Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Dire State of Liberal Education

I have a friend.

After serving a full term in the United States Marine Corps including service in Iraq, this friend returned to a local college and immediately ran for class president. He won. Putting aside the comical assertion by his opponent that a semester in the senate counted as 'more experience' than raising to the rank of Sergeant in the middle of a war, the voters of the college elected him by a solid majority as well as a dominant selection of his chosen senators.

The government was his. Just like that.

Yesterday he approached me about modifying the constitution of his college seeking my advice as to what changes should be made. I reviewed the document and found it, by and large, to be a boilerplate clone of the U.S. version. The only major deviance was a U.N. style requirement that a large number (though not majority) of the senate seats be held by individuals elected by "major status" organizations on campus. To be a "major status" organization, a club must get support from the student government and must, in its constitution, put forth goals that help the entirety of the student body.

Several of the organizations fall clearly into this category such as the student paper, the radio station, and the student activities committee. The rest of them are what can only be termed special interest, group politics style organizations which represent one or another 'victim' class on the campus.

One of the major things my friend wants to change about the Constitution is categorizing these "major status" special interest clubs into one group that only gets one voting senator automatically. He asked me what I would consider to be the best way to do this and I, to my shame, had to suggest he do no such thing.

I couldn't suggest he do it because I couldn't erase the image of the impending witch hunt. I couldn't find terms to explain to my friend who had just spent the last 6 years of his life as a member of the most meritocratic organization on the face of the earth that liberal arts colleges long ago ceased being engines of human improvement and were now massive liberal echo chambers.

I couldn't suggest he do it because I didn't want to be responsible for the impeachment proceedings in which he was called a racist or bigot because he believed that, while diversity was important, a group who's name creates a discriminatory atmosphere in any direction can't possibly benefit the 'entire student body.'

It is such unmitigated horseshit that a man who's had to defend his experience against a snot-nosed college kid would have to then be dragged over the coals b by these naive, sheltered, indoctrinated children.

It makes me wonder who would even want to pursue a liberal arts degree anymore. Seriously, what good is a sociology major in the real world. More precisely, what improvement over a High School degree does that person have?

I have no doubt that in nearly every case an individual who has served a term in the military is far more capable of handling a non-specialized job than someone that has completed a liberal arts degree. In reality, these men and women should simply be granted a bachelor's degree upon completing their tour. I surely would rather have the average PFC from the Marine Corps working with me than someone who majored in Women's Studies.

I thought that his description of children was less an S&M thing than...

was all I heard of the conversation before I was out of reach and certainly more than I wanted to hear. I would say that they were just talking about something private but the tenor of their speech and body language made it clear that they were discussing a recently attended class.

There is no conceivable situation in any environment of higher learning in which that statement should be uttered.



It is a disgusting and offensive thought that not only do our tax dollars fund the operations of this institution but also give the students a $5,000,000 stipend to spend as they wish while teaching students about S&M and children (no, I seriously don't give a fuck what the context was).

What is funny is that he routinely asks me to come back to school to help him win these fights in student government and change the system. Sadly, I feel I lack the energy to do so. A daughter and two jobs takes a lot of juice out of my My only suggestion at this point is to use that money to help pay each student's tuition for the year. Five million would go a long way among a small student body such as theirs.

So really, am I right to wave him off of this dangerous course or has the dire state of liberal education bid us remember the words Don Juan's words before Lepanto:
Gentlemen, the time for counsel is past and the time for fighting has come.


Faltered Heaven said...

The liberal bias on campus's have been pretty well documented. A majority of complaints that get reported to FIRE involve some backwards treatment of conservative ideas. That says something in itself. Have you seen the documentary "Indoctrinate U"? Not exactly unbiased itself but still interesting and disturbing.

Moron Pundit said...

It isn't just the bias which, I admit, is old news. It's the condescending, exclusive mentality that saturates the place.

They sit around sipping their coffee talking about children and S&M while talking about the plight of the working poor, a type of person they've never even SEEN let alone talked to and certainly have never been.

Then they'd have the audacity to not only attack someone who wanted to right the ship but almost certainly would use every dirty, unfair tactic they could.

It's because children don't fight fair. You have to lose a few times before you learn how to do that.

Checkers doesn't count.

Old Iron said...

So many problems in "higher education" could be solved with a few well-placed bat strikes to kneecaps.

Aggression - an effective tool for change.