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HomeNewsJason Newman: Colleges pay the price of pandering to the PC mob

Jason Newman: Colleges pay the price of pandering to the PC mob


The Washington Times reports that colleges in America (both public and private) known for their ‘social justice’ ethos are struggling to reach their enrolment targets. This year Oberlin College in Ohio has dropped 80 students short of its enrolment goal at a cost of $5 million (£3.7 million). Oberlin is famous for two things. Firstly, for employing professors who believe Zionist Jews brought down the Twin Towers. Secondly, for student protests demanding a restaurant in the college stop serving ‘culturally appropriative’ Vietnamese food. Enrolment at the University of Missouri, which saw a professor threaten violence against a student photojournalist and huge protests over bogus claims of ‘structural racism’, has dropped by 35 per cent over two years with 400 staff positions being cut by a combination of being left vacant and layoffs.

Indulging spoilt children (and they are children) appears to bear a hefty financial cost. Evergreen College in Washington State is to pay $500,000 (£370,000) in a settlement to one of its former professors who received threats of physical violence from students after he challenged the ‘Day of Absence’, in which white students were asked to leave the campus. The settlement adds to a budget deficit of $2.1million (£1.56million) incurred after enrolment at the college dropped by 5 per cent this year, resulting in layoffs and a hiring freeze. The University of Berkeley last week hosted conservative speaker Ben Shapiro, having made every conceivable effort to stop the talk. The huge security team mobilised to police the talk and other expenses are expected to cost the university $600,000 (£440,000). It turns out that when you teach that a speech you don’t like is equal to violence, some students tend to get nasty. Whether or not the figure includes the cost of the counsellor brought in by the university to help students who had their sense of ‘safety and belonging’ threatened is unclear. Obstructing free speech and pandering to pseudo-intellectual postmodernist nonsense is a costly business.

The colleges cite a number of reasons for the decline in numbers and income, pointing to cuts in funding coming from their respective states. At the same time they fail to reflect on why legislators might be reluctant to fund asylums run by the lunatics. In any case this does not account for such a sharp drop in numbers. If administrators actually investigated the reasons for the drop-off, they might find out that most students aren’t so keen on having their studies and lectures constantly interrupted by protests and would rather just get on with their degrees. This sentiment was brilliantly expressed by an Asian student at the University of Washington when he stood in the middle of a noisy Black Lives Matter protest which had stormed his college library and shouted, ‘Hey, hey, hey . . . this is library!’ His outburst stunned the protesters into silence. The clip was posted to YouTube and went viral, showing there are a great many who share his annoyance. It’s also the case that hard-working parents are probably not too keen on paying inflated fees to have their child taught about the virtues of wholesale wealth redistribution and are even less keen on a youngster coming home declaring themselves to be a pansexual gender non-conforming unicorn.

The alumni of these universities (many of whom make generous donations) are none too happy at the state of affairs either. The Wall Street Journal has obtained ‘thousands of pages of emails’ sent to Missouri University showing that ‘many alumni and other supporters were disgusted with administrators’ feeble response to the disruptions’. Oberlin was rebuked in a letter signed by hundreds of alumni condemning the college for allowing campus organisations that ‘intimidate, threaten and coerce Jewish students’. According to available figures, Evergreen’s athletics department has seen a 72 per cent decrease in donations. These colleges are finding out that when your professors lay all the world’s woes at the door of the straight white male and capitalism, the straight white male alumni who keep your college afloat by donating money earned through capitalism stop feeling so generous.

These instances should serve as a cautionary tale to UK universities. Oriel College, Oxford, knows all too well the financial penalties for indulging radical students. Any rumours that the statue of Cecil Rhodes would be torn down after a wave of student protests were quickly quashed by the college as donors and alumni started withdrawing funds and cutting the college out of their wills. These examples of the financial cost of bowing to the mob may make other UK colleges reconsider their positions before toeing the PC line.

After all money talks, and at a time when idiocy rules and free speech is being curbed that is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Jason Newman
Jason Newman
Jason studies English and Politics at third level in Ireland.

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