It’s been another busy and exciting year at The College Fix.
As we mark this Thanksgiving week, our staff would like to count our many blessings. There is still a long road ahead to plow as we work to break campus news and launch media careers, but it’s important to recognize accomplishments and silver linings along the way.
There are many things to be thankful for this year, and here are just a few:
Alumni who take a stand
There is thankfully a growing awareness among alumni that writing massive checks to their alma mater isn’t the best idea. That’s great, but something even better has also emerged: alumni actively calling out their old stomping grounds for their insanity. Over the last year groups like the MIT Free Speech Alliance and the Cornell Free Speech Alliance have been established to hold their namesakes accountable to uphold free speech and academic freedom. Some alumni also have a hand in a few satire websites that have popped up that mock their campuses’ idiocy. Alumni of the Virginia Military Institute are not sitting around letting wokeness gain ground at their beloved academy either, launching something of a blitzkrieg against CRT there. There’s also the two-year-old Alumni and Donors Unite group, a self-described “action tank” based in California that is working to change the progressive left’s takeover of higher education. These alumni play a crucial role in turning the tide.
Our student reporters
On any given day, load up The College Fix and enjoy articles on the campus culture wars that have engulfed America. Our “Fix Features” are written almost exclusively by undergrads and recent grads at colleges and universities across our nation. These are young people who not only want to hone their writing abilities, develop honest journalism skills, and flesh out their budding resumes — but they also care deeply about their communities and country. It’s easy to get discouraged reading the news day in and day out. Hope seems bleak as the secular-progressive ideology continues to gain ground at all our institutions: education, culture, media, Congress, even houses of worship. Yet, there is a reason to celebrate this holiday season. Let the 100-plus students we have worked with over the last year, and the hundreds more over the years, serve as a representative testament to the large contingent of bright, young, principled minds fighting the good fight on college campuses, in their communities, and for America.
Professors who publicly defend freedom
This year we’ve seen more and more professors who are so at their wits’ end regarding the illiberalism that has taken hold of their campuses they are willing to say — publicly — enough is enough. No more whispers in the hallways. No more secret emails. There are two open letters circulating that have been signed by professors en masse calling for academic freedom and free speech to be restored to their campuses. One letter is called the Stanford Academic Freedom Declaration. It has drawn more than 1,000 signatures nationwide. Another is focused on California and is called the CSU Academic Freedom open letter. It’s attracted 180 signatures from scholars representing all 23 Cal State campuses. There are also many anecdotes, stories we’ve covered over the last year, that shine a light on brave souls doing their part on campus. There’s plant biology Professor Randy Wayne at Cornell University, who was not going to sit idly by as a bust of Abraham Lincoln was canceled on his watch. There’s Kennesaw State University business Professor David Bray, who is willing to be the squeaky wheel and demand to know why he needs to check his privilege when no one else will ask the tough questions. There are the professors pushing the “Merit, Fairness and Equity” concept to challenge DEI’s stranglehold on higher education. These are just a few examples, but there’s many more out there fighting the good fight. We salute you.
Constitutional court rulings
Over the last six months we’ve seen a spate of rulings that illustrate there are still good judges who prioritize the Constitution over bench activism. Most notably, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman of the Northern District of Texas, who had the guts to strike down President Joe Biden’s massive, billion-dollar student loan bailout program, ruling that “In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone.” Another ruling earlier this month from the same district court determined that “sex” should not be defined to include “sexual identity” or “gender identity” in federal statues. The decision helps paves the way to ensuring female athletes can compete on a fair and level playing field with other biological women. Another big win came in August when the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a request to hear Oberlin College’s appeal of a verdict against the private, Ohio school — meaning the family-owned bakery that won a defamation lawsuit against the institution can finally collect on the multi-million judgment it was awarded by a jury in 2019. This family fought so hard for so many years, it was gratifyingly to see justice finally prevail. Another great ruling dealing with religious freedom came in June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a Washington state football coach was improperly fired for praying on the field after games. In another Supreme Court ruling in June it was decided that a publicly funded tuition-aid program in Maine that excluded nonsectarian schools, such as faith-based schools, is unconstitutional. And although this ruling form the Supreme Court did not get as much ink as Roe V. Wade, a huge and important precedent for school choice was established.
The College Fix is published by the nonprofit Student Free Press Association, which is supported by donors. Thank you, a million times thank you, for that support. We have two main goals, one of which is to launch the journalism careers of talented and driven young people who go on to bring integrity and courage to newsrooms nationwide. We have an excellent track record of that! Nearly three-fourths – 74 percent – of our fellowship alumni have remained in media careers. From 2014 to today, 60 percent continue to work as journalists and another 14 percent work in a related media field, such as book publishing and speechwriting. We also tell the important campus stories ignored by the mainstream media, legacy press, and campus newspapers. These stories serve as vital canaries in a coalmine to shine a light on some of the insanity underway in higher education. Thank you for your support, so we can tell these stories and launch these careers.