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TCF’s Outrageously Dumb Campus Moments of the Week (Special “Occupy” Edition)

The College Fix presents a roundup of the top scandals, screw-ups, and stupid decisions involving college campuses. This week, universities across the country witnessed the revenge of the Occupiers, who thundered back into protest mode by demanding more money from the state, higher taxes on the rich, and silence from Republicans. But first…

Actually, there is no “but first” in this installment, because the Occupiers occupy all three slots. We thank them for their enthusiasm.

3). Occupiers everywhere protested reduced state funding for higher education. At a time when tuition rates are unaffordable—and become more unaffordable each year—this is a somewhat understandable point of contention.

What the protesters don’t seem to realize, though, is that most states are completely broke–or heading toward broke–and don’t have the option of increasing funding for something that isn’t a vital function of government. And it’s becoming more and more difficult for anyone to argue that the economy benefits from spending lots of taxpayer money on students who pick the wrong majors while partying for four, five, or even six years and then become bartenders, anyway.

And even if universities did receive increased state funding, tuition would still increase. That’s because university bureaucracies are incapable of spending excess cash on students or lowly-paid faculty. Just about every dime goes toward gaudy renovations and administrative bloat.

So it’s not the question that’s stupid: it’s the answer. More public money will not help students receive worthwhile college educations.

2). Occupiers at American University interrupted a speech by Jan Brewer, the Republican governor of Arizona, who was visiting campus. According to Fix Contributor Emily Schrader, Brewer spoke for about 15 minutes before a group of hecklers associated with the Occupy movement began loudly shouting disruptive comments at her.

It’s perfectly legitimate to oppose Brewer’s policies, including her hardline stance on immigration (I’ve done so here and here). Preventing her from speaking, on the other hand, is absurdly disrespectful, counterproductive, and unintelligent. In other words, it’s the second dumbest moment of the week.

1). Protesters at the University of California at Santa Cruz shut down their campus by disrupting traffic, getting in to fights, walking out of classes, etc. University administrators and campus police were wary of causing a pepper spray incident, so they just kind of stood back and let the kids go wild. This news story terrifically captures the mindset of the Occupiers, and the administrators who were helpless to stop them:

Demonstrators were allowing buses to drop off students at the entrance to campus. They also were allowing bicyclists and pedestrians to walk onto campus and are allowing some cars through, mostly those going to the university’s health center. Cars were also being allowed to leave campus.

The demonstrators erected six tents by the base of campus where people are gathering to get out of the rain. Another rally is planned for noon and 5 p.m.

[Police Chief] Oweis said they would be tolerant of the tents and demonstrators blocking traffic “as long as we continue a dialogue with people.”

How kind of the Occupiers to “allow” their fellow students to go to their classes (as long as they walked or rode their bikes). The protesters even deigned to permit some visitors to go to the hospital, and to leave campus. When the best thing you can say about these people is that they aren’t in the business of taking hostages, we have a problem.

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