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Evergreen State College’s real long-term problem: Declining enrollment

Despite the sheer insanity Evergreen State College has endured over the last few weeks, over the long haul its ultimate demise might not be irrational bands of students or incompetent, milksop administrators.

It’ll be no one signing up for classes at the place.

According to The Seattle Times, Evergreen is the only college in Washington State whose enrollment has dropped steeply since 2011, even with its “wide-open admission standards.”

From the piece:

At about 4,080 students, it is about 300 students short of the Legislature’s funded enrollment target.

The two problems are now entwined. Evergreen President George Bridges and his administration need to assure future students and their parents that academics come first — and not acquiesce to the 200-or-so student protesters at the expense of the 4,000-student campus. Without safety, there’s no learning, and without learning, Evergreen will wither into irrelevance. …

Evergreen’s board of trustees in a statement criticized “the lack of tolerance and respect displayed by a few.” Bridges, in a meeting with The Seattle Times editorial board Monday, described a flawed student discipline process that left little apparent accountability for those incidents. Bridges said that flawed process was being updated, with discipline imposed if student conduct crosses a line that Bridges himself described: “To what extent do actions of others impede the education of students.” …

Since the corrosive 2016 presidential election, Americans increasingly comprise a nation with citizens sealed in ideological bubbles; college campuses are often the most hermetically sealed of bubbles. When Weinstein, the professor, asked a yelling mob of students if they wanted to hear his answer, they shouted “No!”

For Evergreen, the chaos of the 2016-17 school year should become a case study in the First Amendment and the aching need for better civil discourse. The funky, nontraditional college has a unique role in the state higher-education system. But for it to survive, Evergreen must impose consequences when a student protest hijacks other students’ learning.

Easier said than done, of course. The lunacy at the school continues, with one of the latest incidents coming a few days ago in which a (black) student was caught on video tearing down signs “calling for racial equality and for peaceful discussion of racial issues.”

h/t to Legal Insurrection

MORE: Unveiled documents reveal anarchist strand festered at Evergreen for nearly a decade

MORE: New Evergreen State prof stands against insanity, urges faculty to ‘walk toward the fire’

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