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What's the etiology of this phenomenon?

Reader comment on item: Bad News from Slippery Rock

Submitted by Kevin M (United States), Apr 12, 2006 at 13:07

I am curious as to whether this is truly a left/right (liberal vs. conservative) phenomenon. On the surface, it would seem to be. I recall, however, in my college days I spoke with a number of my fellow students as to why they selected that particular college. I was more than slightly surprised to learn that several of the business majors chose it because it was less than 30 miles from a major ski resort. They assured me that they were sincere in that regard; proximity to a good ski resort was critical to the college of their choice.

It is very embarrassing to some--notably the parents who foot the bill for such a self-indulgent escapade--that a significant number of college students choose their universities not for their academic characteristics, but for their athletic, cultural or even counter-cultural aspects. Seriously, how many students with a conservative, perhaps religeous background would seek out a diploma from Berkeley? Why would a student seeking a career in law pursue a school that offered no law degree? How many dope-smoking party-animals would try to get into West Point?

My point here is that the notion of spending four years in a college or university to better prepare oneself for a future along one's particular gifts or dreams is a viewpoint held by far shy of 100% of the public. A great number of people seek out colleges according to their cultural reputation, if I may call it that.

Pursuant to this concept, I would further suggest that the colleges all know this, which explains why students running amok (taking over administration buildings, rioting on campus, flouting the law, etc.) are almost never disciplined. And by disciplined, I mean expelled. If a school truly wanted to bolster its reputation as a facility of higher education, it would not tolerate--not in the least measure--student behavior that ran counter to that ethos. Yes, we should tolerate a little juvenile behavior from the young, but rocks thrown into professors' windshields?!

Yes, the left/liberals have embarrassed themselves on campus and are proud of it. The conservative right have done so in the past as well. But, as Alan Levy describes here, college campuses have truly become far less than bastions of reason in the best traditions of Western civilization. Too many, far, far too many, have become cultural rest camps for berserk professors and their cultural cronies who poison the minds of young people with their discredited ideological cant.

We are ceasing to turn out a generation of thinkers. Like the Saudis, we are now producing parrots who merely recite what they are told.

And that is VERY dangerous!
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