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It’s not all bad news: Campus goings-on to be thankful about

American college life is in a bad way, but there are lights within the darkness

It’s not all bad news coming out of the American campus. True, The College Fix‘s student journalists report on a seemingly inexhaustible procession of ridiculous outrages, from shrieking students organizing yet another protest that costs a public university half a million bucks, to administrators squashing the civil rights of the young men and women on their campuses, to professors and instructors who are outright hostile (if not criminally aggressive) toward any member of the student body to the right of Vladimir Lenin. It is hard to find the sparkle amongst all this gloom.

Just the same: there are promising signs that, at least in the margins (and sometimes more than that), there is a kind of quiet revival taking place on more than a few campuses, a sort of re-alignment of certain values and presumptions and a re-assertion of them into the public life of the university. The students and faculty behind this slow shift are assuredly in the minority, but they do not count for nothing.

Students for Life, for example—the nation’s preeminent student pro-life organization—has over 1,000 groups across the country, a great many of them on college and university campuses. Anyone who is aware of the virulent and unbending culture of pro-abortion politics at most colleges cannot help but be heartened by this news. And while there has been an uptick in hostility toward campus pro-life groups in recent months, it is almost assuredly the case that the vigilante and in some cases institutional persecution of pro-lifers serves in many cases to swell their ranks, not diminish them.

There are also promising free speech developments taking place at a number of prominent universities across the country. The chancellor of the University of California – Berkeley has lately been an unapologetic defender of free speech on her campus. Late in the summer several universities were hailed by the Foundation for Equal Rights in Education for changing their free speech policies to better protect student First Amendment freedoms. This fall the Trump administration came down on the side of campus free speech protections. Several months ago Georgetown adopted an “untrammeled” free speech policy. There is, to be sure, a great deal of work to be done in fixing the American campus’s free speech problems. But, though these are but a few examples, they are encouraging ones.

Then there is the simple fact that, for all the blustery radicalism one frequently witnesses on campus, many students often seem uninterested in taking part. An anti-fossil fuel group at the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, usually only counts less than 20 attendees at its meetings. Daffy student groups and activists can and often do do a lot of damage, but it is a relief that, in many cases, their relative numbers are small.

We should not, of course, kid ourselves: the American campus is currently in a state of profound dysfunction, and there is plenty left to do to bring it to a more sane and reasonable place. The College Fix will be there doing our part to make that happen. But we might pause for a moment to appreciate that, for all the issues plaguing American universities, there are some recent good developments that point toward a better campus.

MORE: The feds will let colleges use higher evidence standard in Title IX cases

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  • Unmutual One

    We’re losing the war here, people.

    • ItsOK2kek

      It may seem that way right now, but we’re not.
      The best thing that could happen is for the school to make this nuttery mandatory.
      Look around, the Leftist institutions are imploding under the weight of all their hypocrisies.

      • Unmutual One

        But the implosions do not seem to result in the reinstitution of common sense.

      • Amanda

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  • William White

    Still guys in dresses, with mental health issues.

  • Don_in_Odessa

    Gender? … Gender?… I thought we didn’t have those anymore. What do we need a course of study for? Oh I get it, catch a few bucks from a few snowflakes… wonder what they will charge for that course.

    An internet acquaintance of mine and thinker supreme is always saying: “Everything’s a business model.” Sure enough, if you look hard enough you can find someone making a buck almost everything.

  • Don_in_Odessa

    Sometimes I just wish we were back in the stone age. We could just kill off these brain injured poor souls and remove them from the gene pool and have no social conscience about it all. (Something about innate specie preservation comes to mind). For all it’s conveniences, civilization does have some negatives. Then again we men could just drag off some poor helpless female by the hair and have our way with her any old time we want. Well… something about innate specie preservation comes to mind … again. Like I said, civilization does have some negatives. LOL! Am I allowed to say that?

    • Mary

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  • Desertphile

    “As climate scientist Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against National Review drags into its sixth year, another climate scientist is taking on a much bigger target for criticizing his research.”

    Non sequitur. The tort litigation brought by Dr Mann against his abusers has nothing at all to do with “differing opinions on data analysis:” it has everything, and only, to do with defamation and libel (i.e., lies written with the intent to inflict harm). *EVERY* judge in the law suit by Dr Mann has agreed with Dr Mann— the issue has nothing to do with science, nor with the world-wide consensus that supports what Dr Mann has also concluded.

    You have not and you do not understand the issue, yet you posted your ignorant opinion on the subject that is contrary to demonstrable reality. Be ashamed.

  • Truthteller

    So they know they will need to BRIBE students to attend, hence the $4 allotment per student for “enhanced ” foods. I’m positive this “enhanced” food will include a very large glass of coolaide!

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  • Rezqewr

    “The $4 allotment will be used to ‘to spend on an enhanced food-option to incentivize students to attend’.”
    Sounds like operant conditioning to me. Offer positive re enforcement as a means of changing behaviour.

  • Yankee

    I’m encouraged by the hard work of The College Fix‘s student journalists, which exposes what is taking place on college campus to a broader audience, including alumni, taxpayers (for state supported colleges) and parents of college age students.

  • There is no such thing as a civil right to a mental illness, but that’s what transgender ideology wants to promote. Listen to what Dr. Cretella says on this topic: https://www.tfpstudentaction.org/blog/dr-michelle-cretella-on-transgender-ideology