Universities may employ the smartest people, but they still experienced their fair share of stupid decisions, scandals, and screw-ups last year. The College Fix presents the Top 10 Outrageously Dumb Campus Moments of 2011:
10). UC Berkeley chancellor blames Tucson shooting on those who oppose the Dream Act. Even as liberal pundits were drawing imaginary arrows between Sarah Palin-supporting Tea Partiers and apolitical killer Jared Lee Loughner, Berkeley’s chancellor found an even more absurd group to blame for the Tucson shooting: anyone who didn’t support tuition breaks for illegal immigrants.
9). Dean of college calls Mao a “best friend.” A North Carolina State University dean sent an e-mail to students in which he listed Mao Zedong—the brutal tyrant and mass-murdering former ruler of China—as an intellectual companion and “best friend.” He subsequently failed to retract his comments.
8). Affirmative action bake sale infuriates student council. The College Republicans of UC Berkeley hosted a satirical bake sale–intended as a statement against affirmative action–angering countless liberal students. The student council debated an intervention, and the event drew an even bigger crowd.
7). Universities assign fraudulent books, defend fraud. This past year, two famous works of nonfiction were proved to have been fabricated. But that made little difference to the professors who assigned the books to their students, invited one of the fraudulent authors to campus, and gave him an award and a cash prize.
6). Israel supporters denied entrance to event at Rutgers. Students who knew they would disagree with the speakers at a pro-Palestinian event at Rutgers called “Never Again for Anyone” were told the event would be free and open to the public. But when the students showed up, event organizers required a cash donation to NAFA in exchange for admittance.
5). “Ellen” show tells Oregon students to take off their sombreros before taping. Show staffers encouraged students to come to a BCS-themed taping of “Ellen” decked out in Fiesta Bowl costumes. When the students did just that, they were told to remove their offensive sombreros before the cameras rolled.
4.) Christian groups under fire at Vanderbilt. University administrators deemed that several religion-based student groups could be in violation of the school’s non-discrimination policy because the groups required members to do precisely what all groups, by definition, must do: adhere to certain practices and beliefs.
3.) UCLA students overreact to “Asians in the Library” YouTube video. A UCLA student who posted an ethnically offensive YouTube video received deserved criticism from her peers… followed by less-deserved condemnation from the university chancellor… and then wildly undeserved death threats from anonymous haters. At least a vice chancellor called the death threats “as deplorable as” the video–because at UCLA, threatening to kill someone and making fun of Asians are equally bad.
2). Government may require sex and relationship training for students. First Amendment groups criticized the law for violating free speech. Others wondered whether a group of people that once included the likes of Anthony Weiner, Larry Craig, and John Edwards should be tasked with writing laws that establish campus etiquette for sex and dating.
1). Student expelled for protesting college’s credit card policy. When North Carolina student Marc Bechtol signed up for a university-sponsored credit card, he didn’t expect to start receiving annoying calls from a bank that had suddenly learned his phone number. Nor did he expect, after complaining about the incident on Facebook, to receive an in-class visit from a university administrator. She expelled him on the spot.
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