Douglas Andrews / August 27, 2020

Collegiate Conformity … or Else

Pitt, OSU, and little Albion College are just the latest schools to disgrace themselves.

If you’re having a rotten day, remember: It could be worse. Much worse. Your child could be an incoming freshman at the University of Pittsburgh.

What’s so bad about Pitt, you ask? Well, the school-sanctioned racism for one. As Power Line’s Steven Hayward writes, “Liberal education in this sense has been dying at universities for decades now, but nowhere is the idea … more dead than at the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt has announced a new required course for all new students: ‘Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance.’”

According to the syllabus, “In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many others in recent months, activists and scholars in the United States have taken to the streets, the workplace, and classrooms to decry anti-Black racism and call attention to the ongoing devaluation of Black lives in the U.S. and globally.”

It’s interesting (read: pathetic) that the Pitt professoriate cites three police killings on the syllabus but not a single one of those “many others” from among the thousands of black-on-black murders that occur in the U.S. each year. In fact, the aforementioned Tony McDade, a “transgender” male who was biologically female, had committed one of those murders herself, fatally stabbing a neighbor just prior to pulling a gun on a cop.

But when a cop shoots a suspect for pointing a gun at him, is it an “ongoing devaluation of Black lives,” or is it an act of self-defense? And will Pitt freshmen be allowed to ask such inconvenient questions, or will they be told by an activist instructor that they’re part of the problem? That they’re insufficiently anti-racist? That their white privilege is showing?

As for the good folks who’ve “taken to the streets” these days, who knew they were “activists and scholars” rather than looters, arsonists, thugs (language and violence warning), and spoiled white brats?

Mercifully, it’s a one-credit-hour course. But still. Students are auto-enrolled in the course, and they’re not allowed to drop it.

Hayward, who’s a college professor himself, suggests fighting back: “Students should boycott the course. Let the faculty give you an F. If enough students record an F for a measly 1-credit course, the administration will get the message that this blatant coercion into ideological indoctrination is unacceptable to its ‘customers.’”

What to do in Columbus, though, where, as Ashe Schow reports, “Classes hadn’t even begun when The Ohio State University moved to temporarily suspend hundreds of students the school claimed had broken policies meant to deter the spread of the coronavirus.”

Students moved back to campus beginning August 12, and the university distributed a note demanding strict conformity: Wear a mask, practice social distancing, and gather with no more than 10 people at a time.

“Perhaps knowing about the action we are taking will influence your decisions and prompt you to encourage others to take this situation seriously,” said the note penned by Vice President of Student Life Melissa S. Shivers. OSU spokesman Benjamin Johnson also weighed in, warning students that the university would be “monitoring off-campus neighborhoods and reporting students whom it believes may have broken the school’s coronavirus guidelines.”

When it comes to conformity, though, the Buckeyes are mere pikers compared to the Britons of little Albion College in southern Michigan, where the administration recently announced it would require students, faculty, and staff to install an app that would track their movements for the purpose of contact tracing.

According to the school’s press release, “Multiple tests prior to campus arrival, regular and random testing throughout year, dedicated isolation housing, and the Aura app all factor into [the] regimen.”

So much for the traditional college experience. Instead of fostering life skills such as critical thinking, independence, and individual responsibility, today’s young adults are being told what to think, what to do, and how to do it. And all for a mere $1,000 per credit hour.

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