Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

The Character of Student Activism

Zachary R. Wood

Student activists would do well to consider the weaknesses that have hindered their moral crusade for social justice.

Taking Back Student Government

Chance Layton

In a Huffington Post article, Professor Andrew Pessin explains how students can take back their government from divisive activists. 

Government Power Versus Freedom of Private Colleges

George Leef

Should student religious groups have to take all comers?

Student Reporters Survey College Social Scene, Campus Issues

Glenn Ricketts

Undergraduate press writers provide copy on local trends, issues, and controversies.

Should Mandatory "Civic Engagement" Be Part of the College Mission?

George Leef

In today's Pope Center piece, Tulane University sociology professor Carl Bankston argues that colleges should not mandate "civic engagement" of their students. Doing so is inconsistent with a liberal education and it tends to promote doctrinaire thinking, Bankston contends.  

Video: Ben Novak on the Impotency of Student Government

How university student governments went from taking responsibility for and pride in the "spirit of the university" to an attitude of entitlement and parasitism.

Wesleyan's Affirmative Action Reaction

Ashley Thorne

Faculty and students at Wesleyan University lashed out in anger against a campus group for its demonstration on the injustice of racial preferences.

My Thoughts on CLS v. Martinez

George Leef

Should campus groups be able to limit membership only to those who share a set of beliefs? Put it that way and the matter seems pretty innocuous. Ah, but if you state that in a pejorative way -- should they be allowed to discriminate against those who don't share that set of beliefs? -- then alarm bells go off in the academic world because "discrimination" is contrary to the cherished notion that all groups must be "diverse." And if it's a Christian group doing the discriminating, add flashing lights and sirens to the alarm bells. In today's Pope Center piece, I comment on the recently argued case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Even if five members of the Court have swallowed the diversity kool-aid and eventually decide against CLS and its First Amendment arguments, that doesn't mean that universities have to go along with the diversity uber alles approach of Hastings Law School. College officials can and should recognize that there is nothing harmful in letting campus groups set their standards for membership.

Student Blogs: Speaking Truth to Pooh-bahs

Jonathan Bean

In a previous post, I noted how military bloggers are writing the "first pages of history." Likewise, student bloggers are offering a place to speak out against the abuses on their campuses: from official racial segregation (in the name of Diversity) to expulsion for being pro-life and much more. During the 1990s, many upscale universities had students who said "Enough!" and established newspapers to advocate for academic freedom, mock the Mickey Mouse courses taught on campus, and generally play the role of watchdog. Needless to say, those newspapers were not welcomed by administrators or the PC thugs who "police" what happens on campus. Blessed by administrators who looked the other way, the thugs stole newspapers en masse and otherwise bullied these reporters in a style worthy of the Ku Klux Klan. Flash forward ten years: the Internet offers students, alumni and faculty the opportunity to watch and report on the crazy shenanigans of those in power and those who feel empowered to act as foot soldiers in the "long march through the institutions" that has done so much damage to academic rigor and freedom. (Disclosure: I have my own blog, FreeU, focusing primarily on Illinois issues). Here I'd like to profile one excellent student blog: ClaremontConservative.com Issues of interest to NAS readers include the following:

*Thought reform *Expulsion for the "wrong" views *Racial segregation promoted by the administration.

The military bloggers have a central directory; perhaps it is time to gather a EDUblogging directory? Meanwhile, search and you will find someone blogging about your campus, whether the pooh-bahs approve or not. Postscript: Alumni need to get into the act. They have nothing to fear--and administrators sometimes listen to them. Using the web, I got alumni at my alma mater to pressure the administration and get rid of a mandatory "white guilt" seminar for freshmen.

Student Gov Officers Appointed by Race at UMass

Ashley Thorne

Alana Goodman, a student at the University of Massachusetts, has published an excellent article, "Institutionalized Racism in Student Government," in the Collegian, the schoool's student newspaper. Here's an excerpt:

As we prepare to swear in our elected representatives to the SGA Senate next week, UMass students should be aware that 13 percent of our SGA Senators will not have even competed in Tuesday’s elections. Instead, they will be appointed to their positions before the election results even come in, solely on the basis of skin color. This portion of the Senate is appointed by a registered student organization (RSO) called the African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American (ALANA) Caucus (no relation to this columnist). Only minority students who fit one of those four racial categories– or other students who the Caucus approves as “minority allies”– are considered eligible for these Senate seats. [...] This practice has been going on for years, and in addition to its sleaziness it’s also illegal.

Errant Liberty

Peter Wood

Why Liberty University was unwise to de-recognize its Young Democrats Association.

Three Cheers for the Dons: Part 3

Tom Wood

What happens when student affairs functions far oufund the university's core academic operations, teaching and research?

Facebook and the Future of the University

Tom Wood

Will social networking sites like Facebook remove the extracurricular responsibility of the university?

The Extracurricular Sector of the University: Unappreciated and Soon To Be Unneeded

Tom Wood

With the rise of online education, will student affairs and residence life programs become obsolete?

About Face in Amherst

Peter Wood

Here's what really happenned when U Mass tried to cover its tracks after getting caught offering students academic credit for volunteering in the Obama campaign.

Is College Driving Students to Drink?

Tom Wood

Why is binge drinking such a problem on college campuses? What factors lead certain students to consume more than others?

Pullups: Outgrowing the dorm diapers and doing the real world workout

Peter Wood

If students need a grown-up university, why are colleges feeding them baby food?

Never Bored

Peter Wood

5. Res Life and the Decline of Campus Community (Part I)

Tom Wood

Previous postings in this series have examined the ideological and pedagogical pathologies of Res Life programs at U Delaware and U Mass-Amherst. More programs at other institutions will be uncovered and discussed in future postings. Before we proceed any further with that, however, it is a good idea to step back briefly and place these programs in perspective. These rogue programs need to be seen within the larger context of Residential Life programs at residential colleges generally.

3. Residence Life, the Shaha Troupe, and Social Justice Education at U Mass Amherst

Tom Wood

Our posting of 11 December (below), "Psychotherapeutic Interventions, Transformative Learning, and the Dorms of U Delaware," was the second in a series that will attempt to assess whether and to what extent U Delaware's ResLife diversity training program might be typical of programs at other universities.

2. Psychotherapeutic Interventions, Transformative Learning, and the Dorms of U Delaware

Tom Wood

The ResLife program at the University of Delaware has received a great deal of well-deserved ridicule and opprobrium in recent weeks, but virtually all of the attention has been directed at the details of the radical views on race it promulgated. Little or no attention has been given to placing these details within the larger context of the concept of "education" that inspired and drove the program. This is unfortunate, because understanding the wider context of the ResLife program at Delaware is as important as the details.

How Many Delawares?

The National Association of Scholars announces an inquiry into residence hall and student life policies that violate intellectual freedom and promote a partisan political agenda.