1/28/2005 11:25:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|The University of Colorado is attempting to promulgate new rules and regulations expectations applicable to its fraternities and sororities. One of these is the "expectation" that those who wish to join fraternities and sororities will surrender their constitutional right of free association. First semester freshman will not be allowed to join and, presumably, those who do will be punished.
The notion of "deferred rush" is nothing in new. In fact, in a CNN article, CU Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, Ron Stump, offers a rather lame "but all the other kids are doing it" defense for the policy in stating that "I'm no constitutional lawyer, but we do know that 30 percent of colleges that have fraternities and sororities have deferred rush."
The difference this time is that - finally - the fraternities seem to have had enough of being shunted to the back of the campus bus. For the first time, they actually appear to be showing signs of fighting back. Jon Williamson, Executive Vice-President of the North-American Interfraternity Conference succinctly makes the point, "To deny students the right to associate with whom they choose is not going to address the major issues on the campus."
Ostensibly, the new CU policies represent the university's response to the death of Lynn "Gordie" Bailey in a CU fraternity house last fall and, perhaps, to lesser behavioral problems in the Greek system - most of which can probably be traced back to alcohol. Of course, CU seems to lack any specifics about just how moving rush (the period during which fraternities and sororities and prospective members mutually select themselves) will have any effect on drinking in the fraternities - or amongst first semester freshman unless CU is so fatuous actually to think that fraternities are the only locus of campus booze. And, given that the drinking age in Colorado is 21, the measure seems patently absurd on its face. Eighteen-plus year old first semester freshman will now be 18-plus and 19 year old freshman, still two years or so away from legally drinking.
If the policy seems vapid and lacking any nexus between problem and solution, perhaps that's because it is. Stump is probably right. CU may not have any real solution here except to follow the herd.
In fact, it probably isn't much of a stretch to question CU's commitment to doing anything at all about the alcohol problem it has on it's campus. Nothing in the policy indicates they'll return the money that went to fund the Coors Events and Conference Center on campus. No new plans seem evident to counter drinking in dorms or other off-campus housing options (which is essentially what a fraternity is). And if behavior is really the issue, one is forced to wonder about how much of this policy is a counter-offensive by the university to deflect as much attention as possible from the scandal surrounding the Colorado football team. Or, maybe it would all be OK if the fraternities combined excessive drinking with prostitutes and sexual harassment. Maybe their crime is not being as vulgar as the university itself.
But, in the end, this isn't really about fraternities and sororities. Many people will see this issue as a tempest in a teapot and that the spoiled brats in the frats need a little supervision. But I think it would be a mistake to take that view.
If Colorado can successfully implement a policy that says you can't join a fraternity or sorority in your first semester, then they can implement a policy that says you can't join a Christian group in your year or you can't join a political campaign ever (except, perhaps, to oppose the Academic Bill of Rights). If you doubt that CU would fail to protect the rights of all equally, look no further than the case of its own professor of ethnic studies, Ward Churchill.
On 12 September 2001, Churchill wrote that those murdered in the Twin Towers - the victims - were "little Eichmanns" [emphasis supplied]. Those are amongst some of his more tame utterances. Churchill still has a job. Churchill isn't expected to have his writings and other constitutionally protected activities cleared by the administration. So, should Colorado continue to do what other universities are doing, expect it to continue its assault on student rights, like those that have happened elsewhere while protecting the sames rights of the elites in its adminstration and professoriate.
CU should be encouraged to abandon this abhorrent policy now, before it goes any further down the road toward being an academic gulag. And if they don't, first amendment sensitivity training sounds like a good start.
(DISCLOSURE: My "day job" involves working for my college fraternity. While these views are mine alone and this post is not authorized by the fraternity, the reader is notified of this tangential, but relevant, fact.)|W|P|110693330160830285|W|P|Buffaloed in Boulder|W|P|1/24/2005 08:56:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Pop that collar and laugh!|W|P|110661844840420726|W|P|Heh.|W|P|3/26/2006 10:05:00 PM|W|P|1/21/2005 10:38:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Collin Levey, in the Seattle Times writes a cogent "compare and contrast" essay on the disparate responses of the feminist "community" regarding Harvard president Summers' foot-in-mouth comments about women in science and the elevation of Condi Rice to be secretary of state.
Meanwhile, the feminist refusal to offer even slight applause to Rice's achievements sends a far worse message: Women's progress doesn't count unless it is accomplished through bellyaching and political allegiance to the left. Nowhere is that message heard louder than in academia.
It isn't too long, and is worth reading in full, as it goes through the litany of nonsense that the academic feminists have hurled at Rice (and others) in the past for her refusal to accept leftist dhimmitude.|W|P|110632231429774111|W|P|A Summer Meal of Whine and Rice|W|P|1/21/2005 09:50:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|John Derbyshire attended a dinner last evening with Yale professor Donald Kagan and reports in "The Corner:"
There was some discussion about how many conservatives there are on the Yale faculty (not counting semi-autonomous outposts like the business school). Someone -- Harvey Mansfield, I think -- had publicized the number six; Prof. Kagan thought the correct number was three.
Now, what would be going on in New Haven today if, in the above, you substituted the compound word "African-Americans" for conservatives and "Black Studies Department" for business school?|W|P|110631935894907185|W|P|Three to Six|W|P|1/20/2005 10:30:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|A really disturbing CNN article today about the new low to which colleges and universities are sinking in their recruitment efforts.
Forget course catalogs and colorful pamphlets.
Think sex, skiing and rock 'n' roll.
When it comes to recruiting students for college, admissions officials are turning to increasingly outlandish stunts to get the attention of high schoolers. Birthday cards, ski weekends and even reality TV shows are being used by colleges and universities to get an edge.Now, why do you think it is that so many students seem to feel as if college is a
four five-year vacation?|W|P|110627972556453387|W|P|Snake Oil U.|W|P|1/20/2005 10:20:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|And here's what happens when a leftist campus mob enlightend, tolerant, blue state-voters decide to show Bushitler what "freedom" really means. (Props: Instapundit)|W|P|110627803105401776|W|P|Freedom to Shut the Hell Up|W|P|1/17/2005 07:58:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
-- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (28 August 1963)
I propose that a national fund be established to have this memorable - and essential - statement put on a large bronze plaque and mounted in each and every affirmative action, diversity and multicultural affairs office of all educational institutions in the United States. |W|P|110601015261971023|W|P|MLK Day|W|P|5/22/2006 12:24:00 PM|W|P|Kevin1/14/2005 01:36:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|LGF tips us off that the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, Michael Hoyt, has written to the New York Post to express his agnosticism regarding the veracity of the CBS guard documents. He opines:
While the bloggers strenuously assert that the documents are forgeries, nobody really knows, including the Thornburgh/Boccardi panel, which found that "it may never be possible for anyone to authenticate or discredit the documents."
It may never be possible for anyone to authoritatively authenticate or discredit evolution (or creationism) either, yet I somehow suspect few, if any, products of the Columbia Journalism School will be so assiduously skpetical when it comes to reporting the story in Cobb County, Georgia, where the school board ordered biology textbooks to carry a disclaimer sticker indicating that evolution is an unproven theory.
Roger L. Simon, correctly, offers good consumer advice to those considering plunking down $50,000 per year or so for a Columbia Journalism Degree.|W|P|110572490591163035|W|P|What Price Ignorance?|W|P|1/13/2005 09:23:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|It's an axiomatic truth in this country. A sheepskin is a passport to a lifetime of higher wages (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, something on the order of 45% more). As today's New York Times reports, that rate of increase in that gap has stalled and may be on the verge of going backwards.
The leveling off of the wage premium for a four-year college degree has lasted long enough to suggest that it is not just a pause in an otherwise constantly rising payoff for those with bachelor's degrees, but another significant shift in labor market dynamics.If true, the consequences are potentially significant.
There are many reasons for the rampant inflation of college tuition over the last decade and a half - state cutbacks, the use of undergraduate students as profit points to fund graduate research operations, guaranteed Federal loans and the like. But none of that would matter without the fundamental perception by consumers that the degree is a requisite to a better life.
As the quote above suggests, a serious shift in the marketplace - either parents and students changing their view about the benefits accruing from the degree (or at least the degree at any cost) or a macro decision by employers about the actual value of the degree as preparation for the workforce - or both - would really be a seismic hit to Big Education.
I think the latter point - employers changing their consumption patters with respect to college graduates - is an especially salient point. As campuses continue to churn out "product" awash in mindless politically-correct humanities mumbo-jumbo and science graduates as disciples of non-English speaking, pedagogically challenged TA's - the likelihood of marketplace rebellion exists. |W|P|110567030984541092|W|P|The Value of a College Degree|W|P|1/13/2005 11:45:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|The University of Toronto's Institute for Women's Studies and Gender Studies is sponsoring an education program. You'd think maybe they'd discuss getting women drivers license in Saudi Arabia. But you'd be wrong.
No, they'll be covering Israeli Apartheid Week. (Props: LittleGreenFootballs.com.|W|P|110563509368094392|W|P|If They Have It, Will Saudi Women Drive to Come to It?|W|P|1/12/2005 06:46:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Harvard's endowment guru, Jack R. Meyer is leaving. Meyer has attracted attention and criticism for running what amount to a (very successful) hedge fund with Harvard's endowment - and in the process drawing in outside investors whose fees frequently funded exorbitant bonuses to fund managers (sometime eclipsing those paid on Wall Street).
An interesting practice, to say the least, for a nominally non-profit organization. One can imagine, no doubt, the pontificating from some Harvard professor if such ethical issues arose in the private sector.|W|P|110557448801864638|W|P|Stealing Harvard?|W|P| |W|P|Thumbs up! Keep your blog growing. Thanks. |W|P|cool?!?!?