea. That means, among other things, that when the students get stupid – as students are prone to do and as most of us did at that time in our lives – they get to tell the students to shut up and move on. They get to punish students that engage in actual malfeasance. If the students get their “feelings” hurt, well isn’t that all part of the learning process?
For crying out loud, I was the best student in my high school chemistry class, which meant the teacher called me a “stupid idiot” in front of the whole class every time I made a mistake. “To him that much is given, much is expected.” That teacher figured that if a student of my caliber screwed up I deserved it. And yet I went on to get a graduate degree in chemistry. So much for “demotivation” and hurt feelings.
But the problem I see here is not snowflake students, though they are obvious, the problem I see is the spineless profs and administrators that are caving to these shenanigans.
In the end, I presume this is really a dollars and cents things. Unhappy students equal transfers which equates to less tuition income, and a lower reputation which translates into fewer applications and students. At least I figure that is the “logic” involved. But at some point that is a formula for the inmates running the asylum. But then again when a child (AOC) is the visible face the US House of Representatives I guess students running universities has its own logic.
Seriously, young people dominate social media. I get that and to some extent it is natural – their minds were shaped by it so they innately understand it better than those of us raised in the stone age ever will. But it is still just media. It is just a way of measuring who are the “cool kids.” What I cannot for the life of me understand is why being a “cool kid” means squat in the adult world.
I look at what is going on right now and I see kids being kids. The problem I see is adults not being adults – which in part means keeping the kids in their place. A little serious parenting would go a long way right now.