|Thought Control Replaces Academic Freedom|
|Gone are the days when academic freedom was the watchword of college campuses. Today, thought control is the dominant theology on campuses, often hiding behind the mantras of diversity and multiculturalism.
The American Enterprise magazine’s survey of the political affiliations of professors in 19 major universities confirms similar surveys. The tally: Cornell, 166 professors registered in the Democratic Party or another party of the left, and only six registered with Republicans or another party of the right; the Harvard score is 50-2; Penn State 59-10; Stanford 151-17; Brown 54-3; University of California-Berkeley 59-7; UCLA 141-9; University of Texas 94-15. (American Enterprise, Sept. 2002)
More than two-thirds of colleges and universities have speech codes even though, at least at public universities, they are unconstitutional. The codes are aimed at forbidding the free speech of conservatives, Christians, and humor magazines (since the Politically Correct brigade and the feminists have no sense of humor).
Many of the speech codes are as silly and intolerant as the British speech code at Stockport College which made international news by banning 40 “offensive” words and phrases. Lady and gentleman are banned because of “class implications,” history and chairman are sexist, “normal couple” is simply unacceptable, and “slaving over a hot stove” is offensive to the plight of real slaves. (London Telegraph, 6-11-00)
Colleges and universities have hired highly-paid itinerant facilitators to train incoming freshmen to feel guilty if they are white and to think politically correct thoughts about race and diversity. Two of the films widely used at these Soviet-style re-education sessions are “Skin Deep,” which presents intolerance and racism as the norm in America, and “Blue-Eyed,” a 90-minute tirade designed to humiliate people with blue eyes and to empower people with brown eyes. (Reason, Mar. 2000, p. 26)
Get ready for the next round of leftwing commencement speakers. Cornell has already announced it has signed up that rowdiest of leftists, James Carville. Al Gore and Madeleine Albright were recent commencement speakers at Harvard, Robert Reich and Janet Reno at the University of California-Berkeley, Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter at the University of Pennsylvania, Gloria Steinem and Whoopi Goldberg at Wellesley. At most prestigious colleges, students never hear a conservative commencement speaker. (www.yaf.org)
Diversity includes requiring freshmen at Northern Arizona University to read Science and the Case for Animal Rights by Steven M. Wise so students can learn that animals can be “persons.” (Daily Sun, 8-25-02) But multiculturalism does not permit the campus newspaper at the University of California-Riverside to publish a cartoon critical of the large numbers of foreign teaching assistants who speak only broken English. (Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), 2-27-03)
Nor does multiculturalism permit criticism of Hispanic students working for the Aztlan movement calling for revolutionary liberation from “gringos.” When the conservative campus paper The Patriot printed a critical story, its staff was personally harassed, some received death threats, the office was broken into, and 3,000 copies of the magazine were stolen. (Washington Times, 3-5-02).
Students have little or no academic freedom to escape from intolerant professors intent on indoctrinating their students. At the women’s studies program at the University of South Carolina, students must acknowledge the existence of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and other institutional forms of oppression of women before being permitted to participate in class discussions. Alas, this is typical of the 900 women’s studies courses taught nationwide. (Washington Times, 5-16-02)
The textbooks in women’s studies programs teach that women are the victims of a male-dominated society, that marriage is an “instrument of oppression,” and that fathers are “foreign male elements” who stand between mothers and daughters. This was the conclusion of an Independent Women’s Forum review of five of the most widely used textbooks in women’s studies departments and 30 course outlines from major universities. (“Lying in a Room of One’s Own: How Women’s Studies Textbooks Miseducate Students,” by Christine Stolba, 2002)
The notion that women are discriminated against in universities is statistically ridiculous. Females now make up 56% of the national student body and are expected to reach 60% by 2010 when two-thirds of all bachelor’s degrees are predicted to go to women.
The obscene show touted by feminists as the way to observe Valentine’s Day, “The Vagina Monologues,” will be staged on 667 college campuses this year (up from 550 last year). The original version eulogizes the “good rape” of a 13-year-old girl by a 24-year-old woman who plies her with alcohol and leads her to conclude “I’ll never need to rely on a man.” (Newsweek, 2-18-02) At Georgetown University, the student who dared to write a critical review for the campus newspaper was fired.
College thought control is not merely political. The attack on morality is so savage that it sometimes even breaks into the New York Times. One Times headline (5-11-02) read: “No Big Deal, but Some Dorm Rooms Have Gone Coed,” with the push coming “from gay groups that said it was ‘heterosexist’ to require roommates to be of the same sex.” Another Times headline (3-18-00) described “The Naked Dorm” at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, which advertises itself as a diverse, multicultural, political active dormitory for men and women where clothing is “optional.”
Students who are victimized by the new thought control should contact the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an organization dedicated to the First Amendment and academic freedom. FIRE is piling up a series of successes in discrediting the intolerant Politically Correct campus gestapo. (www.thefire.org)
Reasonable people would understand this law as requiring institutions to offer equal educational opportunities to women, not as making it the federal government’s business if more women than men enroll in women’s studies courses, and more men than women play football. But now enter from stage left a feminist named Bernice Sandler who took over the Office of Civil Rights in Jimmy Carter’s Department of Education.
She picked the innocuous word “proportionality” out of the dictionary (not out of the law), and turned it into a feminist code word for one of three tests by which college athletic departments would be judged as to their compliance with Title IX. She created a new definition for this word: if 56% of a student body is female, then 56% of the students playing on athletic teams must be female.
This rule is not only unfair but ridiculous because men like to play sports far more than women do. It’s a fact of human nature that female college students do not seek to play on athletic teams in anywhere near the percentage that male students do. Furthermore, a significant percentage of the female college population is made up of “re-entry” women. Those are older women who return to college after their children are grown or after divorce, and they surely aren’t going to college to play basketball or soccer.
In the Clinton Administration, an even more aggressive feminist, Norma Cantu, became head of the Education Department’s Civil Rights Office. She made “proportionality” the only test for Title IX compliance. Using proportionality as her sword, she went on the warpath to investigate and threaten college athletic departments even when no one had filed any complaint. She used the power of the bureaucracy, and sometimes activist judges, to force colleges to enforce the proportionality ratio by a numbers count of male and female students on teams compared to students enrolled in the college.
During the Clinton Administration, Title IX was aggressively used to abolish many college men’s sports as well as to create women’s teams. In line with feminist ideological goals, the teams abolished were men’s wrestling, gymnastics, swimming, golf, and football.
Colleges have eliminated 171 wrestling teams (40% of the national total) plus hundreds of other sports in which men excel, many of them trophy-winning teams. The evidence is overwhelming that Title IX has been turned into a tool to punish men.
The effect on men’s sports, and specifically on wrestling teams, is not an unintended consequence. The feminists’ intention is to eliminate everything that is masculine or macho, and to pretend that women are equal to men in physical prowess and desire.
The feminist implementation of Title IX has nothing to do with equalizing the amount of money spent on women’s and men’s sports, as the abolition of wresting proves. Wrestling is one of the least expensive of all athletic teams; all wrestlers need to practice is a mat. Proof that money is not the issue is shown by the fact that wrestling teams have been eliminated even when financed by alumni and supporters. So have other men’s teams that were quite willing to raise their own funds.
In 1996 the Clinton Department of Education feminists began requiring colleges to count “walk-ons” in figuring their proportionality quotas. A walk-on is a non-scholarship student who tries out for a sport even though he wasn’t recruited and isn’t subsidized, hoping he will get to play on the team anyway.
There are many times more male walk-ons than female, either because more men than women are much more eager to try out for sports, or men are far more willing to sit on the bench day after day with little chance of ever starting in a game. Colleges have been forced to meet their proportionality goals by refusing to let non-scholarship males try out in soccer, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, track and field, dashing their dreams that they will ever be allowed to compete.
Since all this mischief was created, not by law, but by a stroke of the pen in the Department of Education, the Bush Administration should have used the same bureaucratic pen to terminate anti-male implementation of Title IX and return to the rule of the law as it was passed by Congress.
Instead, President Bush appointed a Commission on Opportunity in Athletics to study the feminist regulatory outrages committed in the name of Title IX. His appointees were not wisely chosen, so the feminists (as usual) used their pals in the media to clamor to continue the bureaucratic mischief-making. On February 26, 2003, Education Secretary Rod Paige gave the feminists their mandate to maintain the anti-male status quo by announcing he would implement only Commission recommendations that were unanimous. (Sources for Title IX information: Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex and Title IX by Jessica Gavora; “Want to Try Out for College Sports? Forget It,” New York Times, 9-22-02; “Wrestling with Title IX,” New York Times Op-Ed, 1-28-03)
This gives a taxpayer benefit to illegal aliens that is denied to U.S. citizens in the 49 other states. The monetary difference, which varies from state to state, can be as high as $11,000 per year, and this windfall is given even though most state governments are crying about budget shortfalls because of the current state of our economy.
Federal law (Title 8, Chapter 14, Sec. 1623) states: “an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State … for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.”
Everybody understood what this law means when Congress passed it and when President Clinton signed it in 1996. Conference Report 104-828 stated, “this section provides that illegal aliens are not eligible for in-state tuition rates at public institutions of higher education.”
The universities think they can circumvent this federal law by the “loophole” of simply not asking student applicants whether or not they are legally in this country. The Immigration and Naturalization Service said there is “no reason” for the INS to issue regulations because, according to a spokeswoman, the agency believes that illegal persons should be removed from the country.
In June 2001, Texas became the first state to pass a law giving in-state tuition rates to illegals, although some universities in Texas, California and New York had been quietly doing this during the 1990s. California Governor Gray Davis vetoed a state bill in 2000 to give in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, but he signed such a bill in October 2001. The California Board of Regents then voted 17-5 to make this windfall available at the University of California.
Dissenting Regent Ward Connerly said the result is “just flat wrong”: “Every citizen living legally in the other 49 states will be charged a higher tuition rate in California than illegal immigrants who happen to be in California.” California universities now make a student from Arizona pay nearly four times as much as an illegal alien. (Connerly Syndicated Column, 2-5-02)
At California’s state universities, in-state students and illegal aliens now pay $1,839, out-of-staters pay $7,380; at UC Berkeley, in-staters and illegals pay $3,859, out-of-staters $15,000. The difference is subsidized by the highly-taxed citizens of California plus the highly-taxed taxpayers from the 49 other states who provide all kinds of federal student benefits but whose own children are discriminated against.
The advocates of this discrimination claim they want illegal aliens to get a college education so they can become productive residents. But illegal aliens cannot legally hold a job in the United States. Qualifying for in-state tuition is only the start of the costs. Given the low economic status of most illegal aliens, most also qualify for taxpayer-financed financial aid, and Texas specifically allows this.
Connerly asked, “Why would any legal foreign student pay out-of-state tuition at a UC campus when by becoming illegal he or she can get a huge annual tuition cut of about $11,000?” Connerly pointed out that Americans already provide illegal aliens with billions of dollars of taxpayer-paid benefits at public schools and hospitals. State universities in New York tried to comply with the federal law last year, but they were overruled by a state law that okays in-state tuition for illegals. Utah followed suit with a similar law, and legislation is currently pending in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington.
On the other hand, Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum vetoed a provision to violate the law. In Virginia, where public officials may be sensitive since seven of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 held Virginia driver’s licenses, Attorney General Jerry Kilgore issued a memo stating that illegal aliens are not eligible for in-state tuition rates.
Senator Orrin Hatch (UT-R) and Rep. Chris Cannon (UT-R) are trying to repeal the federal law. Their bill is elegantly titled the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education Relief for Alien Minors).
American taxpayers should wake up and see how they are being ripped off by the high costs of tolerating illegal aliens in our midst.
Getting a bachelor’s degree now takes five or six years instead of the traditional four. That drives up the already exorbitant cost another 25% or 50% more than you may have budgeted, but your degree isn’t worth a penny more. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 11-09-01)
Only 31% of students at state institutions and 65% at private institutions graduate in four years. The primary reason for this slow-down is the easy flow of taxpayers’ money for grants and loans that make the extended stay pleasant for students and profitable for the institutions. In addition to the out-of-pocket costs of tuition and housing, be sure to count the cost of lost employment for a couple of years. A University of Texas administrator estimates that each additional year costs students $50,000 in extra college costs and lost income. When Pennsylvania last year promised $6-million bonuses to colleges that graduate at least 40% of their in-state students within four years, not a single state institution qualified. Some colleges have tried various inducements to increase their four-year-graduation rate, but none can match the attraction of having tuition paid by the taxpayers.
According to General Accounting Office figures, 64% of college students graduate with student-loan debt, and the average student-loan debt is $19,400. After they join the workforce, their monthly payments take at least 8 percent of their income. (Washington Times, 3-11-03; www.pirg.org/highered)
This burden is really even higher because more than half of student borrowers take out the more expensive unsubsidized loans. Surveys show that students often underestimate the total cost of their loans, forgetting about the interest, which over time can almost double the amount of the loan.
The prevalent use of credit cards by mostly-unemployed college students is another current phenomenon. The average credit-card debt of undergraduate students is $2,748, and of graduate students is $4,776. The average student is carrying three credit cards, and 32% have four or more. (www.collegecreditcounseling.com)
Some colleges give the credit-card companies access to lists of students and then get a kickback of a percentage of charges on the cards. It should come as no surprise that bankruptcy filings have reached a record high and the fastest growing group of filers are those younger than age 25.
College publications brag about their women’s studies departments, but they fail to warn students that there are not many job opportunities for those with a degree or a concentration in women’s studies except at the declining feminist organizations and their non-profit bureaucracies. The Independent Women’s Forum surveyed 89 women’s studies majors and discovered that all but 18 were earning under $30,000, and 8 reported no personal income at all. In interviews with prospective employers, many found it useful to conceal or de-emphasize their women’s studies majors. (The Women’s Quarterly, Fall 1999)
Maybe women’s-studies majors didn’t really expect to get a good job because they’ve been taught to approach life as a whining victim who will never get equal treatment. Women’s studies courses openly teach the warped ideology that American women are oppressed by a male-dominated society and that the road to liberation is abortion, divorce, the rejection of marriage and motherhood, and non-marital sex of all varieties.
The career feminists, however, have achieved some successes in their agenda to punish the men whom they disdain as the oppressor class. Feminists in the Clinton Administration misused Title IX to force universities to abolish 171 college wrestling teams and hundreds of other men’s teams in gymnastics, swimming, golf, and even football.
Another fact of campus life that college publications don’t reveal is the large number of students who are not capable of college work and are enrolled in high-school-level remedial courses, although that word doesn’t appear in the catalog. An astounding 29% of current freshmen at four-year colleges are taking at least one remedial reading, writing or math class; at two-year colleges, the figure is 41%. (Newsweek, 10-14-02)
What is in college catalogs can be even more deceptive. Courses may have traditional titles (such as English 101) but the content of the course is better described as Oppression Studies. Courses listed college catalogs may be actually taught only once in ten years. Colleges brag about their famous tenured professors, but they usually duck the large-enrollment courses, which are often taught by recent hires or graduate students.
It’s time for overpriced colleges to give students some truth in labeling so they can spend their college dollar wisely. It’s time to show students the option of getting a bachelor’s degree in just three years (as I and two of my sons did at top-rated universities).