Outrageously Dumb Campus Moments of the Week (Special UC Berkeley edition)

by Jennifer Kabbany - Fix Editor on December 7, 2012

The College Fix presents a roundup of the top scandals, screw-ups, and stupid decisions involving college campuses this week. Usually this feature includes stories from campuses across the nation, but events recently at and associated with the famed UC Berkeley have been so outlandish as of late that it gets special attention this week.

3. Ah, Berkeley. The birthplace of the modern college student revolt. In the 1960s, massive protests, sit-ins, alternative publications and other radical efforts captured the nation’s attention and, for better or worse, forever shaped the nature of public discourse at today’s universities.

But long gone are the days when radical students, fired up for socialist movements, have much room to complain on college campuses, which now completely cater to leftist causes. So a recent sit-in at Berkeley was largely laughable, to say the least.

Wearing face masks and flying banners calling for “diversity,” five students chained themselves to the school’s Eshleman Hall on Nov. 27 while more than 100 students stood in solidarity outside, The Daily Californian reported.

Their cause? Ready for this? They were upset administrators wanted to consolidate some Multicultural Student Development offices, according to The Daily Cal.

Oh, for the days when there was an actual good reason to chain oneself to a school building.

And here’s the kicker: The Daily Cal quoted a top administrator as saying the Multicultural Student Development offices’ changes “were intended to streamline administrative tasks and to allow for more resources to be used for outreach and the retention of minority students. He said the fact that the changes did not receive any attention until a year after their implementation suggests that students were not negatively affected by the consolidation.”

Such a scandal! Here’s another one ..

2. Over the last week or so, Berkeley has made national news (internationally, really, if you count the headline in the UK’s Daily Mail), not for any esteemed academic accomplishments or similar benchmarks. No, the story coming out of its venerable halls is how easy it is to have sex on campus.

Enter UC Berkeley’s most recent “Sex on Tuesday” column in The Daily Californian.

“Yes — having sex on campus is actually very doable, and it’s lots of fun. It’s also surprisingly easy,” the UC Berkeley columnist writes. The down side? “Concerns about not getting to ‘finish’ when doing it in a public place.”

“Maybe I’m just not ambitious enough to have goal-oriented sex, but sex isn’t always about cumming and having orgasms,” she writes. “Sometimes it’s for sh*ts and giggles. Having expectations and goals can ruin the fun of it. Besides, it’s probably not a good idea to ejaculate in public places — just saying. Keep this in mind should you ever attempt sex on campus.”

This columnist did just that, in fact, then detailed her adventures.

“The trick to doing it in Stacks,” she advises, “is to go at a time when there won’t be a lot of people studying at the same time and to pick a section of books that people won’t ever think to look up. … We decided that, out of the millions of books in the library, the shelves full of books on religion seemed like the best place to f**k.”

Nice touch. She continues to dole out more advice:

“For a place to have loud ass-slapping sex, the classrooms in the dungeons of Moffitt served us well after Main Stacks because the ground floor of Moffitt was completely deserted,” she noted.

For a finale, she encouraged others to do the same:

“Learn to appreciate your sexy side and experience a few frisky things during your time here. Take the Female Sexuality DeCal, have sex in Morrison, do the naked run and talk to people who are willing to share their personal experiences. The wide acceptance and freedom of open sexual expression are among the greatest legacies we have the opportunity to uphold at this university.”

Yeah, that about sums up Berkeley’s greatest legacy. No argument here.

1. And finally, we focus the spotlight on comments made recently by two Berkeley educators, arguments that are as outlandish as they are dead wrong.

A prominent UC Berkeley diversity scholar accused Republican politicians of “stoking white racial anxiety for political gain” and using “coded phrases … to transmit signals to a right-wing, resentful white base.”

John Powell, executive director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, is the lead author on the 2,000-plus word piece, which states in part:

“The right wing can talk about Obama as a food stamp president or how he may not really be American. We knew such attacks on the president and the black community often had serious racial overtones. Yet, if this observation was made, not only would they deny these accusations, they would cry foul: that critics were playing ‘the race card.’”

Once again, here comes the claim that conservatives and Republicans who voice concerns over the growing welfare state are just a bunch of ignorant racists. Instead of addressing the merits of the argument against government dependency, leftists continue to rely on insulting ad hominem attacks.

The second Berkeley educator to catch our eye was a prominent environmentalist professor who linked ignoring global warming with watching people die during a recent guest seminar at Ohio State University.

Citing monsoons and other extreme weather phenomenon on the other side of the globe, Kirk Smith, a global environmental health professor, said climate change is “a moral issue.”

Smith told an anecdote to the audience of a professor who ignores a drowning child on campus as he rushes to teach a class. He then tells his students about ignoring the child, and they are aghast. Later at home, the hypothetical professor opens his mail and throws away a letter from the United Nation’s Children Fund.

“No one thinks that is immoral, and why not,” Smith said of throwing away the UNICEF letter. “What’s the moral distinction? … Today climate change is a sin of omission.”

What’s more, Smith argued, those who ignore global warming and climate change are not just guilty of a sin of omission, they’re also teetering on the verge of a sin of commission.

“Every time I come back from a site in the Third World, and a $16 pizza would feed a family in Guatemala for an entire month … we’re not going and shooting kids in the head, but we are moving in the distinction a bit to the commission side,” he said.

Just remember folks, the next time you throw away a soda can in the trash rather than recycling bin, or purchase that SUV – you’re killing a kid in Cambodia – on purpose.

IMAGE: Dave Cobb/Flickr

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